Vegan Crunchy Thai Green Salad–Eating Healthy thru Christmas-or Not?

by Julie on December 9, 2010

With Christmas nearing and all of the wonderfully tempting goodies that go along with the season, I thought we could talk about how to eat leading up to the big day and how to zig and zag with out ending up sick 2 weeks afterward in January like a large percentage of the population.  So…. how about we start with today.  What are you having for lunch or dinner that is really healthy? A big salad for me and one with a super duper crunch bursting with flavour.  Just because I want to be super healthy heading into Christmas celebrations doesn’t mean I sacrifice flavour or texture.  This salad is full of individual flavours that work well together as a really tasty salad that people will remember and want again.  It is often made with fish sauce but I managed to tweak a recipe that turns it into a tasty vegan version.  It has lots of cilantro and fresh mint which I just can’t get enough of.  Let me know what you think.  I’ll talk more on eating before and during the holidays after the recipe.

Fresh cilantro and mint…..

napa cabbage and crunchy jicama….

…..and peppery watercress and bok choy…Yum!

Vegan Crunchy Thai Green Salad
Yield: 4 large salads or 6 nice side salads
2 small bok choy, chopped into bite size slices
6 leaves napa cabbage or sui choy, chopped into bite size slices
1 small bunch water cress, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups jicama, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, thinly sliced length wise and into 2″ lengths
For the dressing-yields approx 5/8 cup
3  3/4 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (approx 1 large lime)
4 garlic cloves,minced or crushed
4  1/2 tbsp braggs liquid aminos
1 tbsp agave syrup
1  1/2 tsp finely minced jalapeno pepper
Combine all veggies in a large salad bowl. In a measuring cup mix all dressing ingredients well and let stand 5-10 mins for flavours to meld.  Toss salad with dressing just before serving.  If you won’t be eating the entire salad refrigerate the greens separate from the dressing.  Dressing will keep 2-3 days in fridge as will the greens.

The napa cabbage is mild, sweet, crunchy and a little leafy making a great base for the salad.  It takes on the flavour of the dressing quite nicely.  The bok choy is a bright juicy addition and combined with the herbs and peppery watercress make for a yummy combination.  When you mix up the dressing be sure to taste it before tossing on the salad to be sure it has a nice balance of sweet, sour, hot and spicy.  Adjust the flavours accordingly but carefully.  Achieving a balance here can be tricky so measure carefully and mix well, allowing the ingredients to mingle.  A salad of all these incredible greens is filled with chlorophyl, essential minerals and vitamins that will stoke you up for the holidays.

If you love this salad it’s easy to whip up a batch of greens and dressing and have it handy in the fridge for a quick toss of a green salad before heading out to a party. As Christmas approaches do your best to eat extra healthy with lots of greens and a high alkaline balance. Only splurge when it’s important to you, not just because. This way you will feel more comfortable at key gatherings when you zig and zag and your body will be better prepared for the imbalance that will occur. Conscious eating is a learned habit and an essential skill for optimal health.

Eating Healthy Thru Christmas–or Not?
Celebrations thru the holidays always seem to revolve around food and so they should.  Family time, friendships, good times and sad times are shared thru special meals and often lengthy table talk.  It’s a part of life, a strong tradition of many centuries in most every culture–a common human thread.  All the more reason we want to be able to join in the celebration even if we have a varied lifestyle diet.  It can be tempting to toss all efforts of a healthy lifestyle aside for the sake of conforming or not being able to resist the vast array of sweets or unhealthy offerings.  A few suggestions to curb the temptation or to avoid complete abandonment of lifestyle is to 1. eat your healthy options at home before you head to the party  2. fill up on the healthy options at the party before you splurge on the treats and see if you still desire it, if so go for it but you most likely will eat less.  3. leading up to the gathering do good by making healthy choices during the day, especially for breakfast since a poor breakky can stimulate unwanted cravings for the entire day  4.  go easy on the alcohol by drinking equal or more parts water as this will also curb your appetite and keep you in good judgment-eating consciously versus….unconsciously??

All in all, enjoy the holidays with your family & friends and do your best not to be judgmental of their eating habits or their festive offerings.  Living by example is the best and most gracious way to inspire healthy eating, don’t you think?  For those that do go on a serious holiday bender, January is a sad month with sniffles thru to sinus infections and the so called “flu” or even worse ailments depending on ones state of health prior to Christmas.  Anyone who has eaten consciously or alkaline can attest to not feeling the January sickness blues because our immune system is so in tune and healthy that we can easily flush the toxins from our bodies.  However, with the inevitable holiday over indulgence, the January illness is always predicted.  The marketing of millions of flu shots prepared months in advance for, is a given, as these pharmaceutical companies know that it is big business when everyone is full of holiday cheer and are about to fall ill.  The flu shot pretty much doesn’t work, if anything, the acidic toxic drugs make you more susceptible.  If you find yourself feeling a little under the weather from over indulging (it happens-don’t worry) the best thing you can do is skip the drugs , super hydrate your body with filtered or preferably alkaline water, super greens in your water, and for sure the pHor salts that are the key minerals your body needs to quickly alkalize and eliminate the toxins quickly before other symptoms develop….and eat your veggies, especially the raw green ones!  By doing so you will quickly upgrade your immune system giving it exactly what it is craving so it can work to return you to optimal energy and health.  Juicing your veggies daily is highly recommended and perhaps even a juice feast where only juiced veggies are consumed for a few days is needed.  You will know best, listen to your body.

If you have kids I recommend assisting them in making good choices and trying to do more of a balancing act, suggesting equal veggies and water for each treat.  I find with my kids they are willing to eat a few cucumbers so that they can have a treat, or drink an extra glass of chlorophyl so that they can enjoy a hot chocolate.  Just do what works and try to pay gentle attention to their consumption as you may pay for it dearly come January, or even sooner with kids, as their system tends to bog down much quicker for their small bodies.

Most of all, be good to yourself.  If you do really splurge, don’t beat yourself up.  The stress of worrying about spilt milk can be more damaging and acidic for your body than the food itself.  Instead, take action and do what you need to do in order to feel good and energized again. It’s okay to zig and zag and it’s all the more fun when you are consciously enjoying yourself and you also are empowered with the knowledge of how to regain your energy.
Eat healthy. Think healthy. Be healthy.  Zig and Zag a little….. but most of all, Enjoy this festive holiday season!

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