Late Summer Seasonal Salad – Salads in September

I was able to get all the produce for this salad at my local Farmers Market today to whip up dinner – talk about fresh!  A little chopping, and quick whisk for the simple, homemade dressing, and viola!  I am truly working to get the most out of my local market for the next month or so while it is still around… Here are 3 reasons to hit up your local Farmers Market before the season ends:

  1. Cheaper Organic Fruits and Veggies.  I was able to get big beautiful red bell peppers for $1 each, and green peppers 2 for $1.  My grocery store is currently charging around $3.99 each.
  2. Stock up for the colder months.  I love my morning smoothies with fresh, local berries.  I plan to buy in bulk and then freeze what I won’t eat in the next 2 days so I can enjoy my Oregon berries well into winter.
  3. Supporting my local Farmers.  I want them to succeed and to come back next year so I can keep buying amazing locally grown goodies at a good price just steps from my front door.

Late Summer Seasonal Salad

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Ingredients / Nutrition Info:

Salad:

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Easy Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:

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Directions:

  • Wash all your produce
  • Add all the dressing items into a bowl and whisk
  • Remove the tough stems and roughly chop the chard
  • Place chard in the bowl with dressing and stir to evenly coat – divide into 2 serving bowls
  • Chop the cucumber and peppers into bite size pieces – divide evenly and place on top of the greens
  • Slice all the cherry tomatoes in half and place even amounts on each salad
  • Sprinkle almonds evenly across the 2 salads

Questions for you:  Have you been getting in any late summer trips to your local Farmers Market?  What did you buy?

Cheers³

Reni

 

 

 

Carrot Salad with a Kick – Salads in September

Have you ever had a salad that was primarily Carrot based?  This was new to me.  Salads should be based with some sort of leafy green, right?  Not necessarily!  So here is why you should consider a salad with more Carrots:

  1. While we often think of carrots as being orange – they also come in shades of purple, white, yellow and red.  I can’t wait to try this recipe with different carrot colors.
  2. They are rich in anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients.
  3. Carrots are very high in vitamin A due to their beta-carotene, which helps with healthy vision, bone support and strengthening your immune system.

Carrot Salad with a Kick

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Ingredients / Nutrition Information:

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Other spices include:

  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Direction:

  • Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl
  • Add olive oil and spices to the bowl – whisk to combine and make the dressing
  • Add the carrots, cilantro, and garlic into a food processor – pulse until the ingredients are roughly, but evenly chopped
  • Pour the carrot mix into the bowl and mix with the dressing until it evenly coats the salad
  • Store the bowl in the fridge for a few hours before serving to let it marinate
  • This will make a BIG / Filling salad for 2, or you can serve smaller portions as a side and have leftovers

Question for you:  Do you have a salad that isn’t based with leafy greens?

Cheers³

Reni

 

A 3 Day Cleanse – Salads in September

While September often brings the first signs of fall, I’m hanging on to late summer and want to enjoy all the fresh produce at my local Farmers Market by eating lots of fresh and flavorful salads. Perhaps my salad cravings are a result of doing a 3 Day Cleanse after Labor Day to kick start some new healthy habits.

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Here are my 3 highlights from the cleanse:

1) Personally, I lost 5 pounds. While weight loss wasn’t my main goal with the cleanse, I was pretty psyched to shed a few.
2) I got to eat real food! I’ve blogged about my juice cleanses in the past, and how I missed eating and the process of cooking and preparing food. This cleanse eliminated animal protein, dairy, gluten, caffeine and alcohol, but it included nutritional smoothies, fruit, veggies and healthy fats (like avocado and hummus). Every night for dinner I got to prepare and eat a big salad using new recipes I’d never tried before, which was super fun (and I’ll share the recipes this month on my blog).
3) I got to coach a group of fellow-cleansers and was inspired by their dedication and enthusiasm! They lost 32 pounds (across 9 people) and adopted some healthy habits, like drinking more water, doing yoga at night before bed, eating more raw veggies and benefited from feeling more energetic and positive in general.

Here is an example of one of my lunches:

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And a dinner:

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Full disclosure, not everyone lost weight. And not everyone liked the cleanse drink options. I respect that, given my understanding of bio-individuality – what works for one person might not work for another. But the majority of the feedback is positive and I’m looking forward to doing this cleanse in the future and hosting more on-line group coaching. If any of my blog readers are intrigues, post a comment and I can add you to my waiting list for my next cleanse, or I can tell you about my next on-line fitness and nutrition challenge group starting 9/22.

Stay tuned for more salads this month!

Questions for you: Have you ever tried a cleanse? Do you have a favorite fall veggie?

Cheers³

Reni

Dog Days of Summer – August End of Summer Awesomeness

Happy National Dog Day!  Apparently this is a thing, an awesome end of summer holiday if you ask me.  I celebrated in the following ways:

  1. I took my Greyhounds, Lucie and Buddy, for a walk – and I even let Buddy lay in the sunshine for a little while before herding them back inside where I had work waiting for me.
  2. The Hounds will get a special chewy treat after their dinner.  And an extra belly rub.  And a few ear scratches.  A few more than usual.
  3. And finally – I registered for Race for the Rescues!

I signed up for the 1K, which is probably the shortest race I’ve ever registered for, but that is the right length for my 40-mile-per-hour couch potatoes:

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The donations raised through Race For The Rescues will be used to help save the lives of once forgotten dogs, cats and horses and help them become cherished family members. As well as preventing cruelty to farm animals and providing important programs to the community such as veterinary care for the pets of low-income families and free spay and neuter clinics.  One of the benefactors of this event is Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest, the organization through which we adopted our second dog, Buddy and where I’ve donated both my time and money to support the wonderful work they do to help find forever homes for Retired Racing Greyhounds.  As I’ve mentioned before, Greyhounds make wonderful pets!  These sweet gentle giants are actually great apartment dogs and are VERY mellow.  We always get asked if they need a lot of exercise, and the truth is they don’t – my dogs sleep about 23 hours a day, which is why a 1K race will be perfect for them.  Please take a moment and check out my fundraising page and consider making a donation to this great cause.

Question for you:  Do you have a favorite animal rescue organization?

 

Nectarines – August End of Summer Awesomeness

Today I stopped by neighborhood Farmers Market and picked up a few things I don’t normally get, including a couple of nectarines, as I try to mix up my end-of-summer palette. In past week’s I’ve been loading up on berries before they are out of season. Today I decided to branch out – Nectarines are in their prime in late summer and they looked and smelled absolutely wonderful today. Here are 3 fun facts about Nectarines:

1) Nectarines are in the same family as peaches, but they don’t have that fuzzy peach fuzz.
2) They are loaded with antioxidants, with a higher concentration in the peels; this helps boost your immune system and promotes good cardiac health.
3) Nectarines aid digestion due to their fiber content and promotes detoxification.
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I still picked up some berries (blackberries to be exact!) but I’m enjoying a nectarine as I type this – yum! This luscious stone fruit may end up becoming part of my regular shopping list while they remain in season.

Question for you: Have you tried anything new from your Farmers Market lately?

Cheers³

Reni

August End of Summer Awesomeness – Zucchini

The Farmers Market’s are bursting with zucchini in August!  And if you’ve planted any in your home garden, it’s likely taken over by now.  This is a VERY easy zucchini recipe that you can use when you have plans to BBQ that is super easy, healthy, and quick to clean up!  But first here are some health benefits of zucchini:

  1. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C.  Skip the orange, have the zucchini!
  2. Zucchini helps promote healthy insight!  It contains 2 phytonutirents:  lutein and zeaxanthin – they filter light as it enters your eye, helping to ensure that harmful rays can’t damage your eyes.
  3. It is low in calories –  cup of zucchini slices is about 19 calories.

Zucchini in Foil Packets on the Grill

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Nutrition Information:

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Directions:

  • Wash and slice the zucchini – nice thick slices
  • Put the slices on a long piece of foil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Spritz with olive oil
  • Wrap up into a foil packet – make sure the edges are sealed
  • Gill over low heat for about 10-20 minutes – less time if you prefer your veggies a little crunchy, more time if you prefer them more cooked
  • This is a great side dish with whatever you are throwing on the grill, and doesn’t require much clean up other than pitching the oil

Question for you:  What is your favorite zucchini recipe?

Cheers³

Reni

August End of Summer Awesomeness – Back to School Shopping with Stitch Fix

Back to School Shopping used to be one of my favorite end of summer activities, and here are 3 reasons why:

  1. Dressing for Success:  It was absolutely critical to pick out the right outfit for the first day of school to make the right impression on classmates and teachers.
  2. School Supplies:  Picking out a new trapper keeper and day planner was so fun, and using new pens in fresh notebooks invoked a sense of zen-like relaxation.
  3. New shoes!  Perhaps a new pair of volleyball shoes for the upcoming season or a stylish new pair of ballet flats to wear with the previously mentioned first day of school outfit.

I recently did a little “Back to School” shopping myself (even thought I’ve been in school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since January).  Since I work from home, my day-to-day outfits involve mostly yoga pants and tank tops, but now that I can start working with clients as a Health Coach (more information about that exciting news in an upcoming post!) I realized I needed to invest in a few new pieces.  I wanted a couple of outfits I could wear when meeting with clients, hosting a cooking class or leading a nutrition discussion that would look professional and inspire confidence.  However, I didn’t have much spare time to spend scouring the mall for new clothes that fit well and presented the image I was looking for – working full-time, going to school, building a business, training for my upcoming race and taking care of 2 big furry Greyhounds doesn’t leave me with much extra time!  So I decided to give Stitch Fix a whirl….

Stitch Fix

According to the Stitch Fix website, “Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest!”  I filled out a profile, picked a date for my Fix, and waited by the door for my delivery.  And when it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised!  It included clothing I wouldn’t have picked out on my own, but they fit perfectly and they worked with my personal style.

In my first Fix, I kept a pair of skinny jeans and a blue and white tank top and in my second Fix, I kept a cute little black dress, a green peasant top, blue cropped pants, and a black and white top (not pictured above).  The items I returned included a jean jacket (I already had one), a top with brass/gold accents (I only wear silver jewelry), a dress with super skinny straps (I refuse to wear strap-less bras), and a blue print top that was just too similar to the other blue and white tank top I kept.  I was able to provide feedback on the items I returned so my stylist could make better choices in the future – and clearly it worked as I kept twice as much in the second fix compared to my first one.  I was amazed how well everything fit;  I’m tall with an athletic build, so I have a hard time finding clothes that fit right even when I do spend hours trying things on. Each Fix also includes a little card with suggested outfits for each item, so you can see different ways to mix and match with clothes I might already own;  this was super helpful seeing as I seemed to forget how to put together an outfit after too many days wearing yoga pants!

Questions for you:  Do you need a “Back to School” outfit to make a great first impression?  Or maybe you are looking to spice up your style and you don’t have a ton of time to shop?  I highly recommend Stitch Fix!  Let me know if you check it out – I’d love to see pics of your new clothes.

Cheers³

Reni