If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably heard me whining about having the flu this past week. I rarely get sick (one of the many benefits of working from home), so when I do, I’m a miserable bundle of pitifulness.
Not to toot my own horn (okay, a little bit—toot), but I kinda have a rockstar immune system. It wasn’t always that way. I used to get sick all the time, but a switch to a healthier lifestyle—eating better, staying hydrated, sleeping more, drinking less, exercising, quitting a stressful job—really had a huge impact on my immunity. I went from getting stuck-in-bed sick once a month to maybe catching the sniffles once a year. It was like night and day.
Unfortunately, I’ve been slacking on my immune-boosting ways lately, and like clockwork, as soon as I stopped acting healthy, I stopped being healthy and came down with this ickiness. Sleep has been in short-supply (um, hello, new mom here), and I have been indulging in way more cookies than I planned (I know, I only have myself to blame for that one). I’ve also been really bad about drinking water. I used to be so good at it, but I’ve let that one slip. And my biggest stumbling block? I haven’t been getting in my fruits and veggies. With December being the crazy month that it is, I’ve been opting for fast options in the kitchen, and often, that doesn’t involve fruits and veggies.
Put all this together, plus the fact that Indiana is a flu hotspot right now, and I pretty much sent a hand-addressed invitation to the flu virus to come set up shop in my body.
But the awesome thing about healthy living is you’re never out of the game. Even if you’ve eaten your weight in cookies, forgotten what a water bottle looks like, and haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a year, you can still pick back up and benefit from healthy choices. Sure, I might not have been able to stave off the flu, but I was able to turn around and fuel my body to help fight it off. I put away the cookies (mostly), filled up my water bottle, and filled up my plate with veggies! And I am feeling much, much better.
I call this salad the December Detox Salad because even if you don’t get sick during the month of December, I think a lot of people need a little bit of detoxing from the indulgence right around this point in the month. Many of you have already had holiday parties and cookie exchanges and family gatherings—and your holiday cheer might be feeling a bit lethargic. I’m, for one, okay with the overindulgence that is the holidays. I think it’s perfectly fine (and healthy!) to enjoy some Christmas cheer, but I also think all that indulging can be a bit taxing after a while. It’s nice to step back from the cookies, and instead enjoy a nice, healthy detox salad to right the ship.
I love the combination of this salad because it has so many elements that will help you get back on track. A bed of greens that are packed with vitamins, minerals and iron. Hydrating cucumbers (for those of us who have been skipping the water glass). Protein and omega-3s in the form of chia seeds, which will not only help keep your brain sharp, but also help you stay hydrated. Fresh blueberries and carrots which are both excellent sources of vitamin C—an important nutrient to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. And creamy avocado, which is packed with healthy fats that will help keep you full. The detox salad is dressed with one of our favorite salad dressings—a creamy lemon-sesame dressing that is full of flavor and is good for you!