A Journey of Healing

in the Most Natural Way 

 

Suffering is a given; suffering alone is intolerable.

Sue Johnson

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Upping the Salad Game

Updated: Jan 26


Sabado Night Salads at Home

Salads don't have to be repetitive and boring, they can be vibrantly colourful while bursting with flavours and of course, micronutrients. We can get creative by using as much variety of fruits and vegetables as possible, and be adventurous by making our own dressings to up our salad game.


I have used store-bought salad dressings for many many years, but after my autoimmune diagnosis I have decided to start making my own at home. So far I'm having fun, and at peace that I'm not eating the unwanted toxins from the highly processed salad dressings out there today.

Beet Vinaigrette, Persimmon Vinaigrette and Red Grape Vinaigrette - all happily made from home

Quality fruits and vegetables are filled to the brim with antioxidants and micronutrients, and having them on our plates regularly can be surprisingly fun and satisfying. Salads offer the best opportunity for us to do this. To make your own version at home, think out of the box and use whatever is seasonally abundant. You can absolutely use anything, I'd say there are no rules whatsoever around salad-making, so have fun with it and see what you can come up with! What you need is a blender or a food processor to make the dressing from scratch, and some fresh, whole-food ingredients to play with.


Beet Vinaigrette

Yield: 4-5 servings


3/4 cup red beetroot - steamed, roasted, or sautéed

1/4 cup white onions, raw or sautéed

2 cloves garlic, raw of sautéed

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

dash of (sea) salt

black pepper, optional


Use a blender or food processor to grind everything until smoothly incorporated. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and black pepper if you wish. Store in the fridge in a container for up to a week.


Spring salad mix, sautéed onions, mushrooms & brussel sprouts, celery, avocado, pomegranate seeds in homemade beet vinaigrette

Whip up your own salad dressing by keeping the following simple guide in mind; however, I would say think out of the box and break the rules if you will (except for the type of oil). Make it work for you and your resources. What's important is that we are eating food that is chock-full of healing properties, so we can help our bodies heal.


Salad Dressing - Making Your Own

  • Use 1:3 ratio of vinegar to oil, generally

  • Use a healthy kind oil (avocado, coconut, grape seed, extra virgin olive oil) or skip the oil altogether if you can't find any

  • Use quality vinegar (coconut, apple cider, balsamic, etc.)

  • Use whole fruits, veggies & herbs as your natural flavouring (citrus & any type of fruits, herbs, garlic, sea salt, etc.)

Spring salad mix, sautéed mushrooms & brussel sprouts, celery, avocado, roasted chickpeas in homemade persimmon vinaigrette

Persimmon Dressing

Yield: 2 servings


1 cup persimmon, peeled & roughy chopped

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash of cinnamon

half tbsp lemon juice

(sea) salt optional


Use a blender or food processor to grind everything until nice and smooth. Adjust consistency and seasoning by adding a splash of lemon juice or (sea) salt if you wish. Store in the fridge in a container for up to a week.


Romaine lettuce & spinach, sautéed onions, mushrooms & brussel sprouts, avocado slices in homemade red grape vinagrette

Red Grape Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 servings


2 handfuls of red grape

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash of (sea) salt

black pepper, optional


Use a blender or food processor to grind everything until smoothly incorporated. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and black pepper if you wish. Store in the fridge in a container for up to a week. This is by far my favourite creation because of its flavour, and I love how simple and easy it is to make!



When putting a salad together, with the dressing we can choose our leafy greens, our vegetables, and our protein. We can also add some "toppings" like nuts and seeds (or cheese if you're not sensitive to dairy). There are a plethora of choices out there, so the mix & match possibilities are endless.


May your salad be full of colour, and your body happily nourished by the micronutrients! Let's keep on eating clean so our bodies can heal naturally!


A note on Autoimmune and its link to Food


If you have an autoimmune disorder, or may be experiencing some chronic symptoms like extreme fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, muscle and joint pains, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or the general feeling of being "off" and unwell, you may need to start making some dietary changes.


Scientific research has proven that the food we eat is strongly linked to our underlying illnesses. You can start small by eliminating one common allergen from your diet gradually (either dairy, or gluten, or soy, or eggs, or corn) and see how you feel. If you feel better without these common allergens, then you may have some food sensitivity issues. That means the food that you're eating is causing some inflammation inside your body, as your immune system's response to the "foreign invaders". The inflammation then causes most or all of our symptoms, and may lead to a full-blown disease, like mine did.


Other factors that cause autoimmune diseases include genetic predisposition, environmental and emotional stress, environmental toxins & chemicals, and our gut health. All of these I have learned from research. The books I'm currently reading are written by Angie Alt & Mickey Trescott, Susan Blum, M.D. and Amy Myers, M.D. I will share more of my learnings here, to spread awareness and relevant information to those who may find them helpful.


Romaine Lettuce with Grilled Chicken, Carrots, Bell Peppers & String Beans, drizzled in Balsamic Vinaigrette

 
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