Salads sure aren’t what they used to be.  No more just lettuce, tomato and cucumber and call it a day.  I love trying these big bowl combinations.  Pretty much anything goes, and I can tailor it to what is important for me for that week.  Found this recipe online via Instagram from Bluezones founder Dan Buettner, who reposted it from a new book call The Fiber Fueled Cookbook: Inspiring Plant-Based Recipes to Turbocharge Your Health by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, a gastroenterologist.  I looked up the book and decided to buy it and am looking forward to learning from its content and trying its recipes.

More on both here: and

As I have said in many of these posts, food can not only be fun to experiment with, but to learn about.  Food truly can be medicine and small changes made consistent over time makes such a difference.  I am not interested in dieting – gave that up a long time ago – but rather to be healthy.  Being healthy does not mean diminishing the taste or the beauty of food.  I have learned more in the last couple of years than I have my whole life about the impact of food on how I feel, how my brain works and how my body functions.  Yes, getting to this mature age, I do think more about certain functions over others, but honestly, this has been a fun journey.

No, I do not excel at this all the time and no I have not given up treats that I enjoy.  The huge difference for me is that I don’t go crazy with any of it anymore.  The guilt I used to have with food is gone and the fun I have with food is the biggest win.

New ingredients, new combinations make my weekly prep more interesting and less burdensome for me.  The attempts to develop my own recipes here and there and the self-challenge to make whatever recipe I am trying look like the picture it comes with is silly but fun as well.

This salad, although I would not refer to it that way, is a full meal in a bowl – certainly not a side dish in my view.  The spice mix for the veggies and the ease and deliciousness of the dressing make it quite a meal.

Remember, we are in charge of our own health and well-being.  Listening to our bodies, “feeding” our body and our soul and moving our bodies is something someone else cannot do for us.  I and the queen of excuses and while I am blessed to be generally overall healthy, it was not until the last few years I took charge of enhancing my health, my brain and my overall being well.  Slow but sure, no giant leaps and all in all, I am still moving forward.

What one thing will you do for your well-being this week?

This week’s menu:

Breakfast:                     Beet and Berry Smoothie
Lunch/Dinner:               Sweet Potato Shawarma Bowl
Snack:                          Fresh Watermelon
Juice:                           Beet-Ginger-Cucumber Juice
Water:                          YES

Beet and Berry Smoothie:  Got some fabulous produce this weekend from my go to Nalls Produce and with it came some beets.  I love fresh beets so used one large one in this smoothie.  My trusty Ninja blender did the trick – to the beet I added a few chucks of fresh pineapple, ginger, chia seeds, psyllium husks and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Let that go and then added a handful of fresh kale.  When all that was incorporated, I added half a carrot, frozen cranberries and left-over frozen cherries.  Finally added about a third of a frozen bananas and a scoop of frozen mixed berries.  When I tasted it, it needed just a touch of sweet, so I added one small squeeze of honey and that did the trick.  Another Simply Yum win.

Shawarma Bowl:  This “salad” not only looks beautiful but is delicious – and to be honest, I am not a big fan of sweet potatoes – but this is fabulous.  The recipe is in the book referenced above but was also posted by Dan Buettner on his Instagram feed at @danbuettner.  I also modified just a bit by adding additional veggies – the recipe calls for the roasting of cauliflower and sweet potatoes in this fabulous spice mix of garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, oregano and turmeric.  I added mushrooms and green and red peppers.  While the veggies are roasting, quinoa was cooking and I made another easy, yet flavorful dressing.  I don’t think I will ever buy salad dressing again.  Tahini, apple cider vinegar and a bit of water is all it called for.  I added some fresh lemon juice and done.  So good.  The final “salad” is the mix of lettuce (I used romaine), quinoa, roasted veggies, red onion, cucumber, topped with chopped fresh parsley and tahini dressing.  Filling but not heavy and full of good for me ingredients.

Beet-Ginger-Cucumber Juice:  I have really enjoyed this juice since I first made it a few weeks back. Since then, I have played with the recipe a bit and like how this batch turned out.  One large fresh beet, one small cucumber, fresh ginger, and instead of an apple, I used chunks of fresh pineapple.  Once all blended, I added a handful of fresh mint. Once blended a smooth as possible, I pour into a strainer and squeeze out the juice and leave the resulting pulp. Poured it into a bottle with a good cap and in the frig it goes.  I start my day with a glass of this and it has made a difference.

Water:  I know, I know…water every week?  YES…. play with it, make it pretty and make it tasty.  I drink a lot of water and would be bored if it was plain, but I do not want to buy flavored water with added stuff (and costly).  So, this week, the water is ginger, lemon, lime, pineapple and grapefruit.  When the pitcher gets low, I simply fill it up again.  The fruit is good through the week most weeks.

Enjoy your week!


Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Veggies
Lentils and Veggies