Welcome to Mailbag Monday! Thanks to everyone for all your fantastic questions. Keep them coming! We have a running list, so if you’ve asked a question and we haven’t answered it, keep an eye out.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
I’d like to know if you have any homemade salad dressing recipes that are good? And any good salad recipes, like green salads? Baby Boy 3
Heather:I am a salad fiend! Unfortunately, I do tend to lean towards the more unhealthy salads, but I’ve figured out ways to cut out calories without sacrificing too much flavor and texture.
My favorite salad of all time is the glorious Cobb. I combine baby greens, spinach, hard boiled egg whites, chopped rotiesserie chicken, tomato, a little turkey bacon, low-fat blue cheese and avocado. The trick with the Cobb is that you can use small amounts of the naughty stuff but still have HUGE flavor. A little stinky blue cheese goes a long way. For dressing, I don’t have a magic recipe…I just like a red wine vinaigrette. I do a little olive oil, some red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and some italian herbs, whisk it up, and done.
I also love taco salad. I use ground turkey mixed with black beans as my ‘meat’, then lots of lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, a little sharp cheddar (sharp equals WAY more bang for your calorie buck) and salsa. For dressing, I throw a bit of avocado, light sour cream or fat-free yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper into a food processor. I add more lime juice till I’m satisfied with the consistency. Lots of flavor, very little fat.
One more that I’m loving lately is low-fat feta, blueberries, chopped apples and spinach. I dress it with a little homemade raspberry vinaigrette: olive oil, red wine vinegar and a spoonful of raspberry jam, all whisked up. Might sound strange, but it is SO good.
Christy: I love anything with stinky cheese in it. And craisins. Toasted nuts. I like mexican style/taco salads and I use salsa mixed with FF sour cream as a dressing. YUM-O.
Christie O.: I love the following: spinach, dried cranberries, walnuts, low-fat blue cheese, low-fat low-cal raspberry vinaigrette. I don’t have measurements but that’s my all time fave salad. I mix it up by switching out cheeses, like using fresh mozzarella instead of blue cheese.
Then I have a second: spinach (again), mandarin oranges, Chinese noodles (the thin crispy ones), low-fat low-cal sesame dressing or a tiny amount of sesame dressing.
When you look in the mirror, how do you stay positive despite a few extra pounds? Brooke F.
Christy: When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, I remind myself of how far I’ve come, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Sure I’ve lost weight, and sure I have a few pounds to go, but I’m strong and smart, and dammit, people just like me. Okay, that last part was just silly, but you know what I mean. I stay positive by reminding myself that I can do anything I set my mind to, including losing those few extra pounds.
Lisa: I only look at my shoulders and above- ha ha!!!!! Well, this is a hard one because let’s face it, I’ve had three kids and my mid-section looks like one big muffin top. However, my eyes naturally gravitate towards what I like best about my body and I have been known to flex my guns in the mirror- bang bang! Usually though, I have many children demanding my attention so I rarely stare at myself in the mirror for long. There you go, there’s your answer- HAVE KIDS! In all seriousness, I just remind myself that this is a part of my journey (my lifelong journey) and one day, I won’t have to suck it in to put on my jeans. Did I make you laugh?
Thea: Truthfully, sometimes I don’t. (Remember, I’m the one who did a Thursday Three on plastic surgery…) I’m trying to be conscience of the things I tell myself. I ask myself “Would I say that to my best friend?” If the answer is “No.”, then why on Earth would I criticize myself for it?
Heather: I am very guilty of beating myself up. I’ve always been my biggest critic. Lately, if I’m having a really hard time, I remind myself that my body has done a lot for me, especially in the last few years. It’s carried a baby, it’s trained for an run a half marathon, it’s cared for a very sick person, it’s held many people as they cried (and it’s cried along with them). My body has carried me through some tough crud, and it’s remained strong and healthy. And it deserves my respect and love.
What does everyone do to pull themselves out of the poor me’s and get back on track? Lacey D.
Lisa: I lean on the Sisterhood to give me the support and encouragement I need, whether it’s a pat on the shoulder, words of wisdom and motivation, or a swift kick in the ass. But you have to put it out there, you have to let us know what you need so that we can give it to you.
Christy: I stop and think about my goal. What it means to me. Why I want to achieve it. I also realize that there will always be bumps in the road, and I have to choose to go over them slowly or put the pedal to the medal and fly over them. I usually floor it, because if I let myself wallow for too long, it just takes longer to reach my goals.
Thea: Twitter. It’s amazing how motivating people in my computer can be! I also keep my weigh ins on an Excel spreadsheet and make a graph of my losses. I helps me to see the big picture and how far I’ve come instead of focusing on one crappy day.
April: To get myself back on track, I try something new. That usually gives me enough of a challenge to get myself back on track. Also, if I’m not feeling a work out or something, I will ask someone “virtually” to exercise with me. I don’t want to let the other person down, so I will get the work out in. It makes me accountable.
I remind myself how far I’ve come. This is a journey, a marathon. And there are going to be times when we have ups and downs but we have to keep the big picture in mind. So, I look at myself and see a girl that has come a long way, has learned so much, has made great friendships. And that? Is beautiful.
Thank you, ladies, for your thought provoking questions! Tune in next Monday for your next installation of Mailbag Monday.
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