Spinach Salad, 2 Ways.

I hate to say that I'm on a diet for two reasons. The first being that "diet" sounds so negative and restrictive and I just don't think it's a realistic way to live. I am not a person that thrives on deprivation. I don't find it cool, endearing or impressive. But the second reason is that the kind of diet I'm currently on isn't really a traditional diet - it's mostly about being extra mindful about the kinds of things I'm putting in my body. I am breastfeeding a little giant and I don't think "dieting" in the traditional sense of the word is very healthy or sustaining for my little person. So I am fumbling around, figuring how the best way to eat healthy & wholesome for him while still achieving the right amount of weight loss for me.

I knowwwww that it takes time to lose baby weight. But I also know it's not going to just fall off, especially after baby #2. And I would like to fit into my clothes one of these days, you guys. That would be fun. So I am doing my best, cutting sugar and alcohol (again, for the most part - I will allow it here and there if it's a special occasion.) I am trying to focus on what I can eat instead of what I can't. So while I am trying to have lots of fresh fruits and veggies and wholesome carbs and - I am allowing myself to eat these lactation cookies. They are really tasty, and the only sweet thing I'm having in my life right now. But they are doing the trick!

I try to eat a salad every day for lunch. I am mostly annoyed with salads because they are rabbit food, so they have to be goooood if I'm going to eat one every day. These are two recipes that I love having over and over again, and I thought it was high time that I share them with you. I can barely call it a recipe, because I mean, it's salad. But still - here are two that are so super duper tasty and wonderful.

Salmon + Caper Salad.
- spinach
- salmon*
- 2 tbsp. capers
- 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 an avocado, sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
- olive oil + balsamic vinegar to taste

*I like to prepare my salmon by putting it in a glass pyrex dish, pouring some Italian dressing over the top and baking it at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It's divine.

I start with a bed of lettuce, add the other ingredients, drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and then chop up really good. I've realize that I enjoy salad way more if I chop it and mix it really well.

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad.
- spinach
- 1/2 chicken breast*
- 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup each: sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
- olive oil + balsamic vinegar to taste.

* I prepare my chicken breast by boiling it for 20 minutes in a pot of salted hot water. Once the meat is cooked and white all the way through, I drain it and immediately shred. I usually prep this on Sundays and keep the chicken in a seal-fresh container, using it throughout the week for anything from salads to tacos. It's super helpful to have cooked protein on-hand at all times!

Start with a bed of spinach, layering the rest of the ingredients on top. I like to dress with the olive oil and balsamic, but if you have access to sweeter balsamic vinegars (like pomegranate, etc.), this is a great salad to use it on! :)

And there you have it! Any yummy salad combos you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear!