A Twist on Stupid Easy Paleo’s Holy Guacamole Salad

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂 I know we sure did! The weather was beautiful and got to enjoy some much needed time with loved ones! Helped throw my friend a bridal shower and made my first cinnamon roll wedding dress ‘cake’ (normally made with cupcakes but I like to take risks and try new things 😉 ), walked in the Leprechaun race downtown with my mom, received a super kind gift from a sweet friend, and enjoyed some much needed R&R at home.

Here are a few pics from the weekend…

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and no, I did not try one of these beauties…but I was told they were delicious! I do love to bake!

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Isn’t my mother adorable?? ♥

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Such an extremely kind gift to receive…meant the world! 🙂

We also had an awesome bon-fire BBQ at my dad’s house Saturday evening…

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(Yea…we don’t mess around! 😀 )

…and was asked to make a salad. With the incredible weather we had enjoyed that day it totally made me crave something fresh and delicious, as in something you would enjoy at a summer BBQ! I came across this awesomely scrumptious looking salad from Stupid Easy Paleo and decided to use some of the same veggies she recommends for hers and made up my own dressing.

So here is my twist on Stupid Easy Paleo’s Holy-Guacamole Salad…(and seriously, if a priest did bless an avocado, it would be a holy guacamole! Hehehehehe…I know…horribly cheesy joke…gotta love it! 😀 )

Prep time: 10 mins  Makes: 5 cups

Salad:

2-large avocados

3-organic cucumbers, skin and seeds removed

1-pint of red grape or little yellow tomatoes, halved

1-yellow bell pepper (or pepper of choice)

½ red onion

2 jalapeno peppers

1 clove of garlic

1 handful of fresh cilantro

Dressing:

¼ cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or whichever salt you have)

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp dry mustard

2-crushed cloves of garlic

Dash of cayenne

To make:

Cut/dice/chop all veggies and cilantro to your liking and mix together in a large bowl.

For the dressing; add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl, whisk, pour over salad, and ENJOY! *see tip

Tip: I pre-made this salad so I decided to hold-off on adding the avocados and the dressing until I got to my dad’s house. I would almost always recommend making the dressing ahead of time to let the flavors meld together! Just prep, store in an airtight container in your fridge, and dress when ready! So, so tasty!

Luckily, we had some leftover so I finished up the last of the salad yesterday with half of a cooked turkey breast on top! Oh-my-word delicious! The flavors had even MORE time to marinate together and just made the most delicious tasting lunch ever! I was so sad when I looked down to grab another bite and my bowl was empty. 😦 Just means I will need to make another soon!

Hope you all enjoy this salad! Totally perfect for a spring picnic or summer BBQ! So fresh, crisp, and delicious! Yummm!

XO,

Val

We can persevere through anything we put our minds and our hearts to. ♥

A Bit of Inspiration

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As I went to get into the pool yesterday, I noticed that there was a chair and a prosthetic leg lying up against it outside of the lane next to me. When I looked down and saw the gentleman swimming, I got choked up and a smile came across my face. It was an absolute amazing thing to witness and I couldn’t get over how incredible of a swimmer he was when all he was able to use was his arms. Isn’t it just so incredibly inspirational to see someone not making any excuses and just getting after what they want to do, regardless of their limitations?

While I was swimming, my mind and body were just racing with positive thoughts and energy. I literally couldn’t stop smiling while I was swimming (which I guess is why my nose had been running all day from all the water I took in 😉 )! It is truly amazing how one person can give off such a vibe that it just sets your whole day right and reminded me that;

WE must do the things WE think WE cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

No matter what! This guy swimming with one leg was a great example of that! Sometimes we may think we can’t do something, get scared, or are unsure of trying something new but I absolute encourage you to just TRY. Even if you fail, you will never have to look back and question, “what if”.

I was unsure about partaking in the Whole30 thinking there was no way I would be able to stick to such a strict way of eating but I completed it and plan to continue on with paleo living. Deciding to dedicate myself to the program, being able to accomplish and see my results after the 30 days, helped open my eyes to not be so scared to try new things. Even if it fails or doesn’t stick at least I know that I will have put 100% of myself and tried.

With this new journey, I know I will make slips and mistakes along the way but I will never give up and I will keep pushing forward. It will forever be a learning experience and I am so excited to see where it all leads.

I encourage you all to…

do-one-thing-that-scares-youTry something that you have been scared try today. And even if you think it is impossible, remember what The Mad Hatter said to Alice;

Only if you believe it is.

Whatever you decide to try, give it a day, then a week, then 30-days, and maybe even a year! Please share with me what you tried or are going to try! I am here to support you and through perseverance, WE can do anything we set our minds and our hearts to!

XO,

Val

Moving Forward after the Whole30

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Nervous, scared, fantastic, apprehensive, excited…a few things I have been feeling since completing the Whole30. And a big question that keeps popping up in my head, where do I go from here? My answer…to continue to move forward with what I have been doing the past 30 days, with a few things added in here and there. As I have said throughout, I really truly feel too amazing not to. 🙂

Now when I say with a few things added in, let me explain…

My husband and I went on a date night Friday night (MUCH needed as we had not gone on one in months 😦 ) and I was honestly a bit nervous about going to a place that possibly didn’t offer ‘paleo’ approved meals as I absolutely do not like to be a bother or ask people to change things. When we had decided on a restaurant, I looked them up online and decided to call to ask if their chef would be willing to make my meal paleo compliant. The hostess asked the chef and told me it would be no problem and to just let my server know when we sat down. I did as such and the waitress was nice but didn’t really seem to quite understand and told me she would have to charge me a couple extra bucks for the additional veggies instead of mashed potatoes. Found it a little odd but we had a great meal none-the-less and spent the quality time together that we needed to. I decided that after 30 days without wine (which I thoroughly enjoy every now and again) that I was going to enjoy a glass and I DID! 😀 Savored every last drop until the moment we got up to leave. I will continue to enjoy my wine but not as an everyday occurrence, of course.

After dinner, for some out-left-field reason, fro-yo just sounded delicious. Found it odd as I really hadn’t had any cravings in the last few weeks and was a bit nervous about trying this now ‘foreign’ food that I had gone without for 30 days (a.k.a dairy). The hubs and I talked about it for a bit and decided to give it a whirl because how was I ever going to know if my body can digest dairy if I don’t try it again.

When we pulled up to the fro-yo shop, it took me a minute to get out of the car. Seriously, I was SO nervous. Reason being that I kind of already knew in the back of my mind that my body wasn’t going to tolerate it but I decided to try it anyways and I am glad I did. I found that I really don’t enjoy fro-yo like I used to and my body CANNOT digest dairy! Oh my word. What a horrible way to end our date night. 😦 I was bummed and felt bad for my hubby that he had to spend the rest of the night with me with an awful stomach ache but he was proud of me. Proud that I actually decided to just experiment with it to find that it does not agree with me.

Now, I know that I will probably not go throughout my life without having dairy again. But, if and when I decide to indulge in food that has dairy in it, I will need to determine if it is worth it due to the repercussions I will experience after. (TMI…I know, I know 😉 ) I actually read a blog post the other day that mentioned doing exactly what I stated above…that we have to decide for ourselves if an indulgence is truly worth it and determine if it is going to wreck our path or not. I absolutely agree with this and do not think it is necessary to indulge on things that just aren’t worth it. I want to truly enjoy the treat I decide to indulge on, not just have something because it is there. And, off the top of my head, the only things I can honestly think of that are worth the indulgence are few of my family and friends homemade goodies for celebrations/holidays. Those have true meaning and significance for me as they put the time and the effort into them and they are deliciously WORTH it. 😀

I was telling my husband the next morning that I feel like I have really found a greater balance with food and treats. I used to crave sweets ALL the time and now I truly don’t. Of course, I know that sugar dragon will rear its ugly head every now and again but I know what to do to tame him. And life is too dang short to not give in from time to time. As I have said numerous times before, it’s not about perfection but balance.

I absolutely adore this quote by Walt Disney;

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

It totally fits with how I have been feeling. I do not want to ever look or go back to having a poor relationship with food. This new lifestyle will forever be a journey and an adventure for me. I plan to continue moving forward and continue learning about the paleo way of living knowing that there will be twists and turns and things thrown my way that my take me off course and may even lead me down a different path. With completing the Whole30, I really feel I have gained the knowledge to listen more to my body about what it truly needs along with gaining the tools and a better understanding about how to get myself back on track if need be. Through perseverance, I CAN do anything I set my mind and my heart to.

XO,

Val

P/S A little video to make your day bright. “Happy” by Pharrell Willams. It made me smile and just couldn’t help but get up and dance (hubby joined me too)!!!!