This salad and salad dressing is a staple in our house. Both are super delicious, full of good fats and so satisfying. We make this salad dressing in batches and just keep it in the fridge to use whenever. I highly recommend you get into making your salad dressings so you can control what goes in it. If you read the ingredient lists on a lot of the store bought salad dressings you are going to find a lot of added sugar and preservatives. You won't need preservatives with this dressing because you are going to want to eat all right away.
With this particular salad, I dressed the greens, topped it with the tuna salad, added some chopped yellow bell peppers, and then finished with a sprinkle of paprika. Feel free to add any of your favorite veggies to it.
Avocado Tuna Salad
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
This concept was foreign to me 3 years ago. I think the thing that changed it for me was when I started drinking Shakeology. Before that, I knew veggies were good but I didn't know why. I knew I shouldn't eat pizza for every meal but it wasn't because of some knowledge that it contained little to no nutritional value...but instead because it was a societal norm that pizza isn't good for you. I just thought food was there to fill you up so you weren't hungry any longer.
So when I started drinking Shakeology I did some research into some of the ingredients that were in it and how they would benefit me and allow my body to perform better. That led to more and more education of how food can either help or hinder our bodies from performing at its highest level. I can't imagine going back to eating the stuff I used to in the quantity that I used to. Key there is quantity, I still enjoy pizza, french fries, and cheeseburgers, they just aren't the norm anymore, and I'm ok with that. I've found greater satisfaction in feeling fantastic and losing weight than in the temporary satisfaction you get from eating food that isn't the best for you. This mindset change didn't happen overnight. I just kept adding in the good stuff so that eventually a lot of the not so healthy stuff got pushed out.
There are a lot of things that I have cut out of my diet completely or at least on a very rare occasion. A couple things would be anything with high fructose corn syrup, boxed dinners or prepackaged meals, and soda. I started learning how to read food labels and pay attention to not just calorie levels but also protein, sugar, carbs and ingredients!
So for those of you that want to start eating healthy, my suggestion would be to start doing a little research into nutrition. That sounds overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start and who to listen to. There is so much information out there with varying viewpoints. The spectrum runs anywhere from being a raw vegan to hardcore paleo....So how do you decipher through all of this? The truth is if you spent all your time invested in reading and educating yourself you wouldn't get anywhere because there is SO MUCH information out there.
What I suggest you do, is learn through experimentation. There are some basics that I think would apply to any diet/lifestyle out there: add more veggies, drink more water, limit your added sugar and cut out processed foods. If you did these things, your energy levels would go up and you would most likely lose a little weight, if you have some to lose. After you do that, you can try playing around with different quantities of grains, fats, proteins. Try some supplements and see if they make you feel better or worse.
There is no proven formally that works for everyone....it's a constant moving target so just dive in and have fun!!!
No offense to my mother but I decided to try to tweak one of her best recipes to give a little more of a Mediterranean flare. So instead of your traditional Italian lasagna I hopped around the Mediterranean region, from Morocco with tumeric, coriander, and cinnamon to Greece with the kalamata olives. The big change more than the spices that are used in this recipe is that you use eggplant in place of pasta. To be honest I could barely tell the difference using the eggplant versus the noodles.
So if you are anywhere on the gluten sensitivity spectrum this would be a great substitution for you. Feel free to tweak as needed to suit your tastes. If you don't like as much spice cut back on the chili flakes. Laura doesn't like olives so I just added those as a garnish at the end but you are olive eaters I would recommend mixing it directly into the sauce. Hope you enjoy this one, we sure did!
Even if you were a band geek and never played a sport in your life...I'm sure you've heard the saying. Coaches, parents, teachers, and bosses have all been trying to get us to give 110%. Well let me just cut to the chase with this post and say, that saying is CRAP and a huge pet peeve of mine. When it comes to effort, you can't give more than you have. So why is this saying so popular and used so frequently? Should we change the saying?
I think the saying has caught on and is a piece of our mainstream culture now because it is more rewarding to think you're doing more than you are capable. So before I go any further I have a test for you, it's interactive so get ready to move a little. Alright I want you to raise your right hand as high you can. Stretch it out as high as you can. Hold it there for a second. Now raise it 1 inch higher. Did I just bust you, were you able to raise it that last inch? Did you just give just give 110% or were you just holding back a little bit? I think it is human nature to hold a little bit back. I'm not a trained psychologist and I couldn't find any studies out there in the Googleworld on the topic so I'll give my best shot and take it for what it's worth:
I think if we all gave 100% of our effort in everything we did, exercise, jobs, relationships, etc, then those around us would expect that from us all the time. So instead we hold a little back so on those "special occasions" we can give that little extra and receive the praise for giving "110%" because we exceeded our external expectations. Key word there, external. So I opened up another can of worms with that last statement so let me dive into that for a second.
External Motivation vs Internal Motivation
I believe that we have become a society that let's others dictate what is expected of us rather than determining what we are capable of. I feel like this could be another separate blog post so I will just touch briefly on this. In a society where value is placed on how we look, what we drive, the home we live in, the grades our kids get in school, and the food we eat, it is impossible to completely remove yourself from external judgment. Do we let that judgement dictate our behavior OR do we set our own expectations and judge ourselves internally on whether or not we meet those expectations. The exact same thing could be said for goals that we set for ourselves.
So should we try to change this silly saying? I would argue 110% ;) that it should. So instead of saying I gave 110%, what if you switched it to "I just realized my potential." It doesn't quite have the same ring but maybe over time it will catch on. Next time you think about using the 110% phrase or hear someone else use it, think of this post and ask yourself if it really was 110% or did you just realize your potential and what you are TRULY capable of achieving. Are your expectations meeting your capabilities? Here's to learning what 100% feels and looks like!
So let me start out by saying weight loss is not healthy. Weight loss is a SIDE EFFECT of being healthy. Too many people set their goal to lose weight instead of trying to be healthy and then letting the weight come off naturally. So I wanted to address a few things that will hopefully help you live a healthier life and help you understand how your body works so that if weight loss is a goal, you'll be able to do it in a healthy way.
We all have friends or family that have tried diets or the latest fad that claims lose 10 pounds in 10 days or whatever the tagline or advertisement happens to be. These diets range from sprinkling something on your food to wearing something. We’ve all heard the saying: if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Well that saying applies in this situation too! The easy way is NOT going to lead to long term change. That is due to both psychological and physiological things that happen in our body. I don’t claim to be a doctor or psychologist but I do feel like I have worked with enough people that have gone through the yo-yo dieting to understand what is happening. For the sake of keeping this short I want to just focus on the psychological piece of weight loss today. Maybe down the road once I read up more on hormone imbalance, and insulin sensitivity you will see a post on the physical side too. If you want more info on the physical, get a hold of me and I can try to point you to some good sources.
#1 - MINDSET
The first and I think the most important piece to making lasting change is your mindset. To start let’s take a look at the mindset of someone going on a diet. What is their goal typically? “I want to lose 10 lbs!” “I want to a six pack!” The question that I have learned to ask is, WHY? Why do they want to lose 10 lbs, why do you want a six pack? If their answer is externally motivated, the chance of them reaching their goal is decent but the chance of them maintaining their goal is slim.
Living a healthy life needs to be one of the most selfish things you ever do. You need to do it for YOU and you alone. You will never be able to make everyone else happy so if you are trying to please others, you will never achieve it. I’m not saying that having a goal of losing weight or getting a six pack is bad, you just need to find out why it is important to you and how it will make you happy. You need to see the value and benefit in making the change internally.
The other piece of your mindset that I believe needs to change is your view of success. Our culture puts a huge stigma on what beauty is, and what it should look like. If your vision of success is to compete with the celebrities and fitness models on the magazine covers, you will fail. Somme better benchmarks for success would be: How does living a healthier life make you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you more alert? How do your clothes fit you? Did you move down a belt notch? Are those jeans a little easier to pull up today? Another benchmark that I see as success personally is, have my choices to live healthier helped someone else make the similar choices? Are the choices that you are making impacting the people around you, friends, coworkers, family? It’s amazing how once you make a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, the people around you start to ask questions and want to join in. So take your focus away from the number on the scale and more about these other things and you will be surprised at how much more successful you will be!
Lastly, when it comes to mindset, you need to change the way you look at food. Food is not the enemy, your choices are! People often think that starving themselves to lose weight because they think that weight loss is solely determined by a calories in calories out equation. Even though that is technically how it works, your body does some pretty cool things to limit the calories out, or slow your metabolism, when you all of sudden decide to start starving it. So as I stated right away, your focus should be on becoming healthy, which involves eating whole, natural foods that will nourish your body. Change your mindset from thinking of food as calories that fill us up...to looking at food as nutrients that fuel our body. When you are eating nutrient dense food you will be amazed at how much better that type of food will sustain you throughout the day. Your calorie intake will also naturally go down when you are eating these foods.
#2 - PATIENCE
Our bodies are fascinating machines that have a lot of systems in place that will prevent us from losing weight and actually make us gain weight naturally. So in order to see a lasting change we need to S…L…O…W…L…Y retrain it to work differently. Our bodies’ metabolism is designed in such a way that if it senses a trend of lower calories coming in, it will burn less calories. The crash dieting where you are eliminating 500 calories a day from your diet will likely bite you in the butt as soon as you decide to start adding food back.
The number on the scale is one of the last things to move if you are starting a healthy weight loss journey. One of the biggest factors to living a healthy lifestyle today isn’t focused on how I feel today. I am putting in the work now so that when I am 70, 80, 90 years old I’m going to be healthy. I want to be able to chase my grandkids around and not be stuck in a recliner just watching. You can focus on your health today or you can worry about your health later!
#3 - ACCOUNTABILITY
The last piece of making a change in your lifestyle is accountability. This one is almost as important as your mindset. You can’t have one without the other. It is really hard to change your mindset if you don’t have a support system to pick you up when you stumble. It is also very tough to humble yourself and ask for help and accountability if your mindset hasn't changed to one that recognizes that you need help.
If you are wanting to make a change... find a friend, find a group or contact us but you NEED to find someone that you can trust to talk about your struggles and celebrate your accomplishments. There are no shortcuts if you plan on changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. I don’t say this to discourage you, but you WILL question your decision, you WILL want to give up. Even the most dedicated people will struggle and that is where your support system comes into play.
I guarantee that if you can just focus on these three things, you will succeed! There will be ups and downs, but it will be an exciting journey. You will meet a lot of people along the way that will question what you are doing and try to discourage you...and you will also find a lot of people that will be your biggest cheerleaders. When times are tough you always need to go back to WHY you started!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.