Man, it is seriously steamy in Boston right now. Humidity has been hovering around 90%, my hair is in full-out rebellion, and the little makeup I was wearing yesterday all but melted off my face. Thank goodness I skipped the mascara, because there’s no way I wouldn’t have been walking around with it caked under my eyes looking like a racoon. I don’t know how women in places like Florida manage to look put together with the heat and humidity, but I’m guessing economy-sized bottles of hairspray are involved.
Despite the soupy weather, Aaron and I decided we would take our stir-crazy dogs on a long walk on Saturday, right around lunchtime. Not only was this kind of a dumb idea from a temperature standpoint, but I also didn’t bring any water and hadn’t eaten in almost four hours. Crappy planning on my part meant that halfway into our walk, I started to get that ravenous, shaky feeling and have a meltdown. Anyone know what I’m talking about? It’s like that point little kids hit where they can’t control their emotions and throw a fit…except I’m twenty-eight.
Fortunately, we were right near a bench and a little indie bakery. The dogs and I collapsed on the bench (Honey actually sitting on it because she thinks she’s a person) and Aaron went inside to get us a snack and some water. He returned with some sort of cinnamon roll, which without thinking, I devoured. It was definitely not vegan, gluten-free, or anything except empty calories. And about thirty minutes later, I paid the price with stomach cramps that lasted for the rest of the day.
It was a reminder that I need to do a better job with my meal planning (which I tend to get more lax about on the weekends) and carry a snack with me for situations where there aren’t good food options available. A significant part of the reason I eat a vegan diet is health-related, but a large part is also ethical for me – I don’t feel well when I eat animal products, physically or emotionally.
I’m not sure if it was the eggs, butter, gluten, or all of the above that made me sick, but all I wanted for the rest of the weekend were big salads and coconut water. Well, I always want coconut water.
This salad was inspired by one of my favorites – a simple kale, avocado and grapefruit salad that was on weekly rotation this past Spring. I traded the grapefruit for summer strawberries, added in a generous handful of raw pumpkin seeds, and swapped a lemon dressing for lime with fresh cilantro from the window box on my porch. I also used baby kale, in part because it doesn’t require any chopping or stem removal, but mostly because I find baby anything adorable.
This salad is light, slightly sweet, a little bit crunchy, and exactly what I needed to make my stomach and my heart happy. No more cinnamon rolls for me, thank you.
- 6 C. Baby Kale (or regular kale chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 6 Medium Sliced Strawberries
- ½ Large Avocado, peeled and chopped
- ¼ C. Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Hemp Seeds would also work well)
- 2 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 Tbs. Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
- ½ Tbs. Agave Nectar (or Maple Syrup)
- ⅛ Tsp. Sea Salt
- Place the kale, sliced strawberries, chopped avocado, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by adding the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, agave, and sea salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss to combine and enjoy!
Do you have moments like mine where you let yourself get too hungry and then eat something you know your body won’t like? What’s your motivation for your style of eating – health, environmental, ethical, a combination?
I’m curious to know whether I have legit food intolerances/sensitivities and what, specifically, is the problem, but the little research I’ve done about testing seems to suggest it’s not very reliable. I’m thinking I may want to try an elimination diet, although I’m not sure how I’d approach that just yet either. Any suggestions? I need to give it some more thought.