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.
Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing
Yield: 2 servings
- 2 English cucumbers (or type of your choice), chopped
- 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2-3 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (Stir can well before measuring out)
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder, for slight thickening (optional)
1. Chop the cucumbers, red onion, 1/4 cup packed fresh mint, and dill. Place into large bowl and combine.
2. In a food processor, make the dressing by processing the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk, mint, olive oil, lime juice, agave, salt, optional arrowroot powder). Process until mostly smooth (tiny mint speckles will remain).
3. Pour the dressing onto the cucumber salad and mix well. Chill for an hour or two or serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.
Note: Salad does not keep well overnight in the fridge (it gets a bit watery), so I suggest eating it the same day.
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!
My set up:
I know, it’s like finding out Santa Claus doesn’t exist right? ;)
Back on Track Month Recap
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:
|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.
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?