Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year of Salad! In Review

Wow! I can not believe my year of salad is complete!

It's silly, but when I look back at all my salad weeks for the year some salads really stick out to me. Some were very memorable- because they were delicious or because of what was going on in my life at the time, or the time of year.

And then the rest all blur into one big salad mess that leads me to believe I am crazy. I mean that is A LOT of salad man.

Looking back, I must admit I feel a bit fond of and sentimental about my little goal.

So I am going to start at the beginning.
January 1st 2009.

Deciding to go for the leafy greens: Most of all I chose this goal to be healthier. I wondered how I would feel a year later if I actually completed such a goal. Would my body feel different?

Also, as mentioned previously, Dashing Boy and I had been trying to start our family. And I was thinking about what I could do within my own body to make me healthiest for that to occur.

I wanted a tangible goal-- something I could control that would have a positive outcome on my life. Something that would make me a healthier person. That would be mine to be proud of.

And also, I thought as a vegetarian, "shouldn't I pretty much be eating a salad everyday already?"

And so week 1 began.

In the beginning the salads were awesome. I was on Fi-yah!
And of course early on, I had to include the goodness that is Cafe Rio. In total for the year I ate 8 Cafe Rio salads and 5 Cafe Rio impostors. Also, I did go there just to buy the dressing once too!
By April and May I was learning how to sew and spending lots of time with Grandma and Juju going to fabric stores and eating at our favorite Zuppas.

Then, the beginning of June I took a favorite, fabulous picture of Dashing Boy carrying a giant salad out to a potluck with friends. I could easily recall this salad, as we found out right after we got home from the potluck that we were pregnant!

By the end of June I was enjoying fresh, summer salads like this one from my mom's garden. And we were planting late tomatoes for salads in our new house!
And then in the middle of July it happened. I simply forgot to eat a salad. All in all, I awoke three mornings to the shocking realization that I had forgotten my greens the day before. The end of July and heartbreaking news. Mom came over and saved my life the day I miscarried. I was a mess. Many many tears, but a ray of sunshine in my mother who did all her magic, made me this salad and got me to laugh a few times that day too.

The title for salad post that week: You Just Smile.
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
It was all I could do to pull myself out of bed the next little while. One day, in particular, was overwhelmingly difficult. I was crying, again, my hardest, deepest, empty, sad tears. A heap on the bed. Poor Dashing Boy didn't know what to do. And then I heard a close friend enter my house. She started walking up the stairs and I just sat there in my heap, unable to compose myself.

She walked in, looked at me lovingly, gave me a long hug, then sat on the edge of my bed and said "I'm here to make you dinner tonight." Neither Dashing Boy nor I knew she was coming, she just did it. She was amazing, and sweetly reminded me of the loving hand God has in my life.

She made grilled fish over a bed of spinach with homemade mango salsa.
By August, the Farmers Market was in full-swing. One of my favorite summer places to be. Mom loves this little booth that sells the most amazing organic salads in the world complete with homemade organic pates and raw organic crackers. This just might be my favorite salad of the year!
Late September and the bounty of our heirloom tomatoes were now a daily part of our salads. But as excited as we were about our ripe, homegrown tomatoes, something else made us even moreso: we were pregnant again! Hope and gratitude filled our souls.

For about two weeks I was a ravenous woman. And then my salads became very pathetic as almost everything sounded, smelled, and tasted yucky. Dressing on my salad especially put it over the top, so limes and lemons stepped in.
Then, by the end of October we got the swine flu and my salads went from very pathetic to very very pathetic.
It went that way for several weeks. With a few nights of 11:00 salads in the mix (which happened a couple of times over the year) as I realized at bedtime that I had forgotten my salad that day.

Those salads were always really classy.
I made a little goal to be eating fancier salads by Thanksgiving time. Fancy it was! A friend brought a divine salad with homemade roasted red pepper dressing to the big meal! Yum! One month later, and Christmas was here, so near to the end. I was in heaven eating my aunts delicious salad and spread of homemade dressings! What a treat! Creamy grapefruit dressing! very amazing.

And now day 365, my 362nd salad of the year: all eaten up. Hooray!
What will I do now?

I suppose I will eat more salad.

Do I feel healthier?
YES!!! very much so.

Has it helped my body by healthier for a baby?
I like to think so :) At my last appointment I had some regular, extensive blood testing done to check my levels on all sorts of things. My midwife was especially amazed with my iron level. She said pregnant women and vegetarians especially have a a hard time keeping their iron level up and mine was a very nice healthy high level. Guess what a good source of iron is: Dark green leafy vegetables!

Does my body feel different?
Yes! I can honestly say after one year of a salad everyday, my body craves it. Seriously, it has become my most favorite part of a meal. I wouldn't have expected that but it's true.

If I forget to eat my salad one day will I be eating it at 11:00 pm? probably not :) But if I find myself laxing too much I would start documenting it again and holding myself responsible!

Would I recommend a year of salad goal? YES! Really, its been fun. And it isn't as hard as it may seem! You can do it!

Plus it makes dinner easier, always having a given in the equation of what to eat :)


Heidi said...

I can't believe you're pregnant!!!! Congratulations!!!! What is your due date? I'm very excited for you, and so sorry about the little baby you lost. Miscarriages are so devastating. Especially for your first pregnancy. I still remember the due date for my little one that didn't happen. I wonder if they'll be a part of our eternal family or not? Well, congrats! Oodles of love!

Gigi said...

what a nice post! i am so proud of you for so many things! this has been quite the year for you! as you have eaten your salads ( to name a few accomplishments) you have bought your first house, painted your whole house, planted your first gardens of vegetables and flowers, made your first quilt, arranged a great photographic display of 9 pictures, cooked great food ( like homemade marzipan), made new friends in a new town, cherished your dashing boy and your 2 families and the best of all created a little baby growing right now under your heart. i have a feeling that not only will your baby be born wearing a hat, but also will be waving hello to you with a little leafy green clutched in its hand! i love you! welcome 2010!!!!! love, mom

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

Exciting... I am so sorry you went through such a hard time and I didn't know. I am happy you are pregnant now. I believe that life starts and conception and those babies will be yours someday.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Wow. So much behind the salad scenes that I loved reading about.

Sorry about the miscarriage...making your current pregnancy that much sweeter I hope.

So, inquiring minds want to know...going the midwife route or what?