Facing Your Fears.

Well hello there!

It feels so good to be back after taking a little blogging break while I got settled into this new phase of life. Thanks for continuing to follow along with my journey into the health and wellness field. For those of you who are new to the blog- WELCOME! I am so very glad you are here.

Today, I want to explore this topic of facing your fears and finding the courage to embrace change. It is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. This past month has been a time of great change- graduating from collage, moving to the Bay Area in California, starting a new job, preparing to take the RD (registered dietitian) exam, and getting ready to start a second job. As you might expect, these changes have come with a lot of excitement and anticipation, but are also just a teeny bit scary.

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Strawberry Fields Salad With Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette

A dreamy spinach salad bursting with fresh strawberries, crunchy pistachios, creamy avocado, and tangy feta cheese. This combination screams spring and is simply satisfying with loads of veggies and lots of healthy fat.

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I love this time of year when all of the spring produce comes into season and my favorite fresh fruits are finally affordable after a winter of eating mostly oranges, apples, and bananas. I do my produce shopping at Sam’s Club and have been buying their giant containers of strawberries. I always think I will never be able to finish the entire container, but I keep proving myself wrong! I swear those bright berries just sit in the fridge and call my name, HA! After eating strawberries by the bowl-ful, I was ready to start incorporating them into some recipes. A fresh spinach salad seemed like a great place to start….I’m thinking strawberry bars might be next!

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Story time!

One of our assignments in the dietetics program is to come up with a fun and interactive lesson to teach at our Natural Grocers that uses only their freshest organic produce and gluten-free products. FUN, right?! Anyway, last week I attended one of the cooking demos put on by a couple of my friends in the program. They taught a class on mason jar salads and I loved the concept so much. I pack a salad almost every day for lunch and just have never jumped on the mason jar salad trend. After the class, I was feeling motivated to start prepping salads for my week. I was super bummed when I got home and realized that I only had one empty mason jar. Rather than spending the evening prepping mason jar salads, I started poking my head around the fridge and dreamt up this delicious salad combo.

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After tasting this salad, I thought that it needed a bright, fresh dressing so I took my go-to raspberry vinaigrette and turned it into a strawberry vinaigrette. Not only is this dressing pink (I really love all things pink…including salad dressings and smoothie bowls), but it adds just the perfect pinch of acidity to this springtime salad.

One of my recent goals has been to make more homemade dressings. Store-bought dressings are loaded with so many different ingredients and can get really expensive. As you will see, this dressing takes no time at all to make. Just store it in a small mason jar and shake it up before using.

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The best thing about a salad recipe is that it’s really adaptable to your specific taste buds and what’s in your fridge. I would suggest using this recipe as more of a guideline that a hard and fast recipe. If you don’t love feta cheese, feel free to skip it or add something else. No ripe avocados? Just leave them out. Do you have red onions that need to be used up? Feel free to add them in. Really….anything goes with this salad.

Strawberry Fields Salad with Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Large Salads 15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Large Salads 15 Minutes
Strawberry Fields Salad with Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Large Salads 15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Large Salads 15 Minutes
Ingredients
Strawberry Fields Salad
Strawberry Vinaigrette
Servings: Large Salads
Instructions
  1. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In a blender, puree salad dressing ingredients until vinaigrette is smooth.
  3. Pour dressing on salad and gently toss to coat.
  4. Other possible add-ins: peach, pear, red onion, pecans, hazelnuts, or toasted almonds
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What is your favorite springtime fruit or veggie? 

Have you ever tried a mason jar salad?

Live Happy. Live Healthy.

-Chels.

 

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Fitting It All In: Finding Your Workout Rhythm

Hi all! I hope you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to a fun-filled weekend. After traveling most of last week, I have spent this week getting caught up on work, school, and life. It seems that around this time every year, things start piling up and my to-do list is never ending. I wanted to take a quick minute to talk to you today about how I work hard to prioritize my health during the crazy times and how I have finally found my workout rhythm.

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Tuesday Ten: Put an End to Mindless Eating

Hey y’all! I’m back with another Tuesday Ten post. I enjoy writing these posts and think it’s a great way to pack a ton of really great information in without a lot of fluff. I know we all live busy lives and I want to make sure that I am providing you with what you need to hear!

This past week, I attended the Utah Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference where I was able to network with other Registered Dietitians (and RDs to be!)  and learn about emerging research in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Although it wasn’t new information, my favorite part of the conference was a talk on mindless eating and how our outrageous portion sizes are somewhat to blame for the obesity epidemic. The talk was based on a book written by Brian Wansink called Mindless EatingThis book is now on my must-reads list and can’t wait to start it!

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Tuesday Ten: Top Foods for Post-Workout Recovery

Post-workout nutrition is something I get asked about quite often. There always seems to be emerging research on the topic and of course there is a lot of “bro science” out there on what it means to refuel muscles properly after exercising. Post-workout nutrition is vitally important and helps replete carbohydrate stores, decrease muscle breakdown while repairing tissues, and increase protein synthesis, which allows muscles to grow.

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No-Bake Fig and Almond Bites

Indulge in these 3 ingredients bites made with unsweetened coconut flakes, dried Turkish figs, and almonds. Sweet and wholesome, these no-bake bites make the perfect healthy snack for any lifestyle including vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.

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8 Secrets to Effortless Healthy Living

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Living a healthy life shouldn’t be hard, right!? 

We all know that eating nothing but chicken nuggets is not going to lead to abundant health and that regular exercise is needed to prevent chronic disease, but just knowing this information is not enough at times.

Last week, we spent some time talking about why and how we are driven to eat certain things. We unpacked the science behind the different factors that go into making healthy choices and we learned that having an iron willpower is only one piece of the healthy living puzzle. If you missed that post, go take a look here.

While the science is important- what we do with the information is even more important! I don’t want you to get lost in the nitty-gritty details that we talked about last week. So let’s uncomplicate things this week and get back to some simple and practical tips that you can apply to your life.

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Friday Favorites.

Happy Friday!

You made it through the week! I hope you are looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. J and I are getting ready to take a little road trip to Colorado for Spring Break and I could not be more thrilled to spend some time with my family before our big move.  It’s a 12 hour drive, so you can bet our car will be loaded with lots of healthy snacks!

I have to admit that I am so excited to be writing my very first Friday Favorites post! I love reading all of the Friday morning posts from other bloggers, so without further adieu, here are some things I have been loving lately.

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