Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing

138 comments

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Happy June 1st!

Lately, my meals have been all about the H20. It’s easy to get dehydrated without knowing it, but I have to be especially mindful of my water intake now that I’m taking the hot yoga classes, sweating out water I didn’t even know was there. One way that I sneak in a little extra water is having a cucumber with my lunches. Cucumbers are mostly water and they are just so versatile. Throw them into a salad, scoop them into yummy dips, pump up a smoothie, or top a sandwich.

This cucumber mint salad is something I’ve been enjoying lately. It is refreshing, light, with a hint of minty goodness. It goes along perfectly as a side to my favourite avocado and veggie sandwiches.

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The dressing is great with just a touch of sweetness added in. The agave goes along nicely with the mint and a pinch of salt helps bring out the flavour even more. You can have fun playing around with the dressing…there isn’t an exact way to make this salad and that’s why I love it!

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…and….hydrate!

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My set up:

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I know, it’s like finding out Santa Claus doesn’t exist right? ;)

Back on Track Month Recap

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At the beginning of May, I wrote a post about being in a major slump. In early Spring, I was side-lined with a Sciatic injury for over a month. Shortly after that, I was sick for 2-3 weeks. This, combined with crappy weather, had me feeling really out of balance in all areas in my life. I felt out of shape, my cravings were all over the place, and I just felt like I lost my zest for life.

On May 1st, I decided to make some small changes that would add up over time. Not only was my birthday approaching, but I knew that I wanted to get things back on track for the upcoming Summer season.

So, I devised a plan!

I first had to identify the slumps in my life and then create solutions for each:

SLUMP

SOLUTION

1) Sickness Stick with healthy flu fighting habits.
2) Sciatic Nerve Injury My sciatic nerve isn’t sore anymore (yay) and I want to continue stretching and yoga as a preventative measure.
3) Exercise I was unable to exercise during much of April (except for the elliptical a bit during the sciatic injury) and I’m feeling out of shape. My solution is
to create a few exercise goals that I will be able to stick to in May. More on this below.
4) Eating For me, it is extra difficult to eat healthy when I’m not working out. When I am working out, I find it much easier to eat healthy. They go hand in hand. My eating in April has been all over the map. I lost my appetite and taste buds during my flu so I have had no desire to eat vegetables like I usually do. This also left me craving super sweet foods. In May I need to get my eating back on track.

 

Then, I broke the slumps down into achievable goals for May.

Exercise Goals For May & How I did:

Exercise Goals: Strength – Stretch – Cardio – Rest  every week.

  • Strength: 1 Body Pump class per week
  • Stretch: 1 yoga class per week (I’m going to try hot yoga soon), plus stretching after workouts
  • Cardio like running, hiking, elliptical 5-6 days a week for ~30-60 minutes each.
  • 1 Rest day a week, or as needed

 

How did I do?

  • Strength —> Body Pump: I didn’t achieve this goal! I did just 2 Body Pump classes in May.
  • Stretch –> Hot yoga was definitely the surprise of May! Little did I know that it would not only be a great stretch, but also a killer strength class. My muscles have gotten so much stronger since I started hot yoga and I prefer it over Body Pump.
  • Cardio –> I achieved this goal, focusing on elliptical, walking, and low-mileage running 6 days a week.
  • Rest: I took 1 rest day a week.

 

All in all, May was a fantastic month for getting my exercise back on track. I’m so thankful I put my fears aside and tried hot yoga because now I can’t see myself without it.

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Eating Goals For May & How I did:

  • Eat more veggies: wash & chop up a bunch every Sunday and keep in containers in fridge as a time saver.
  • Green Monsters few times a week
  • Juicing most mornings
  • Structure Meals and limit snacking: Good sized breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, light dinner & treat.
  • Cook! I’ve been going through a major cooking slump (basically not wanting to cook at all), but I want to get back to cooking more dinners and having more structured meals.
  • Meal Planning: Along the same line of cooking more dinners, I need to plan out meals that I can cook each week. I hope to do this on the weekend before grocery shopping for the week.

 

How did I do?

  • More veggies: When I went to the grocery store, I was mindful to fill the cart up with mostly veggies and fruit. Having so much produce in the fridge forced me to use it up before it went bad, so I definitely increased my consumption.
  • Green Monsters: I’ve been enjoying a few Green Monsters a week and so glad to have them in my diet consistently again.
  • Juicing: I was juicing every morning for the first two weeks in May and then I fell off the bandwagon ever since. I’m very hot and cold with juicing. Sometimes I love it and other times the thought of cleaning the machine just makes me run from it!
  • Structured meals and limit snacking: I did not achieve this goal! I’m such a snacker and often do not take enough time for proper sit-down meals when I’m busy. I need to continue to work on this in June.
  • Cook: In May, I still struggled with cooking slumps on and off, but I think I have finally gotten my groove back. Making large meals with leftovers has been a great time-saver for quick lunches and leftovers.
  • Meal planning: I wouldn’t say I have been good for meal planning or that I even enjoy it, but I do try to plan my meals 1-2 days in advance now. I will never be a weekly meal planner though! It’s just not in my personality.

 

While I didn’t achieve all my eating goals for May, I still consider it to be a success. My eating feels back on track and much more balanced. My cravings for sweets have gone down a bit too.

In just 1 month, I feel like a lot has changed. My energy has increased and I just feel happier all around.

I’ve realized that slumps aren’t always a bad thing; they tell us that something is out of balance and we need to change. While this can be uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking, approaching it with small, achievable goals can help. If I hadn’t gone through my slump, I probably never would have fallen in love with yoga and rekindled my relationship with myself. While I consider exercise and eating goals to be important, my biggest gain from this month has been an unplanned one- improving inner peace and self-love.

Coming up, I’ll tell you what my goals are for June. In the meantime, let me know if you have any goals for this month!

What do you hope to achieve in June?

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{ 138 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen June 1, 2011

This looks awesome – so refreshing. I’m with you I need to be more mindful of my water intake.

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2 Mariah (picturespupsandpies) June 1, 2011

I LOVE your food (and all other) photography! THe cucumber salad looks delicious and refreshing. Perfect for a hot summer day! I am just starting out learning more about food photography, and am looking for a tripod. Do you have one you would recommend? They seem to be all over the map- price wise, size wise, and function wise. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

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3 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

Thank you!

I don’t have a tripod to suggest because I don’t like mine! It’s not user friendly and not smooth to move around. Maybe someone else can suggest one? :)

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4 Holly @ The Runny Egg June 1, 2011

In June, I want to finish strong at my marathon on June 18th — no time goals for me, but I want to feel good about my performance. Other than that I want the “usual”: continue to eat well, exercise consistently, take the time to read, relax and recharge, focus on my relationship with Jason as well as God.

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5 Julianne June 1, 2011

This is so inspiring! I started eating healthier and working out in the beginning of March and was loving it and felt great. I hurt my knee in the beginning of May and haven’t been able to work out since. My cravings went up like crazy and my desire to eat healthy went way down. It’s great to know that’s natural and I’m not just weak! I will start planning some goals to work on until I’m healed and on track!

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6 Kelly June 1, 2011

Yum! I love cucumbers and that looks delicious!
My main goal for June is to stick with some type of continuity. I’ve got a big cross country trip coming up and I’ll be gone for 2 weeks. I tend to just lose it food wise when on vacation so I want to continue to be mindful of what I am putting in my body and making sure I am still being active.

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7 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

continuity is a great goal! Especially over summer and vacations :)

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8 Julie @ Shining From Within June 1, 2011

I have been H2O deprived the past few days too! Yesterday I ate a hugh jass cucumber because I couldn’t get enough water in me.
My goals are to stop snacking so much (I am like, the queen snacker) and to ‘rekindle my love for myself, exercise, and health’ as you put it.
I also hope to get my jucier working but it’s a pesky little machine..

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9 Jill H June 1, 2011

Your food pictures look so delicious. I love that you showed us your set-up (in the other post). That came right after I thought, I need to tell her how much I love her food photos. :) Glad to hear you’re getting better!

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10 Apron Appeal June 1, 2011

My goals for June are just to make what you’ve posted – 2 days after you’ve posted it. thanks for doing all the work! ;) That sounds so rude but that is what I’ve felt like I’ve been doing lately. You’re menus are perfect for summer -fresh and light. My favorite part though is scrolling through your recipes to see how you achieve “creamy” or “cheesy”. Coconut milk, I’ve got that on hand, can’t wait to try this.

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11 cathy June 1, 2011

i love how you face challenges, angela: identify the issue and plan out solutions. and thanks for being honest about what worked and what is a work-in-progress. it’s wonderful that a set-back got you into hot yoga! always great when a disappointing situation can result in something positive happening.
in june, i want to appreciate each day, fully – this is my favourite month of the year. and this weather is a perfect start!

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12 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 1, 2011

I love cucumber salads, especially with fresh herbs. They are like the epitome of summer to me. Great job with getting back on track in May!

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13 Natalie June 1, 2011

I love the gorgeous photo with the fork. Amazing how the colour of the onion matches the purple in your background. My fav food picture of yours!!

You’ve inspired me for June. I’m going to do the couch to 5k program 3 times a week and try at least one hot yoga class – and drink tons of water beforehand so I don’t get sick like my last try (a few years ago)!

Foodwise, I want to find chia seeds and Amazing Grass powder and try your VOO!

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14 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

thank you!

Couch to 5k sounds like a great goal :) Goodluck! I’m thinking about training for a 5k too…

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15 Holly June 1, 2011

I started Couch to 5k on Monday, it’s my third attempt. I finished attempt #2 last year but lost my momentum afterwards. So this time I’ve already registered for a 5k in September to cement my commitment.

Natalie, I’ve tried the chia seeds and the Amazing Grass in my VOO and they are fabulous! You will feel full of energy. This morning I made an Amazing Grass and chia seed smoothie with soy milk and banana after my morning Couch to 5k workout, it was perfect to fuel me through my morning.

My goals for June are to continue with the Couch to 5k, and I’m starting a Yamuna Body Rolling class on Thursday which will be fun, and to work on reducing the stress in my life.

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16 Eat Hike Sleep Repeat June 1, 2011

Thanks for sharing this – especially your struggles with cooking and eating healthy. Reading your blog and seeing the great food, I guess I assumed that this was sort of second nature for you.

Yup, cucumbers are hugely hydrating. I put a whole one in my juice each day, and sometimes even take juiced cucumbers with lemon to my hot yoga classes.

Self-love! A great goal and personal reminder :) Yes, yoga can be a great contribution to that. I’ve been doing yoga 5 days a week, but our classes are changing for summer. So, June’s goal is to establish a home yoga practice. Getting my room ready this weekend!

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17 Carar @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. June 1, 2011

I printed this recipe! I love that you used lime juice — i’ve found it adds a whole different dynamic than lemon!

I agree it’s so much easier to eat healthy WHEN you are working out. You just feel like doing what’s best for your body when you’re working hard to keep it healthy!

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18 Melissa June 1, 2011

I love that you’re honest about falling into slumps. It’s so reassuring to see that I am not the only one. I had been in a huge rut since finishing school in April and not having a job… I am terrible without a routine. My eating and workouts were all over the place. I signed up for a 10K (my first race.. I’m scurrred) on July 1st to motivate me back into running! It’s already helped me get back on track. Like you, working out and eating right go hand in hand for me.

P.S. I finally made my first green monster yesterday……. I can’t believe it took me so long! I was hesitant because my blender sucks lol but it was divine. I’ll be having another today!

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19 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

Glad you enjoyed it!

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20 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg June 1, 2011

I have been LOOKING for refreshing summer recipes– this looks perfect!!! It’s too hot for anything else! ;-)

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21 Shay June 1, 2011

I’m not sure what I hope to achieve, but I decided, thanks to your inspiring post today, detailing your honest achievements and barely-missed marks, I’m going to post my june goals on my blog for all to see.

I really appreciate your honesty!

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22 Shanna, like Banana June 1, 2011

Being more content with “stuff” which I know sounds vague, but I’m striving just to be more at ease in the everyday and not get too antsy about the little stuff.

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23 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit June 1, 2011

I love cucumbers. I’ve been eating them like crazy these last couple of weeks. You’re right, they’re so versatile. I think my favorite way to eat them is thick slices, hollowed out with shreds of veggies + ginger inside. Think cucumber made nori wrap aka sushi. SO good!
Great work on your goals, Angela! When I go to the grocery store I load up on the veggies first and try to fill the entire bottom of the cart with produce. By the time I’ve gotten to the other isles, I haven’t got much room left. It’s a great trick haha

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24 AdrienneCarolyn June 1, 2011

Congrats Angela I think you did great!! My May goal was to run outdoors 5 days a week (after rehabbing a hip injury) but poopy Toronto weather kiboshed that one! I still made sure to weight train, run or elliptical, and stretch almost everyday though! Cheers to the sunny weather now, June will be ALL about the outdoors!!
Salad looks perfect by the way, can’t wait to have it for weekend mid-day meals!
..oh and double cheers to the farmers markets now open!! Much easier to eat healthy because shopping them is so fun!

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25 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 1, 2011

That cucumber salad is definitely what I need during the summer. I always eat minty cucumbers with yogurt and on top of falafel in a pita.

Nice job on your May goals! I never really set health/fitness goals, but just try to do my best to feel as healthy as I can :)

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26 jenna June 1, 2011

i love the creativity of this salad! i would never think to put coconut milk in my cucumber salad! it sounds really good.

:) great job on your goals! You have me very curious about hot yoga! too bad i dont’ have a studio close by! :(

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27 Red Deception June 1, 2011

That salad would be perfect for a picnic!

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28 Mikayla June 1, 2011

Can I just tell you I LOVE the colors of this post??? The light green cucumber and flecks of purple onion are sooo gorgeous. I love the map(?) behind it too. You really have an eye for great photography and colors. Thanks for sharing!

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29 Leah (the kind weight-watcher) June 1, 2011

I have a few goals for June!

Food: Stick with Intuitive Eating, really focusing on one principle at a time (following the book Intuitive Eating)

Exercise: 1500 minutes total, mixing up my usual cardio routine with some DVDs and some pilates

Weight: Maintain or lose only up to 2 pounds. I’m finally at a healthy weight that I love and am pretty happy to stay here. But if my happy weight is lower, that’s fine, too!

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30 Laura @ Backstage Pass June 1, 2011

“I know, it’s like finding out Santa Claus doesn’t exist right?”
Haha! Your setup is beautiful, I especially love the table cloth!

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31 WIERDGREENMAN June 1, 2011

A higher GPA!

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32 Carly June 1, 2011

Dill is such a fantastic herb! And the napkins are super pretty – where did you pick them up?

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33 Jen @ keepitsimplefoods.com June 1, 2011

Gorgeously refreshing salad! I’m all about upping the H2O. To make it more fun, I drink a log of sparkling water with citrus. Yum! I’m also gearing up for engagement photos at the end of the month, so I’m trying to squeeze in extra workouts and cut back on portion sizes (which is easy to do when it’s so hot outside). ;)

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34 Brooke June 1, 2011

I love how you identified each “slump” and found solutions for each. I had a baby in February and all has been turned upside down. My sleep and eating habits have been disrupted so my energy levels have dropped. I find it very hard to get any exercise in. I’m going to try your idea of writing it down. Thanks :)

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35 Maria June 1, 2011

“I love how you identified each “slump” and found solutions for each.”

I second that! I like it how you go from feeling bad to indentifying the issues and getting into action. Taking action is for me usually the way to prevent periods of feeling down.
Thanks!

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36 Jen @ keepitsimplefoods.com June 1, 2011

Gorgeously refreshing salad! I’m all about upping the H2O. To make it more fun, I drink a lot of sparkling water with citrus. Yum! I’m also gearing up for engagement photos at the end of the month, so I’m trying to squeeze in extra workouts and cut back on portion sizes (which is easy to do when it’s so hot outside). ;)

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37 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 1, 2011

Woohooo! Well done on your goals for May, Ange! I’d say you’re definitely out of your slump now and going strong! I’ll be posting my goals for June tomorrow, and I’ve tried to keep them fairly well-rounded. Last month I managed to keep my basil plant alive, finish my 100 mile running challenge, as well as a couple of others. Looking forward to a strong June as well – and I think you should be looking forward to some al fresco meals on your fancy almost-finished new deck!! :)

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38 LT June 1, 2011

Hi! I just started reading your blog recently and I love it!
FYI – I wanted to mention, in case this could be your issue too, that about 3 years ago I had sciatic issues caused by my piriformis muscle getting inflamed from running and cycling. It’s apparently very common for runners. Amazingly, it took about 6 months and seeing 3 different chiropractors to realize that it was the piriformis inflammation causing my sciatic pain. (And then a month later, there was an article in Runner’s World about the condition!) It took about 3 weeks of rest and light stretching of the muscle, then easing back into running and cycling, and it hasn’t hurt since. Just google ‘sciatic and piriformis’ and there is a ton of information.

Here’s the Runner’s World article: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-286-289-12630-0,00.html

and another site: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/exercise-sciatic-pain-piriformis-syndrome

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39 Maria June 1, 2011

People think I’m crazy when I tell them that cucumbers are my favorite food. I just love how refreshing they are. I buy a ton, chop them up and keep in the my frig for quick snacking.

Your plating is absolutely beautiful – the colors are so eye-catching!

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40 Nina @ Sweating It June 1, 2011

Awesome post, I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love love love cucumbers in the summer. Also, I think you may have inspired me to try Hot Yoga… I’ve always been curious and you may just have pushed me to do it!

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41 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) June 1, 2011

Beautiful post, Angela!

“Hot yoga was definitely the surprise of May! Little did I know that it would not only be a great stretch, but also a killer strength class. My muscles have gotten so much stronger since I started hot yoga and I prefer it over Body Pump. “–

All of that…YAY! And I am so happy for you! I never want to be the squeaky wheel, the ‘preechy’ one about how great yoga is…people have to find it for themselves. That IS one gift of yoga just manifesting, too, really. But I am sooo happy you found it. And are loving it!

And I totally agree w/ your last bit about slumps and that they’re a way of telling us that something is off track, out of balance, and that we must recenter, refocus, and reexamine things and choices til we get back on track.

So happy to hear you feel back on track. Thank you for your honesty in sharing what’s working for you and what you want to focus on going forward, too.

And thanks for sharing your photography set up. That is BETTER than Santa Claus for me.

The purple placemat/napkin under the bowl is the PERFECT addition to that shot. It’s so Tartlette/Helene. I love it! Beautiful work!

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42 faith @ lovelyascharged June 1, 2011

This is the month that I ditch my scale! I’m terrified but also very sure that its for the best!

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43 thehealthyapron June 1, 2011

I was feeling much the same way in late april/early may. I love how you broke down your goals and aren’t beating yourself up for the ones you didn’t quite fully achieve. I’ve also been in a cooking slump…jsut dont feel it (would rather spend less time on meal prep and more time outside!!) and juicing…love it but also the thought of cleaning it most mornings makes me cringe (we also go through hot/cold patches!)

Hope you have a wonderful week! My main goal for june is to keep loving myself!

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44 Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) June 1, 2011

I want to do 60 min. of physical activity every day (whether it be lifting weights, cardio, going for a light walk, or yoga!).

I also want to take more ME time :) be a little selfish and put myself at the top of my priority list!

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45 Andrea June 1, 2011

What a beautiful cucumber salad! I’m not a huge fan of mint in salads, but I bet if I replaced the mint with dill I would be in love with that refreshing summer salad :) For June, I’m aiming to continue on a trend of going to the Farmer’s Market each Saturday and really incorporating local, seasonal produce into my meals and baking! It’s a fun challenge to buy whatever is in season and then meal-plan around it, I find, and then I get less stuck in a rut. I also want to be outside as much as possible when I’m not working, to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings from beyond the screen of a computer.

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46 McKella June 1, 2011

Mmmmm, I love cucumber. My goals for June include getting more yoga and stillness in my life, experimenting with simple raw food, and going to see the Spiral Jetty. And ringing in my 23rd birthday with a bang!

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47 April @ Grits and Granola Bars June 1, 2011

That looks delicious and perfect for summer. Hot weather always makes me crave light, refreshing meals! :)

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48 Dominique @ being domUnique June 1, 2011

That cucumber salad looks almost too pretty to eat!
As for goals, I’ve been eating a lot healthier and exercising more, but I think I will follow your example and post soon about my goals for June. I’m excited to put them down on paper!

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49 Emily June 1, 2011

Congrats on your goals for May!
I ate a TON of watermelon yesterday to stay hydrated! I find it so much easier to get water through eating than drinking. :)

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50 Grace June 1, 2011

I really connected with some of the things you talked about in this post like too much snacking, not enough structured meals, and noticing that your eating habits tend to worsen when your not exercising – the same thing happens to me! Thanks for the ideas about how to overcome these things and for the inspiration of knowing that I’m not alone!

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51 Grace June 1, 2011

Oh! And your love of hot yoga has definitely convinced me to give it a try!

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52 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn June 1, 2011

Wait I am so obsessed. I am making my mama make this for me!! Haha she has to cook now since I am never going to be around next year, right?

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53 Beth June 1, 2011

One of my June goals is to eat more protein. Your recipes are all awesome and I plan to make some of the high-protein salads to bring in my lunch this month.

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54 Emily E. June 1, 2011

Thanks for sharing your photography set-ups. I’ve been very interested in improving my photography skills, so this is super helpful. (The behind-the-scenes shots actually make the final products seem all the more magical.)

As for goals, I like to focusing less on working out for the sake of burning calories and more for the joy of moving my body. Maybe I need to try a hot yoga class :)

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55 kris (everyday oats) June 1, 2011

I love how light and refreshing so many of your meals tend to be! And to also include hydration!…this time of year is always so easy to get dehydrated since it’s getting hotter out and we’re losing more water than we were during the colder months and we don’t even know it.

Looks like you totally got back on track and achieved those May goals! :)

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56 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed June 1, 2011

Have you thought about getting a TENS machine? It’s covered by insurance most times and is really effective if your injury flares. Just a thought.

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57 Sara (The Veggie-Eco Life) June 1, 2011

Wow! I’m happy for you that you’ve achieved most of your goals AND enjoyed it :) That cucumber salad looks good!

I’m going to start running this month. First I have to go and buy running shoes because my old ones are… well… old and worn-out. And I’m going swimming at least once a month! That’s pretty sporty for me, because I haven’t sported in ages.

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58 Charlie June 1, 2011

I didn’t know what to serve as a side dish with the sandwich I’m making tonight, and then I came here. This salad looks incredible, I loooove cucumber salads with dill in them and the mint & coconut milk must make it even better :).

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59 Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 1, 2011

I love cucumber salads, so I’m definitely going to have to try this version. The little setup you had on the table also reminds me that I haven’t had a cucumber tea sandwich in a while. Hello, craving.

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60 Tori (Fresh Fruition) June 1, 2011

This looks perfect for a summer side! I love cucumber :D

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61 Adriana June 1, 2011

I just “discovered” your beautiful blog. I can’t say it any more simply. You are rad. Me likey!

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62 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

Thanks Adriana!

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63 Jill (JBean Cuisine) June 1, 2011

Looks delicious – love cucumbers and mint – can’t wait to try it.

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64 Angela June 1, 2011

I love looking at bloggers photography set ups. For me I can get a better idea of how I can take better pictures!
For June I hope to not kill my first veggie garden I planted this week!

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65 Kelsey June 1, 2011

I completly agree that it’s easier to eat healthy when you’re exercising! I’ve been injured and it’s been harder to figure out what to eat. And also harder to adjust to needing less calories! I still want to eat the same amount!!

your salad looks great!

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66 Danielle June 1, 2011

This salad doesn’t keep well in the fridge, eh? Looks like I’ll be making it each and every day this summer ;) and I’m only half-kidding. Congrats on your strides made in rebalancing. I do monthly check-ins with myself as well since I know it takes a constant effort to feel our best, and I especially feel like changes with the seasons.

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67 Heather June 1, 2011

My goal for July is to find more of a balance between my relationship, work, friends, blog, exercise and healthy eating. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed!

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68 raechel June 1, 2011

I love your reflections on the slump. Sometimes we need those rejuvenating reboots…It reminds me of all those movies that have makeover montage scenes….if there’s a scene like that–(think “Clueless” makeover of Tye, or, of course, “Pretty Woman”)–I’m pretty much guaranteed to love the movie. I think it’s because I connect to that feeling of having a “new start.” love it!

Quick question about your workouts. I have a LOT of trouble taking a “rest day.” My daily morning exercise is for me what coffee is for most people. I feel terrible if I don’t start my day with sweat and endorphins! How important is a rest day, and how do you deal with that “not-worked-out” feeling?

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69 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

The amoutn of rest you need really depends on the type of exercise you are doing and also your body’s needs. :) It will be different for everyone. I know many people (myself included) who enjoy light walking on some rest days when I feel like I want to be active.

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70 AGS @ WestWithFlight June 1, 2011

So good to see you achieving goals. . . and discovering new joys.

Goals for June

Exercise: I had a baby on 4/27, and have gradually been easing back into exercise. I’m back to 45-60 minutes of weights and moderate cardio (walking). My main goal for June is to start intervals (running/walking) so that I can begin running regularly again in July. My overall goal is to get my abs back — hard to believe that 1 year ago at this time I practically had a 6-pack.

Nutrition: In line with that is eating regularly. For the first time in my life, I am so busy with baby, that I don’t think I’m eating enough to build muscle (losing weight too fast, too!). My goal is to eat 5 small meals a day to keep up energy and build muscle, so I am working to make ahead 2-3 easy dinner dishes on the weekends, as well as stock up on easy to eat foods for breakfast and lunch.

Generally: I am working to keep focus on how my clothes fit and over-all progress. It is hard to see some of the changes in my body, and it takes effort not to say critical things to myself when I see my stretched abs. I’m committing to actually *smiling* when I see my reflection in the mirror. I find that my mood tends to follow what my body does, so I hope this will help change my negative frame of mind toward this body part.

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71 Wendy Irene June 1, 2011

I love that your biggest gain for May was improving inner peace and self-love! That is truly beautiful! Have a great day :)

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72 Charissa June 1, 2011

I’m crazy about cukes too…I think if I had to live off of one vegetable I would pick cucumbers! Thanks for the recipe!

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73 Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble June 1, 2011

Cucumbers are so refreshing and hydrating during the warm months. I just love eating veggies when it’s nice out!

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74 Nichole (Flirting with Food, Fitness & Fashion) June 1, 2011

I love cucumbers and I am so excited to grow some in my new garden :)

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75 Katherine June 1, 2011

Okay, I can’t take it anymore! I must make this when I get back!

O, and BTW I am leaving for Guatemala in 13 hours, so I won’t be commenting on your blog for a good 10 days. Sorry to leave you, but I will have a massive post when I get back :)

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76 Olya June 1, 2011

I love your set up for a photoshoot more than the photos themselves. It reminded me a summer lunch in a suburban cottage for some reason.

My goal for June is to stick to running and eat more fresh vegetables. Oh… and to snack less and get hungry for proper meals.

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77 Elizabeth@The Sweet Life June 1, 2011

Such a gorgeous photo set up!

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78 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes June 1, 2011

This looks so refreshing! Perfect on a hot summers day!

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79 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather June 1, 2011

This looks perfect for hot summer days! I have so much mint growing I need something to do with it… Other than mojitos ;)

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80 birdie to be June 1, 2011

I need to get back into hot yoga too! You are very motivated! And that salad looks so refreshing right now!

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81 Colleen June 1, 2011

AHH you just ruined the magic of your beautiful photos by revealing the “behind the scenes”! haha just kidding!!! That cucumber mint salad is a terrific idea, sounds so refreshing now that it’s getting SO hot outside :)

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82 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2011

I like to keep it real with my photography! lol

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83 Beth (Well I'll Be) June 1, 2011

I love that you achieved something not even on your list of goals. I guess that happens when we make a conscious effort towards self improvement. I’m glad you are feeling better and out of slump land! My goals in June are to start running more to prepare for half marathon training! ahh!

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84 Gina (Yogattude) June 1, 2011

“Improving inner peace and self-love” – I truly believe that yoga is the segway to finding this. Over the past 5 months, I have made a huge shift in my self image and self-love through yoga teacher training. I am much more confident and willing to share myself with others. People in my life have recognized this shift in my way of being and I feel like they actually are getting the real me and I am so much happier!

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85 Sara June 1, 2011

Whoa, I can definitely relate to your slump! I recently went on vacation and when I got back, I realized that I had let myself get too routine with my eating and workouts, and I needed to change things up asap (and LOOSEN up!). Since then I’ve explored new recipes, given myself more slack in choosing exercise that feels right for me that day, and made it a point to check in with myself often and eat according to my hunger (no matter what time of day!). I felt a million times better in a matter of days, my energy is back up and my mood has shifted in a most desirable way. I’m back in my groove. :)

Speaking of new recipes, I wanted to let you know that I now make your 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta for everyone I know, because it is just so good. I’m actually making it for a friend tonight! I did the Vegetable and Edamame version last night with great success. I picked up stuff to try some of your VOO recipes today, and my boyfriend is so impressed with your recipes that when I asked him what he was up to this afternoon via text message, he told me that he was searching online for vegan recipes to try. (!!!) You have inspired us to expand our cooking adventures and our love of healthy eating, so for that I THANK YOU. Your blog is one of my absolute favorites for healthy living, and I really appreciate your honesty and openness.

xo

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86 Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 1, 2011

what a beautiful salad! And I love that placemat!

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87 kaila @ healthy helper! June 1, 2011

Looks like you did a great job with your goals! Congrats on all the progress!

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88 {{well in l.a.}} June 1, 2011

Love this! I have two clients/friends who can very much benefit from this post. One has been very sick for a month – getting back to health and doing all she was before is a priority. The second client – I’m recommending she dig through your recipe archives! She’s coming off a 21-day guided cleanse and the next part is to transition into making healthy meals on her own. Thanks for the great recipes and great advice on getting back to health. Good luck to you and your intentions for June!

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89 JenATX June 1, 2011

inner peace and self love are always the best outcome :)
My goal for June is to drink less. I don’t thinking drinking socially is a big deal, but if I go out for happy hour one night, have champagne at brunch one day, have a few beers on the lake on the weekend, it definitely adds up. I think I can accomplish this by savoring my drinks and really enjoying what I have in front of me rather than just slurping it down. This is my approach to ensuring that I’m eating mindfully, so I trust that it will also work well for drinking mindfully :)

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90 Jen @newellnd June 1, 2011

I have so much I want to accomplish in June but at the top of my list is to build my naturopathic patient base and to really develop a brand for myself. I hope to do this my networking with people who share my view of health and wellness, to offer free seminars about topics I am passionate about and to organize “tea parties” where people can gather their friends and family and ask questions about naturopathic medicine and their health goals in a casual and relaxed setting.
Additionally I want to improve my professional blog to make it more engaging, relatable and visually appealing.

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91 Dee June 1, 2011

What a great post Angela! And oh what do I not want to accomplish in June? It’s a little overwhelming. Lol. By the way, I totally feel you on the working out makes me eat healthier wagon. I honestly thought I was the only one! I’ve been sick so many times these past couple of months and it’s been really tough trying to get back on track!

Oh yeah… my goals for June. (hehe)
– drink 8 at least 8 glasses of water a day
– start working out at least 3 times a week.
– get at least 8 hours of sleep a day
– create a vision board (I know, I’m so late on this)
– have a clear focus and be less distracted

I think that’s it. Ha. I think I’m reaching a little too high, but better to have a clear goal in mind right? What was it that they say? “If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?” – Basil Walsh

Good on you for taking action in getting out of your slump!

ps. This salad looks amazing!

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92 Amanda Jewell @ Science&Bananas June 1, 2011

I’ve been terrible with my water consumption lately! Definitely need to work on that! I’m actually doing a post on my June goals tomorrow too! But I have to say, inner peace will always be one of them! <3
P.S. love your table cloth! It's so cute! But I'm a sucker for anything purple too :-)

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93 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 1, 2011

Congrats on all your success with your goals this month! It always feels so good to get out of a slump. It really makes me appreciate my healthy lifestyle and makes me want to put the effort into maintaining it!

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94 Margaret June 1, 2011

I think improving inner peace and self love is the most important goal. When they are present, everything else is so much easier to achieve.
Thank you for this post Angela. I’m still in a slump from my sciatic injury and I really needed to read this. :)

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95 Kate June 1, 2011

I love the idea of monthly goals, they seem so much more attainable that way. Plus if it seems unrealistic after a few weeks, you can tweak it again soon. Great idea! I’m going to try this.

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96 Cait's a Runnerchick June 1, 2011

Thank you for posting how you were able to take charge of that slump and push yourself out of it. I know we all feel like we are in a rut sometimes but in the midst of it we can feel so overwhelmed and like we don’t know exactly how to make ourselves feel better. I’m sort of stuck there myself, but I’m a list person, and seeing you take it down to concrete goals has shown me it’s time to do the same. So thank you again, and as for you I’d say your month of May was a success; most importantly you FEEL better and back on track…so congrats on that and I’m sure June will only be brighter. :)

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97 O.C. June 1, 2011

That salad looks so good! It would be perfect after a hot yoga class to rehydrate and refule.
My goals for June are to ditch my scale, drink more water, eat more healthy fats and raw food, run more, and finally get my driver’s lisence!!

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98 Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks June 1, 2011

It was inspiring to read your goals/outcomes! Two of my fitness goals for June: Take a hot yoga class, and run 5 miles at once!

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99 Denise June 1, 2011

I just wanted to say thank you. I look to your website frequently. I am trying to change my eating habits and struggle. I want to eat more vegetarian meals but being that this is all new to me I find it a constant battle. I struggle with kids who are picky eaters, a husband who is willing to eat vegetarian and a very busy life style. I have tried your recipes and have not ever been disappointed! I made your enchiladas with the creamy avacado sauce this evening. My hubby was the only one who tried (the kids were reluctant, although the youngest tried but said it was too hot and spicy and spit it out)……I will continue to try changing my ways daily. Thank you for your website and your inspirations!

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100 amy June 1, 2011

My goals for June are to focus on a raw fruit and veggie diet and get back to running

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101 Casey Thomas June 1, 2011

I’m a coach so I help clients move towards their health and lifestyle goals and really achieve them and cement them, so I loved seeing you writing here that making small goals and taking a step by step process as it’s definitely what works best! You achieve so much more for far longer when it’s not the all or nothing approach.

Thanks for sharing Angela!

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102 Nish June 1, 2011

This was such a brilliant post! I’m a college freshman (in Australia) so we’re just about to finish exams. I’ve been feeling awful for about the whole later half of the semester, and I think its because I haven’t been eating well or really exercising at all (at most like once a week). But this post has given me an idea on how I can get back on track with food and exercise. Thank you!

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103 Lena June 1, 2011

My goals for June:

Go to Superfit regularly 3x per week (a group-personal training place that does cardiovascular endurance circuit training)
Start each day with protein
Continue to experiment gleefully with cooking with whole foods as much as possible
Continue to work to get over my fear of vegetables

To that end, I just had my first ever Green Monster! I’m home for the summer, and I actually made my mom make it with me because I was too scared to do it on my own. But it was pretty darn good! I’m so very very pleased to have just given my body all of that amazing nutrients in such a harmless package, and am very excited to try out some of the fancified ones. I have my eye on the pumpkin pie and chocolate-pb ones, in particular…

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104 zoe (and the beatles) June 1, 2011

i think you took the words right out of my mouth! may was a rough month. my veggie intake wasn’t so great, my exercise habits fell a bit to the way side, and i felt way of out balance. but i did get back in touch with myself and learned i have a lot of self loving to practice! i’m using june to turn it all around. i agree — consistent movement always leads me to a consistently healthy diet. here’s to a new month and new goals. good luck, angela :)!

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105 Justeen @ Blissful Baking June 1, 2011

It looks like you did pretty well with your May goals! I like your idea of setting goals for each month – I think I will try it for June.

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106 Colleen June 1, 2011

Yum, I can’t wait to make that cucumber salad! Thanks for sharing your goals updates; it’s encouraging to know what a difference a month can make. I’m striving to get back on track with my strength training this month.

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107 Amy June 1, 2011

Thank you! I have been in a slump for easily the last month and have been looking, unsuccessfully, for ways to get out of it – beginning of a new month and a new season seems like a good time to try your tricks!

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108 Alaina June 1, 2011

I just wrote a post about my slump in the winter and how I’m trying to pick myself up in June. :-) I’m hoping to be in more of a routine. I want to go to the gym more, cook more, just enjoy life more.

And I think I can start by making this delicious salad.

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109 Moni'sMeals June 1, 2011

what a nice recap of your last month. you sure did go through a lot (injury, etc.), yet you stayed so positive from what we could see. :)

I adore cucumbers and this is perfect for me. I have all the ingredients, maybe tommorow?

:)

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110 Lee June 2, 2011

Ang- This is a beautiful post! I love the photo session set up! You really know how to make your food look beautiful.
-Lee

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111 Brenda June 2, 2011

I really enjoyed this post. I just found out, after 4 weeks of my body being numb, that I have a bulging disc in my neck. This has put me in a major slump. My anxiety is through the roof. I’m afraid to do anything all of a sudden. I haven’t seen a specialist yet. But I’m going through the same thing-no exercise and a poor diet. I don’t want veggies, I don’t want smoothies. I want chips and crackers. I noticed that you made goals after your injury was better. Did you do anything to help yourself while you we still injured?

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112 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 2, 2011

I believe I still tried to create goals for things that I COULD do even when injured. For example, I could challenge myself to have a certain number of veggie servings a day or do weight lifting on my arms…that sort of thing. It helps to stay positive to think about what you can do instead of what you cant. :) Hope you heal quickly!

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113 Brenda June 2, 2011

One more thing…what do you use to juice your veggies?

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114 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 2, 2011

I use a Breville Fountain juicer :) it’s decent…but still struggles with beets and such.

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115 The Teenage Taste June 2, 2011

Glad to hear you accomplished almost all of your May goals. Congrats! :-D

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116 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh June 2, 2011

I wish I liked cucumber, that looks really good! What do you mean Santa doesn’t exist? :-) But I’m glad you revealed your little secret, it makes me feel less inadequate in my set up. You just have these visions that people who take pics as nice as you do having these elaborate set ups that you could never replicate or a big studio. Congrats on reaching your May goal…on to June! Woo hoo!

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117 tweal June 2, 2011

I love cucumbers! They are the perfect summer food – next to watermelon, that is.

My June goal is to enjoy summer and have fun! Oh and maybe exercise a bit more too.

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118 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 2, 2011

Slumps definitely happen! When I was in my first trimester I lost all desire to cook anything and it scared me! Luckily, time passed and the motivation to get in the kitchen came back.
I love developing a game plan to get back on track, like you did. I find plans inspirational :)

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119 Janelle June 2, 2011

I hate cleaning the juicer too and if I don’t start the day with a green juice, that is usually the reason why…I don’t have time to clean it afterwards!! My solution? I buy a bunch of produce and juice it all on one day, then freeze in medium glass jars so I can take one out the night before I want a juice and voila…a delicious, refreshing green juice every morning of the week with only one day of clean up!!

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120 Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers June 2, 2011

I can’t imagine you eating more veggies! haha. I’m happy your goals worked out for you. Oh, and I feel ya about cleaning the machine. That’s one thing that keeps me from making more smoothies & GMs.

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121 Dolores June 2, 2011

I June I hope to finally get rid of my anxiety attacks that I have been having. I hope to exercise more and incorporate more hot yoga and high intensity cardio and weight training to my life. I hope to eat more greens and fruits and no meat… I probably could make it by being veganarian! (my own made up word) ha! And drink way more green juices!!! Congrats on achieveing your goals!

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122 VeggieGirl June 2, 2011

Thank you for your honesty about your goals and achieving them :D I was feeling a little low about not achieving my may goal but its nice to see that even one of my fitness idols struggles a bit with cooking etc- though you def. outdid me on the elliptical front!

I’ve had a crazy month of college/work etc, and though I maintained my weight I didnt hit my target loss for this month- – but I can just try harder this month and I will take your idea of identifying my slumps and getting through them!

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123 judee@glutenfreeA-Z Blog June 2, 2011

I love how wonderful you look and how honest you are about managing your life. I find for me exercise is paramount to eating well and I am beginning to realize the live food gives me energy while cooked food often drains it and makes me crave more and more and more! After many years of struglling , I might go raw! yikes because I don’t know where to begin.
I love your recipe, your pictures, your glow.. thanks for a great blog..

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124 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 2, 2011

Thanks so much…goodluck with your goals!

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125 Pam June 2, 2011

The cucumber salad looks delicious!!! And I love the setup–beautiful!
This month I hope to eliminate Coke from my diet and drink much more water; do more hot yoga and try rock climbing for the first time; and finish decluttering my bedroom (moved back to my parents’ house temporarily and live in the bedroom I grew up in…I’ve been cleaning it for 3 months and have made good progress but I’ve hit a plateau of productivity!!!). :)

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126 Ellie@fitforthesoul June 2, 2011

I agree that meal planning can be pretty tough. have a beautiful day!

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127 Running With Mascara June 2, 2011

Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Way to go with all the progress you’ve made in accomplishing your goals. Its always a great idea to write them out and see how far you’ve really come!

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128 Angel7 June 2, 2011

You are so right when you say “that slumps aren’t always a bad thing; they tell us that something is out of balance and we need to change.” I have come to realize that.

I hope to get in better shape in June.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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129 Kate @Operation Commencement June 2, 2011

Meal planning has always been something that I have struggled with in the past but I am going to try to make that my June goal :)

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130 France @beyondthepeel June 2, 2011

I love refreshing cucumber in salads. This time of the year begs for it. We just made a lovely cucumber fennel salad that really hits the spot. Great recipe

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131 OutToLunchC June 2, 2011

I liked seeing your setup! I’m trying to learn food photography and I have always admired your pictures.I would love to see more set up pictures in the future.

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132 Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup June 2, 2011

Drink more WATER! I have been so bad about this lately. And to start taking my vitamins everyday! I can’t wait to try that cucumber salad — Looks so refreshing :)

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133 The Food Placebo June 3, 2011

We are too totally different people living in very different places doing the exact same thing.

I run a lot and I LOVE to cook. I was super skeptical about yoga classes, but couldn’t get over a stupid IT band injury and ended up having to back out of running the Nashville marathon at the end of April. Very upset and couldn’t figure out a way to get in some good strengthening, strengthening and cardio here in Memphis, TN. (Recently moved here from a much more up and coming city..not a whole lot of options for classes here).

Well I found it! I stared Bikram Yoga May 6th (1 day before you started yours..so crazy!) and Have not looked back! I’ve gone 6/wk since then and just signed up for 3 month unlimited. I’ve run once since then and still have a little pain so I sticking to those 90 minute sweat sessions for the time being!

Just couldn’t help but pointing out the coincidence! Sometimes when you going through a slump its good to know that there are plenty others of us out there working through similar things! Wrote a post on how much I’ve seen change in just ONE month of yoga: http://thefoodplacebo.blogspot.com/2011/05/bikram-yoga.html

I really love coming to read your blog, because we really do have so many similar interests and dislikes (Like yoga before trying…!)

Thanks!

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134 April June 4, 2011

I just want to say thank you for all your inspiration! You are an amazing person. I love your site, love the daily emails I receive and LOVE your recipes. I just came from our farmers market here in Calgary and cannot wait to try this new recipe! I am sure it will be just as delicious as the rest :)
Have a great weekend
Cheers!

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135 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 4, 2011

Thank you April! :)

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136 kristy July 3, 2012

I know this is an older recipe, but a tip on cucumber salads that will make them last for up to three days is to sweat the cucumbers. After slicing them, toss with a bit of kosher or sea salt in a collandar and fill a ziploc bag with water and set on top of them for 30 minutes. It will pull extra moisture and allow the cucumbers to be crisp for several days. :-)

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137 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 4, 2012

Thanks for the tip, I will try that!

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138 Ester November 6, 2012

This salad taste really goooood! the dressing makes it amazing. I don’t have mint leaves, so I am using cilantro n it came out so delicious!

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