Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eat. Live. Be

Recipe: Fattoush

This week's ELB topic is "Rut Rescue 101."  So everyone is sharing 3-5 tips on how to get out of a healthy-goal rut. I am going to share my tips, but first I must make a confession.  Ruts are what KEEP me from my health goals.  So please do not take this as the be all end all of rut advice.

Ok here is my weekly ELB progress report:
Days Exercise: 1
Cardio: 1
Strength: 1
Weight Change: - 1.0lbs

"How to get out of a Rut" by Sarah

1. Go swimming: Yes, I know it is February; however, swimming (even during the cold months) is a very different type of exercise that many people also discount.  I also find it to be very peaceful in relaxing.  No ipods in the pools, and no workout videos either.  Its just you, the water, and your thoughts.  How awesome!  So, anytime I am in a workout rut and having trouble getting motivated to exercise, I go swimming.  I feel completely refreshed afterwards and re-energized to finish out (or start) the week strong.

2. Make a workout date: As you can see here there is a theme. My ruts consist of "no exericse ruts." So, another thing I do is make an exercise date.  These workouts aren't so much about maximal caloric reduction, but more about spending time with a friend and catching up.  That way, not only are you still getting a good workout, but you get social benefit as well.  Who doesn't love girl time at the gym.  It's a great multi-tasking tip for everyone's busy schedule.  Plus it's way healthier than girl time at Starbucks, Coldstone, or the local martini bar (ok, the martini bar is still a good option, just workout before hand ;)

3. Try a new healthy recipe: This one is a given right? I mean it's a blog about cooking and baking, how could I NOT include this tip?  Seriously though, I often get in a rut of eating a healthy breakfast, a well balance dinner, but a horrible lunch.  And when I say horrible, I mean HORRIBLE. Like McDonald's on the way home from class horrible.  Gross!  So, I fix that by coming up with new salads to make.  All vegetarian salads, chicken salads, or new ethnic salads like the one below!  (great lead in don't you think?)

Anyway, this is a salad that my friend Katie has been begging me to make for her.  I tried it out this weekend and OH MY GOODNESS.  I am in love.  I'm pretty sure I could eat this salad all week long!  This salad is my motivation to drive past McDonald's rather than through McDonalds. I hope you enjoy :)  Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page for links to my partners in ELB

3 whole wheat pita pocket breads, cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide
4 cloves of garlic chopped or put through a garlic press1 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 2 large lemons (my husband doesn't like overpowering lemon taste so I used a scant 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. powdered Sumac 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bag Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
2  diced tomatoes, drained 
1 diced cucumber 
1/2 - 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves (I love mint so I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (again, my husband doesn't like overpowering parsley so I was conservative with my 1/2 cup)
optional ingredients: chopped green pepper or radishes (some recipes call for these, but I don't like either, use 1/2 cup for each if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut pita into strips and place on bake sheet.  Cook for 8-10 minutes (watch carefully as not to burn the pita)

2. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle (or bowl with a big spoon) add salt and garlic.  Mash into paste

3. Next, juice lemons and add to garlic paste. 

4. Add sumac and then whisk in olive oil and refrigerate.*

5. Dice tomatoes, cucumber,  and chop mint and parsley.  Add to romaine lettuce and toss well. 

6. Once pita is toasted, break into pieces and add to salad.

7. If you are serving the salad now, add dressing, toss and let sit for 5 minutes; however, if you will be eating it throughout the week, just add dressing to individual servings. 

Adapted from: Kalyn's Kitchen  (a great blog for healthy low glycemic foods!) 

Cook's Notes:
* If you have a jar with a lid, you can add all the ingredients for the dressing and then shake well.  This is actually more convenient if you are going to use it multiple times rather than all in one sitting because you can shake the dressing before each use.
Dressing can be stored in refrigerator for one week. 

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate O’Malley at Sweet Nicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Jenne at stop drop and blog 
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jennifer at Lick-a-Plate
Jennifer Schulz at Lick-a-plate
Denise & Lenny at Chez Us


  1. YUM! That is one good looking salad. Love your tip to make a workout date. I think I need to find a partner, that would help tremendously on the days when I just am not motivating myself enough.

  2. Is that what you were eating at the AMCP exo meeting? I meant to tell you whatever you were eating smelled really good and I think it looked like this salad.

  3. It is indeed what I was eating at the meeting. So yummy!