Last week, my sweet boy turned 11 years old. It's always an emotional week for me not only because this is the boy that made me a mama, but also because, he made me a mama 7 weeks earlier than I planned. This child has a beautiful birth story but it was also layered with fear and worry, not to mention emotional and physical exhaustion. I was thrust into unknowns and uncertainty as well as being completely unprepared (His "nursery" was still my office and we hadn't had a baby shower to date!). And my connection and confidence to motherhood started out real shaky.
I went into labor at 32 weeks and my pint-sized wonder boy was born after 6 days of active labor which had me in and out of the hospital several times for a week. I cancelled a last minute trip to New York City (where I would have been on his birth day!) and dropped everything, including working on a case with the legislators and lobbyists for the State of Michigan to protect the rights of citizens to choose where they seek and acquire nutritional guidance.
Before his birth, it was hard to drop everything. But for this little one? In a heartbeat. It was my first lesson in letting go of things that were simply not as important as what needed my attention most. My sole focus was holding space for this precious baby boy to grow and thrive so we could take him home. I was sleep-deprived, worried, hormonal and living my summer days in a neonatal intensive care unit for over 3 weeks 45 minutes away from home, eating take-out from the Gaia Cafe and Marie Catrib's for breakfast, lunch & dinner. My husband and I had to leave the hospital by midnight and we would wake at dawn and hustle back to be with him as soon as they would let us in. On top of that, I was pumping breast milk every 2 1/2 hours to make sure he was getting the sweet nourishing nectar to grow and thrive.
The good news is that his story has unfolded so beautifully. He is a thriving, loving, funny, thoughtful, creative and friendly boy who loves baseball, cello, lego technics and spending time with his friends and family, just to name a few things.
So what in the world does that have to do with Cobb Salad and amusement parks?
Last weekend was our son's golden birthday and we wanted to do something super spesh so we surprised him with a day at an amusement park with his brothers and two best buds. Summer is full of getaways, spontaneous trips to the beach (my FAVE place to be in the summer) and social gatherings, and it definitely takes intention to be healthy amidst the relaxed, spontaneous, social engagements of summer. Thankfully, I've always got a pulse on how to be healthy while having fun!
Knowing amusement park food doesn't have any healthy options, I planned ahead the night before and packed some lunches and snacks. It was a heat wave, 85 degrees and I was staring at all my gorgeous lettuce greens from our CSA Share and in an instant, I had a hankering for a Cobb Salad.
I needed a Cobb Salad.
I had to have a Cobb Salad.
The funny thing is...I have never eaten a Cobb Salad in my life!
Something about a Cobb Salad sounded so refreshing and flavorful to me. The mess of flavors and colors and textures was calling my name.
So for lunch, we tailgated at the amusement park with Cobb Salad, fresh fruit, veggies & hummus, Sea Salt & Vinegar Chips (my boy's favorite!) and ice cold Izze sodas. Definitely a healthier option than eating in the park and oh so delicious.
The best part? I made extra bacon, hard boiled eggs and grilled up extra chicken and had Cobb Salad for lunch...for days! It's the perfect fit for summer, m'dear - Refreshing & Flavorful Salad + Leftovers = Less Time in the kitchen and more time outside having fun!
Angelle and I support many women who leave the 14-day Reset and feel amazing. They also feel at odds with how bombarded they get from social gatherings to eat junk and wonder how to allow all these fabulous changes in their lives to continue. Our advice is to put yourself in the driver's seat and be as intentional with planning as you want to feel in your body. As you enter in the full swing of summer, meal planning is a great way to ensure healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the home. Also, if you're planning a holiday or social gathering with friends and family, you can choose what you bring. I'll bet you a kombucha that people at your social gatherings will be so excited to find healthy options to choose from at potlucks and you'll inspire others to do the same. It's a win win.
Need ideas? Look back at all our wonderful recipes on our blog for ideas or snag the Chicken Quinoa Walnut Salad (among others) from our *free eGuide on our website (7 Ways To Nourish Your Life Everyday + 7 Recipes You'll Love). And for now, enjoy the Cobb Salad! (Be sure to double it for leftovers!)
COBB SALAD - serves 2-3
1-2 heads Crunchy Lettuce Greens such as Romaine or Bibb
2 tomatoes, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
4 strips pasture-raised organic bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, cubed
1/4-1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese or goat-milk feta cheese, optional but delish
Place salad fixin's in a large bowl. Just before serving, drench with dressing and enjoy!
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS fresh chives, chopped finely
Pinch Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper
Place dressing ingredients into a ball jar with tight-fighting lid and shake vigorously.
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