Thursday, February 7, 2008

the return of the happy girl. part two.

The Happy Girl is slowly creeping back into my life and I thought it might be a good idea to figure out what I’m doing to facilitate this happenstance in case she ever disappears again.

Actually, this isn’t happenstance. I’m taking action. This is no accident.

So. Here is one of the things I’ve actually done in the last couple of months that I think is making a big difference to how I feel:

I’m eating differently.

Not a lot differently, but a little differently. I’m still addicted to carbs, especially pasta, and I love sugar, especially as a caffeine substitute since I don’t drink coffee, but I am eating better.

Here’s why:

A couple of months ago, Balazs, Csilla and I were enjoying dinner together when I told them Dr. Oz had been on Oprah that day. My husband asked me for specifics because Dr. Oz often shares all sorts of interesting information about staying young and being healthy. Unlike me Just like me, Balazs is really into this "keeping healthy" stuff. I thought about it for a minute and realized Dr. Oz had talked about so many things that I couldn’t actually remember any of them. I was stumped. What had Dr. Oz said about staying young and being healthy?

I pondered.

Finally, after much consideration, I blurted out, “eat more green stuff!

Well.

If that was not the most outrageous thing our almost-three-year-old daughter had ever heard.

Csilla, who absolutely refuses to eat anything remotely close to the shade of green said, “Mama! That’s ridiculous! He didn’t say that! Aaaahahahahaha!” She burst into fits of laughter and mumbled something like, “eat more green stuff… that’s silly mama.”

But it was true.

Dr. Oz really had said something along the lines of, “eat more green stuff.”

I insisted: “Really Csilla, Dr. Oz said we should all be eating more green stuff. Even you.”

A chorus of “No. No. Nos!” rang out from her little mouth. I'm sure the thought of being forced to eat something green was so horrifying to her that all she could think to do was repeatedly chant "No. No. No!"

So.

Being the good grown-up I am, I countered with the chant:

“Eat. More. Green Stuff!”

“No. No. No!”

“Eat. More. Green Stuff!”

“No. No. No!”

“Eat! More! Green Stuff!”

Well, this silliness went on for a while until Csilla and I both deteriorated into fits of giggles and I got up to make a salad.

Which, contrary to our daughter’s wishes, I have been doing almost every day since. In fact, lately I have been eating big, healthy, leafy green salads with a consistency even I am surprised by. More than twice a week I head to the vegetable market and load up on fresh salad fixings. When I get home, I wash all the lettuce, slice and dice all the vegetables, throw in some chick peas and all sorts of other yummy healthy things. I make a huge tub of salad. Huge. A least ten large servings worth. And then I eat it. Every day. And it’s delicious. The best part is that it’s incredibly convenient. A bowl of cereal couldn’t be easier. When I’m hungry, I pull out the pre-made tub of salad, fill a bowl and voila! I’m eating.

Lately I’ve also been making this awesome homemade salad dressing. I got the recipe from an EFA Oil Blend brochure at Whole Foods.

For those of you used to buying the heavily sugar-loaded and ultra-fatty salad dressings, you may find this dressing a bit boring. But for those of you who enjoy a simple oil & vinegar, this will really satisfy.

Vega Basic Salad Dressing

4 tbsp Vega Antioxidant EFA Oil Blend
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk together until combined.

Some things to note:

The Vega Antioxidant EFA Oil Blend is derived from plant extracts, so it doesn’t have an unpleasant fishy taste like many EFA Oils do. It actually has a lovely nutty flavour that is delicious on it’s own.

Agave nectar is a tasty sweetner with a relatively low glycemic index. However, I find it a bit too sweet in this dressing and cut the amount almost in half.

Finally, apple cider vinegar is incredibly good for you. I once read somewhere that it has the ability to rid your stomach and intestines of harmful bacterias and viruses. I don’t know if this is true, but any time I have the least bit of stomach or intestinal upset, I do a one tablespoon shot of apple cider vinegar - yuck - and the problem disappears. I’ve never found anything else to be so effective.

I absolutely love my daily dose of salads with this dressing and I'm sure that eating all this good stuff has had a very positive effect on my mental attitude.

The return of The Happy Girl continues.

Now only if I could get Csilla to Eat. More. Green Stuff!

4 comments:

Kimberly said...

Intriguing. You're seeking "the happy girl", and I'm conducting an experiment titled "Finding Joy." I may have to add salad to next week's list (I attempt to add something positive and subtract something negative each week). Maybe that's part of why I've been so down this week. Sick = no shopping = no fresh produce. Hmmm...very thought-provoking.

Speaking of Dr. Oz though, have you read the book You: On a Diet, written by he and Dr. Roizen? Bit silly in some parts (the diagrams especially), but it's fascinating, and full of good common sense. It really helped me turn my lifestyle around...a bit. It's a work in progress, of course.

Anyway, I'm babbling. Good for you!

laughing alone in the dark said...

I'm a big Dr. Oz fan. We don't have his diet book (because I'm a skinny little nymph). But we do have the Owner's Manual (red) and Staying Young (green). I agree the diagrams are a bit silly, but the information is readable and informative.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Sounds like a great idea. I do a pretty similar thing here and agree with you that it's super easy if you've done some prep work ahead. I also love chick peas and am a big fan of beets. All those anti-oxidants.

In the summer I make up a huge bowl of tabbouli and slurp it down for days.

That's happy making food, too.

frog ponds rock... said...

Hi, I came over here from lotus' Your salad dressing is very similar to one that I make. Except that I use Olive oil.. Yum.. We should all eat more green stuff..

Cheers Kim