Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Salads and Summer

Hey y'all! I wanted to give a belated birthday shout out to my friend Lauren and then a birthday eve shout out to my wife/bestie, Cassandra! Cassandra and I got a chance to go see Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert at the beach this past weekend and it was so much fun. I got roasted by the sun and I also got to say goodbye to summer because in just 12 short days, I teach my first class of the Fall semester. I THINK I'm ready…but I never really am. I've got a super busy semester coming up. In terms of weight, I was still trying to work off a few pounds from my trip out west before I left for the beach. I plan on weighing on Sunday to see where I'm at on the scale. The good news is in terms of over indulgence, is that I have no trips planned until October. (I also included a picture of Ian and I in Nashville as we made a quick trip through Tennessee to see our families) Plus, once I'm busy with the semester, I'm much better at keeping on track. My mom is planning a bridal shower for my brother's fiancĂ© next Saturday and there is going to be a ton of delicious food so I plan on saving my "extra" points so I can indulge. Other than that, I'm hoping it's smooth sailing. I'm a bit fluffier than I like because of vacations, but honestly, I'm doing better at not beating myself up and I feel pretty good.

I don't have a ton for you today, but one thing I cling to when I'm trying to get back on track are delicious, humongous salads. The other day I made a giant salad that included grilled chicken and corn (thanks Ian for all the grill work), bacon bits, hard boiled eggs, edamame, cucumber, etc. I like putting light Italian dressing and make sure to pack lots of protein in the salad so it's filling. If you ever watched Seinfeld, this salad reminds me of the "big salad" episode.

Another addition to my salad in the past couple of months has been Lay's Poppables. I bought the individual bags because there are only 70 calories in each snack bag. These are great, because they don't taste like diet food, they are crunchy, salty and fill the craving I sometimes have for chips. Also, they worked as a perfect salad topping!

Sometimes, I like to take certain elements of salad and deconstruct it a little (when I put it like that it sounds fancy). One day, I made what I call "Shrimp and Cucumber Bites." I'm sure you can guess what it includes. I sautĂ©ed some shrimp using salt, pepper and non-stick cooking spray. I sliced the cucumbers so they could be my base and then I added lettuce, onion, kalamata olives, the shrimp (of course) and then grated parmesan cheese. These would be great as a party appetizer and it made a nice lunch too. As with anything that includes fresh produce, this was a bit time consuming because of prep, but they were tasty and fun. Y'all, I know some of you hate olives but I think they add the best punch of salty flavor. I eat too many of them sometimes…it's kind of my thing.

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