Channeling My Inner Hot Girl
by J. J. Cannon
For three days last week I decided to do a bit of “internal housekeeping” in the form of a lean protein and fruit plan (never going to use the word diet here!). At my age, 43 in actual years, but forever 29 in spirit, it sometimes takes a little shock to get the bod back to maximum fuel burning efficiency.
By the way, for those of you who feel like the time is just flying by, I’ve figured out how to slow things waaay down – stop eating complex carbohydrates. I will admit that as a busy mom (whose husband travels 4 days per week) I have a tendency to grab a little of this or a bite of whatever they’re eating, or maybe those last couple of tater tots before they hit the trash. This three day exercise, more psychological for me than anything else, brought to my attention the extra calories I was consuming, without realizing it. I had to really listen to my “inner food voice” (something I learned from my favorite Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel’s book “Naturally Thin”). I also recalled a snippet from Justine Bateman and Kelly Cutrone’s “Wake Up and Get Real” Vlog, Episode 19 “Your Weight” http://wakeupandgetreal.tumblr.com/page/2 where Justine made an excellent point when she said in part “…I don’t really want to eat the bread basket, I just want her to be quiet…” This resonated LOUDLY with me as I find that when I am having a moment of frustration with my kids I start thinking about cheese and crackers (and wine :)).
It was a challenge, but I believe that if you are willing, you can do anything for three days. There were obstacles people! I overcame the friendly neighbor who, just a short walk through the yard away, always seems this time of year to have a fresh pitcher of frozen goodness, the kind that falls from the coconut rum tree. Then there was the ice-cream cake put before me at the end of Day 2 – NOPE, I thought, I know what ice-cream cake tastes like and it turns out it’s not the last one left on the planet.
During this short time I rediscovered my love of fresh fruits and vegetables, which I have always loved, but honestly have just gotten lazy. For dinner each night I enjoyed a huge salad, my favorite greens are organic baby romaine, with raw veggies and some form of lean protein. The salad pictured here is very simple, but the dressing I concocted was what made it really satisfying – I am a sauce person – I love big flavors and playing with different combinations.
I have said in previous postings and it applies here, that I realize I am not saying anything new or novel here, just a way for me to share a new recipe with you through this experience.
I have come through the other side feeling clear headed and rejuvinated!
Hope you’ll try this salad and enjoy!
Note: I would have toasted some pine nuts to sprinkle over the top, but didn’t have any.
Simple Grilled Chicken Salad
3 cups organic (optional) baby romaine
1 (3-6 oz.) thin sliced chicken breast grilled & cut into strips
1 medium tomato sliced, then halved
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil (2 for grilling chicken, 1 for dressing)
1 clove garlic chopped
juice of one lemon
fresh cracked pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
Add 2 tbs (one good “round the pan”) of olive oil to pan over medium heat
Add chopped garlic and turn heat DOWN a little so as not to burn
Saute garlic for 1-2 minutes, then remove and SAVE for dressing
Lightly salt and pepper chicken on both sides, then add to heated pan
Turn heat back to medium-medium high and cook approx. 4 min. on each side
Remove to plate or cutting board and set aside for a few minutes while you make dressing.
In small bowl add olive oil, then whisk in, lemon juice, garlic, a few good cracks of the peppermill, red pepper flakes and voila!
Find yourself a pretty plate or bowl (or not) add lettuce, tomato and chicken – I would also top with a few raw or toasted pine nuts (your choice), but didn’t have any for this one.
There are a dozen other veggies and things you could add to this (e.g., red onion, red or yellow peppers, cucumber slices, etc.) Make it your own!
Nothing like a fresh salad in the summertime ~ Please do let me know if you try it and what you think! Would also love to hear some of your favorite salad recipes, so feel free to share!