Spinach Salad with Baked Pears

I’m lovin’ this delicious salad made with sweet baked pears, salty blue cheese, and crunchy pecans, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette!   

I was asked by my friends at the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network to participate in the #tastetruvia campaign.  I received Truvia samples and was compensated for my time. I really didn’t need any samples because I have a ton of the stuff already in my pantry.  I use Truvia at home quite a bit, but not for what you would think. Since I’m the self-proclaimed worst baker on the planet, I use it more in my everyday cooking rather than baked treats.

Since I’m always thinking of ways to reduce my sugar intake, Truvia is a natural go-to. Sugar is definitely something that causes a lot of problems for my clients. For most of them, the more sugar they eat, the more sugar they want. If I’m able to find clean ways to help them enjoy sweet foods without taking in a lot of sugar, I’m all for it. I always recommend Truvia for my Nourish participants, too.

I mostly love using stevia in salad dressings and sauces. The vinaigrette in this scrumptious pear salad is a staple at my house. Most vinaigrettes benefit from a little hit of sweet to counteract the acid from the vinegar and Truvia is the perfect way to get the sweet taste without the added sugar. One packet of Truvia provides the same sweetness as two teaspoons of real sugar, so a little goes a long way!

The baked pears definitely benefit from a toss in some coconut oil and a little Truvia. Start with firm pears and watch as they roast up into sweet and delicious morsels of yum.

Truvia is a natural, great-tasting, zero-calorie sweetener made with stevia leaf extract, the sweetest part of the stevia leaf.  I love that Truvia comes in both a spoonable container and throw-in-your-purse packets. It’s pretty convenient, too. You can find it at most national grocery stores — even Target!

I made this pear salad for my husband as a special treat for lunch. We both work from home and he loves being my taster when I’m creating new recipes. He also loves all things sweet so I knew the baked pears in the salad would be right up his alley. I’m thinking it would be perfect with a grilled salmon filet for MY lunch, too!

Here’s how I made it:

Spinach Salad with Baked Pears

Serving Size: 1

Spinach Salad with Baked Pears

Ingredients

    For the Dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 packet Truvía® Natural Sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Pears:
  • 1 firm Anjou, Bartlett, or Asian Pear, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pecans
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. For the Baked Pears: Preheat oven to 350. Peel and halve the pear lengthwise. Remove the core with a paring knife. Set each half cut-side down and slice lengthwise into fifths. Melt coconut oil and toss pears with oil and 1/2 packet of Truvia. Arrange pears in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet or dish and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Let pears cool while preparing salad.
  2. For the dressing: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, remaining half of Truvia packet, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Layer spinach, pecans, and blue cheese in a serving bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss gently to combine; top with cooled pears. Serve immediately.
http://foodconfidence.com/2017/01/18/spinach-salad-with-baked-pears/

Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nourish

taglinenourishYou’re skeptical. I get it. I would be, too. What can my program do for you that you haven’t already done? How is different from those “other” programs out there (hint: they don’t have me)? Perhaps you’ve tried it all and nothing seems to work. Well, it’s time for a change!

If you think you know what my Nourish program is about, here’s what you might not know:

1: It’s Not a Diet

At all. It’s a way to learn a ton about your body and how it reacts to the food you are eating. Yes, we give up stuff…but not for the reasons you think. We give up the foods that are probably making you sick, tired, and unable to lose weight. We do this so you can figure out if these foods are messing with your digestion. Once you know this, you can start to heal. It’s not about following a strict plan or eating like I eat, it’s about learning to eat the way your body wants to eat.

2: You Can Do Anything For 21 Days

That’s right. You are more powerful than you think. Once you get off refined food, stimulants, and sugar  you’ll be surprised how easy it is and you will love how awesome you feel. You’ll even save money because you won’t be relying on other people to cook your food. No more fast food or take-out to feed yourself.  You know what your current diet is doing for you, give me just 21 days and discover a new way of eating.

3: What You Put In is More Important Then What You Take Out

All those “other” programs focus more on restricting and focusing mainly on what you’re not eating. I don’t care as much about that. I care what you ARE eating. Removing entire food groups is easy. Of course you’ll lose weight that way, you end up eating less calories. But is it sustainable? Should you do this long-term? What’s the health benefit? And most importantly, what are you replacing these foods with?  Nourish teaches you how to feel full and satisfied on less food, no deprivation required.

4: You Won’t Die Without Your Coffee

You really won’t, I promise. The way I see it this: coffee is good for you, unless it’s not. It’s really that simple. If you have IBS, leaky gut, or reflux, it might not be your friend. Learn how you feel without your daily cup of Joe and then make an informed decision about it. Still not convinced? See #2.

5: Vegetables Can Taste Good

If your daily repertoire consists of a small side of steamed broccoli, I’m talking to you. You can expand your horizons and learn how to prepare crave-worthy veggie dishes. By learning a few chef-inspired tips and tricks, vegetables can be delicious! Beyond taste, veggies are your secret weapon to living a healthy life in a body you love. Give yourself a chance to learn to love veggies!

6: You Don’t Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight

When you’re eating clean, calorie counting is often not necessary. When you choose clean, nutrient-rich food you will rely less on will power. Why? Because nutrients in your food signal satiety in your brain. Highly refined and processed foods lack these signaling nutrients. You know this because you can eat serving after serving of them and never feel satisfied. Calorie rich food does not always equal fullness, but nutrient rich food does! Nourish will prove this point to you over and over again.

7: You Don’t Need All That Protein

Protein is important but we try way too hard to get it. Guess what? If you’re eating enough, you’re likely getting enough. Let’s put that same effort toward getting in leafy greens and vegetables and see what amazing things happen. Nourish teaches you how to create a balanced plate so there’s never a question of “how much should I eat”?

8: Fruit Doesn’t Make You Fat

Let me just say this, fruit is not your problem.

9: Carbs Are Not Evil. And Neither Is Gluten (well maybe…)

Poor carbs, they are such an easy target. And yes, they can be devoid of nutrients and full of empty calories. They can also be so high in gluten they are making you sick. But this is not the case for everyone. In fact, it’s not the case for most people. Most of us can eat the heck out of carbs and feel perfectly fine. Can you? It’s worth the effort to find out.

10: It Could Change Your Life, If You Let It

What you feed yourself day to day might be the most important decisions you make in your life. These choices can have profound effects. They can make you sick or keep you well. Changing your diet changes your outlook and that can change your life. If you let it. Nourish will help you take that first step.

Are you ready?

Prep week starts January 16th. Learn more and get all the details right here.

Remember, you can participate from anywhere in the world, on your time.

My three words for 2017. Try this instead of resolutions this year!

My Three Words: 2017

 

My three words for 2017. Try this instead of resolutions this year!

Choose Three Words for Success in 2017

Since 2011 I have practiced something called Three Words. Every January, instead of creating resolutions, I decide on three words. These three words become a theme for my efforts in the year to come. I mostly use the words to guide my business; I say yes to projects, make decisions, and plan my time around my words. I keep the words on my computer or near my desk and they prompt me to make a focused choice.

As the years have gone by, my business life and my home life have morphed into one. This tends to happen when you work for yourself and you work from home.  As a result, my three words have taken on dual meanings to reflect both my personal and my professional life.

The best part of this process is looking back on December 31st and analyzing how my words helped to shape the past year, and whether they influenced my decisions. Before I reveal my three words for 2017, let’s take a look at my 3 words from 2016 and recap how I did.

My three words for 2016 were:  Share ♦ Build ♦ Better

How did I do? Let’s take a look:

I think I lived my words fairly well. I definitely Shared and Built in 2016! I set out to build a little place online that’s about giving and helping and not getting, and I think that’s what I accomplished.  I built a wonderful food confidence community on Facebook and I share much more than I ask. I feel comfortable sharing my work there and the work of my great colleagues, and it’s become a trusted place for my clients and community to share their successes and fears.

With Better, I wanted to focus on what was working and make it better.  Although I did create an entirely new program called Nourish for Life in 2016, my intention was to make what was working with my 21 Day Nourish even better. Nourish for Life is going to be my main focus in 2017. Not only by making it a life-changing program for my current participants, but as a new way of getting healthy for good, for everyone!

So what’s in store for the coming year?

My three words for 2017 are:  Surrender  ♦ Replenish ♦ Abundance

Surrender – Oh this is a BIG one! I am a worrier. And I stress. I also never think I’m doing enough. Well, in 2017 I am going to surrender. Surrender to what life throws my way, surrender to what is, and just be present. I’m going to put down the heavy load of my hopes, dreams, fears, and opinions about how things should be and allow myself to be guided by what’s happening in the moment. I know, it’s a super tall order, but for me, it’s time.

Replenish –  I’m going to make decisions, choose projects, and focus on relationships that replenish me. I will say no to time stealers, meaningless tasks, comparisons, worry, and doubt.  I’m going to set myself up for success by replenishing myself daily with something around self care, doing only work I love, helping others, and being in nature.

Abundance – My focus in 2017 is all about mindset. My mindset focus will be on Abundance. My hope is that this will help me when stress, worry and fear creeps in. An abundance mindset will change how I work with others, make long-term decisions, spend money, approach my business, and tons more. My plan is to use my new 5 Minute Journal to focus daily on appreciation and gratitude. I will watch less TV and consume less media overall, and I will try to see the lessons in the negative as much as possible.

That’s it. As always, wish me luck.