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Salad is not just for rabbits…

April 19, 2011

Cherry tomato, cucumber and avo salad with mint

My new awareness of what I put in my body is definitely paying off. Making a change to one’s lifestyle is never easy, but then the things that are really worth it, never are. If I can be of any help to anyone out there who is trying to get off the vicious merry-go-round of modern living and lifestyle it would be to trust your instincts. Simplify your life so that you can minimise stress and educate yourself about nutrition. Do not fall into the trap of reading a new book about  the latest and greatest diet and findings and base your life on it. For every opinion out there, there are 100 other opinions that contradict it. So go and find out about what foods do to your body. Read. I am basing my new lifestyle choices on simplicity.

We were never designed to eat boatloads of processed and refined foods. The modern eating dilemma is that most people eat far too much and far too much of the wrong kinds of food. Modern man’s diet consists of processed food, packaged foods, fast food and instant food. Too many people are overfed and undernourished. It amazes me to think that so many people have no clue as to what they are doing to their bodies ( and worse to the bodies of their families). We think we are invincible. How sad that people just don’t care about themselves, and worse they don’t care about the health of their families. What can you say to a mother taking her kids for a “meal” at KFC?

From my recent research I think I have found the most important piece of the healthy living puzzle. The gut. Your bowel habits will tell you a lot about your health, if only you will listen. Bowel habits are like religion, no one wants to talk about them for fear of upsetting someone or out of  embarrasment. If you don’t take the time to think about what happens to the food you eat and how your body absorbs it, you will not have the full picture of true health. Bloatedness, constipation, diahorrea are all signs that things are not as they should be in your gut. Other symptoms may include brain fog, lethergy, depression, lack of memory, achy joints and many more. It is of utmost importance to you health to have regular ( 2 to 3 times a day) bowel movements. One of the ways you can help your bowel is by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruit, vegetables and grains (I am talking whole grains here not refined powder) contain insoluble fibre. The body does not break this down but uses it to mop up wastes. Fats and proteins do not contain fibre. Fresh food also contains enzymes, which are the catalysts of the digestive process. The digestive system and the function of your bowel is very complicated and needs attention if we want to get the most out of our lives.

The simplest way to start helping your health and digestion is by including more fruit, vegetables and salads to your diet. Apart from that, the next most important thing you can do is to drink more water. Lots of water. Your body needs water in order to carry out all its functions including the breaking down and elimination of wastes.

For me, salads are the easiest, quickest and tastiest way of including more vegetables into my diet. They also make the best lunch and are great for an evening meal with a piece of grilled fish or chicken.

Nothing beats the taste of fresh vegetables for salads! Wrinkly and mouldy vegetables are only suitable for composting, not for eating.

Here is a really simple salad which we have been enjoying lately.

Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Mint.

Wash a punnet or two of ripe cherry tomatoes. At the same time wash 2 or 3 cucumbers.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a salad bowl.

Score the skin of the cucumbers with a fork and chop them into slices. I love diagonal slices. Add them to the bowl. Scoring the skin, increases the surface area and allows the dressing to cling better.

Peel a ripe avocado, chop however you like and add to the bowl.

Wash some fresh mint leaves (around 6 fresh leaves) and cut them into fine slices. Sprinkle them on top of the tomatoes, cucumbers and avo already in the bowl.

Now for the dressing:

In a jug or cup, squeeze the juice of half a lemon, some rough sea salt, a grinding of black pepper and a good glug of olive oil. Mix it briskly with a fork. Taste to see if there is enough sharpness to your liking. If not, add more lemon. Pour this over your salad. Mix everything carefully so you don’t squash all the avo and eat with relish!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 11:44 AM

    very informative post… i am trying to clean up my body too… and have started taking on salads on a daily basis. infact just did a post on that. also trying to be lactose free as much as i can, almost two weeks gone now.

  2. April 20, 2011 11:05 AM

    well done Edwina. I admire your willpower. Me? I’ve been eating prawns wrapped in Knafe pastry and korma sauce – It’s a treasure trove of cholesterol. However I am partnering it with home made ginger tea, so that probably helps my gut deal with it…

  3. April 20, 2011 11:14 AM

    Ginger tea is powerful, so I expect it to be a bit like red wine in this case! The most important thing is to chill, eat what you like in moderation, but keep the load towards the fruit and veg….

  4. April 20, 2011 11:00 PM

    interesting read! trying to stay healthy for a meat lover/sweet tooth family is a bit of a challenge especially with a picky 3yr old boy. we try to balance it out with a veggie side dish every meal

    • April 21, 2011 9:33 AM

      There is nothing wrong with a bit of meat nor with a bit of sugar. It’s all about balance. As long as the largest portion of what you eat is vegetables, then fruit then whole grains.

      • April 23, 2011 12:56 PM

        I prepared this salad exactly as written. My 3yr old loved it! It was the first time he ate cucumbers. thank you again for sharing.

  5. April 23, 2011 4:42 PM

    How wonderful! I swear it’s the mint the kids like! My boys even love mint tea.

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