My love affair with Greek Salads

I’ve only recently discovered Greek salads.  Where have these things been all my life?  A lady that I work with lives a gluten free lifestyle, mostly because she has to for health reasons, and whenever our group at work orders pizza, there she is with her salads.  I always sat back and admired her discipline, while chomping down on my cesspool of puddling fat in the form of a slice of pie, while she ate her salad.  After a few months it occurred to me that I too had the option of ordering a salad.  I wanted to order a salad but found myself giving in to the temptation of pizza.

One day I decided “I’m doing this” and got a Greek salad.  And it was delicious.  What a fantastic way to consume mass amounts of veggies without sacrificing taste or walking away hungry.  I don’t eat a lot of salads and I’ve always blamed The Golden Girls for this.  Anyone remember the episode where Dorothy says that she had a friend that went to Paris and consumed a watercress salad, only to walk out of the restaurant and have a giant gargoyle fall onto her head and kill her – and here her last meal was a watercress salad?  So when I go to a restaurant, my last thought is “if I walk out of here and die, what is the last thing I want to eat?”  Thanks Dorothy.

If my last meal is a Greek salad, I would be content.  I wouldn’t go to heaven and say “seriously Jesus?  Yesterday I larged my value meal, you couldn’t call me home then?  Or what about tomorrow when I would have dipped into that king size Hershey bar?  That couldn’t have been when I kicked the bucket?”  No no, a Greek salad will do me justice.

I make my Greek salad a little differently than most because I’m not into olives (I’m a texture person and those things are just ewww) or pepperoncini.  Here is how I make my Greek salad (this is my first recipe that I’m posting…I’m glad I can lose my recipe virginity with all of you in attendance):

Ingredients for Heather’s Famous Greek Salad:

  • Grab yourself a big bowl and if it has a lid, grab the lid
  • Chop up 2-3 heads of romaine, add to bowl or if you’re using bagged, dump the bag into bowl
  • Add a handful of broccoli slaw (I bought a bag of broccoli slaw without any dressing to use for eggrolls and had leftover from that recipe and I love it!)
  • Throw a few rings cut off a purple/red onion
  • Add 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • If you’d like additional crunchiness, throw in some croutons, any kind
  • Add 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • For the dressing, I added Garlic Expressions and put probably 1/4 cup on it (because let’s get realistic, who really puts 2 tbsp. of dressing on a salad?)
  • Top bowl with lid, close tightly, and shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty

And voila, you have my famous Greek salad.  Whatever I don’t eat, I save for later because it will keep for one day in the fridge without getting soggy.  I don’t put croutons on mine so I can’t vouch for those but everything else is fine.  Sometimes I throw in a few extra things if I have some veggies I need to get rid of, i.e. carrots, cauliflower, green/red peppers.  Also, if you do use Garlic Expressions, the side effects are bad garlic breath but I find it totally worth it.  It’s also beneficial in keeping everyone away from you on those days when you just don’t want to be bothered.

It’s a great way to get at least 5 servings of vegetables and it’s a nice vegetarian meal.  Some places add chicken but I prefer to leave meat out of it because first and foremost, I don’t want to go through the hassle of cooking meat for my salad, and I try to eat at least 3-5 meatless meals a week.

I have been eating a ton of these salads lately and I always feel amazing afterwards.  I know that these ingredients are bringing tons of nourishment and an influx of vitamins to my body and you can’t go wrong with that.  As a side note, I do tend to buy organic produce as often as I can.  I don’t find the price to be that much higher than non-organic produce, regardless of what anyone says.  I do find the benefits to be abundant and that’s why I make the decision that I do to purchase organic.

I’m always looking for new variations to this salad because I don’t want to tire of it!  I’ve always preferred Mediterranean food and my cardiologist even recommends a Mediterranean diet!

How do you make your Greek salads?

Life is a balance beam and I’m no Mary Lou Retton

Image

I realize by using the name Mary Lou Retton, I’m dating myself but I just love her. 

This week has been a really hectic week.  Long hours at work, grabbing meals on the fly, and trying to keep up with everything outside of work have all added up to a week with no structure.  I tried very hard to keep my meals vegetable based so that I could have some comfort of knowing I wasn’t eating total junk.  (By the way, I have discovered the magic of a Greek salad.  I’ll definitely be posting a recipe for it!)  Unfortunately, exercise totally fell by the wayside this week and I can feel it. 

This week has made me realize that life is like a balance beam.  You have to take your time and stay focused.  Ever watch those Olympic gymnasts on the balance beam?  They are so engrossed in the task at hand.  They are careful, dutiful and determined.  Go too fast, and you’ve reached the end before you planned on it.  Lean one way too far and the balance is disrupted.  One…step…at…a…time.  Kind of like life.  Go full steam ahead into a new and intense workout – and you’re going to regret it 15 minutes later (which is frustrating in an hour long class).  Focus on just exercise and food, your housework goes to hell.  Focus on the housework and everything but housework goes to hell.  So right now, I’m trying to figure out that balance.  And – I’ve come to the conclusion – there’s no such thing! 

These lifestyle changes that I’m trying to make encompass everything.  I remember reading an article about actress Ali Larter and she said “I never miss a workout.  Ever.”  Easy for a movie star to say when she has a maid, cook, personal assistant.  But Ali works, she travels, she does interviews, premieres.  She just has focused on her priorities.  And that’s what I need to work on.  My NEW priority is living life past the age of 40.  To do that, I need to move and eat right. 

Let’s get something straight here.  I am not now or have ever been someone who focuses on housework.  I hate housework.  I would rather hot tar a roof than do dishes.  If you’re going to visit me, you better give me fair notice or you are going to walk into a disaster of a home.  Dust, dog hair and dirty dishes.  Suck it up or call first.  I manage to keep clean bathrooms, clean laundry and a keep decent kitchen just to keep us from getting a plague of some sort but that’s about it.  And how does that happen when I hate housework?  I make it a priority. 

For exercise and homemade meals to happen, it takes time.  So things have to be planned and structured.  I do not like either of those things.  The hubs and I do not have children so we pretty much wing it just about everyday.  After years of winging it, now we have to buckle down and guess what.  It sucks.  Just kidding.  I know the end result will be amazing and worth it.  It’s just getting from point A to point B. 

I really need to stay focused on my priorities.  I’m on the balance beam, centered and focused on good nutrition and activity.   On the left is laundry, vacuuming, and dusting, all of which are getting neglected.  On the right, chocolate and Cheetos .  At the end of the beam is a nice, long, healthy life, because right now, that’s my prize, my gold medal.  Guess which way is going to get me there? 

What’s your secret to maintaining a balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and everything else?  Would love to hear your secret, tips and cheat codes!