Motivation and the like

This morning was an exercise just in getting myself out of bed and out the house. Of course once I was out there moving, my hesitancy seemed ridiculous but gosh, I lie there just like a lazy ass trying to talk myself into moving. What is it about a comfy bed in a cool room with a warm comforter that makes it so tough to leave?

Ultimately, I did get up, I did lace up my shoes (Xero something or others), and I did cover 2 miles. Run 5 minutes / walk 5 minutes, then run 2/walk 3 x 3 and run 1/walk 3 x 2 because I still wasn’t home yet and I didn’t want to lower my pace any more than I had to. I may be a turtle but I’m a vain one. Also I owed my 2,019 miles in 2019 team some miles – but more on that awesome group later.

Once I got home and cleaned up, I knew I better do some food prep. Friends often ask me how I manage to eat as many veggies as I claim to (let’s just leave it at A LOT for now). Again, it comes down to motivation. I have to make it as easy as possible or I’ll grab the highest processed and unhealthiest food in my pantry if I’m hit with a fit of hunger. Here’s how I do it. I keep a HUGE – like, the second largest Tupperware size HUGE – bowl of salad in my fridge at all times. Here’s how I make it.

I begin with a bag of shredded, tri-color cabbage and a bag of shredded carrots. If you’ve got all the time in the world or you want to save a few bucks, buy it whole and shred it yourself. If you’re going to do that, make sure you don’t just get the palest cabbage out there – get out of your comfort zone and buy the big purple head! Personally, I find there are other things I’d rather spend time on (income generating activities) but hey, that’s me. Each bag is approximately 8 oz in weight.

Next I add a roughly chopped and washed head of green leaf lettuce. Sometimes I use red leaf or Bibb, but this is what I had and I like the flavor. You can choose romaine, spring mix, spinach, or really any lettuce you enjoy. The key is to use what you will eat. Seriously, don’t try to force yourself to eat something you don’t enjoy – pick the base that you will. And as long as I’m mentioning spinach, let me just ask – do you find it wilts more quickly than other greens? It’s not my fave for that reason, but I’ll use it in a smoothie any day of the week.

I don’t know about you, but I love a good cucumber. Not only are the flavors sweet and mild, cukes are extremely hydrating and as someone who easily dehydrates, I can use all that sort of help I can get. Begin by slicing the cukes in quarters lengthwise and then chopping.

It looks good so far, right? I think so, too. But what if you’re one of those people who just doesn’t understand the appeal of raw veggies and you’re cringing at this? Here’s a trick that worked for me when I began eating salads daily, and I still do it. Have you heard of an Ulu knife? I got mine on and it looks like this:

Chopped salads are all the rage – even a few fast food restaurants have begun offering them, with some places specializing in nothing but! Even if you don’t have an Ulu, it’s possible to prepare one but this knife is really game-changing. It makes it super easy to make a salad that is tolerable when you’re first beginning.

And finally, after chopping, I added my second favorite ingredient: blueberries. I always add some type of fruit – usually purple grapes – but I’m trying to eat more berries (yay anti-oxidants!) and blueberries looked good. A pint of washed berries topped this off very nicely.

When it was time to plate it up, I topped it off with some pumpkin seeds (my FAVORITE ingredient) and Napa Valley Naturals, Grand Reserve (4% acidity) balsamic vinegar and it was not only delicious but also filling. This salad will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, if we don’t eat it first. You can also add a starch like brown rice or black beans when you serve it and it rounds out a healthy, plant-based meal. The hubs is still meat-eating so he usually tops his with a meat protein of some kind. (yuck but whatever)

What’s your favorite way to add veggies into your menu? Do you have to trick yourself to eat them, or can you get away with just making them easily available as I’ve done here? I want to hear from you – drop a comment below and let me know what works for YOU!

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