April 18th

theresa albert - my friend in food


Salads! The Best Week Ever. Three of Spades.


My Journey Through Ace Your Health – the Three of Spades

Oh Theresa, this has been the week I have been waiting for. The week of greens.  With every morsel of food that enters my body, I feel healthier and healthier. I can feel my digestive track thanking me as I chomp down on a vegetable. My skin feels better. My tummy a little flatter. My immune system slightly healthier. Sure, I know none of this is happening at that exact moment, but in my little world, I am one chomp closer to healthy living.

Here is my pitfall, why I didn’t eat salads as often as I should have. I hate chopping. I found it a colossal waste of time. And I usually cut myself in the process. I saw the pre-cut, already assembled vegetable mix, but I avoided them. I simply couldn’t believe I was that lazy. So instead, I ate less vegetables.

That was until I was in Cuba in February. Seems like that week turned my life around. We stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive in Varadero (okay, since you asked, it was the Riu Varadero). There were more buffets than swimming pools. More food options than beer brands.


On the first day we were there, I was thrilled to see an egg bar (eggs cooked to your liking), tons of bacon, sausage, pancakes and waffles. There was fruit galore and vegetables. “Why,” I wondered, “would anyone opt for the healthy stuff when the yummy stuff is within reach?” So I gorged myself on bacon and eggs.

Ha! What a fool I can be. Um, grease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome do not mix. Fried and My Friend In Food are not companions. Not only did I feel sick, I also felt guilty. Lunch and dinner I ate slightly better, but still not great.

Breakfast Salad

Day two dawned and I chose to eat a salad for breakfast; with chopped egg added. When I had been living in Israel in my twenties, salads were commonplace breakfast items. Why not try it in Cuba? Lunch was… salad with tuna and cheese. Dinner, yup you guess it, salad and a side of overdone steamed fish. Each day, more or less, followed the same pattern. I would eat 2-3 plates of salad per meal (and tons of fresh fruit). My stomach held up like a trooper. Not a single complaint from it for the entire week!

When I got home, my clothes fit a little looser. My friends commented that my face was a little thinner. I felt fantastic. So, I have changed my habits. I am proud to announce that I now eat a giant salad five days a week for lunch and always have a salad at dinner. I haven’t dropped too much more weight (another 2 pounds) but I haven’t gained it back either.

I do eat mostly organic or grown close to home foods. I rarely eat imported vegetables that are not organic. It does cost more from the pocket book, but I want to believe it costs the environment a lot less. I am eagerly awaiting June and the opening of my local farmer’s market and I am getting my backyard ready for the addition of a garden. I am getting help in the garden from both my mother in-law and from Arlene Hazzan Green, owner of the Back Yard Farm Company (www.bufco.ca ) and soon to be blogger on this site.

So, let it be known, I ACED this week’s challenge. I sadly never got to 100 points, but boy I came close.

Lunch salads for Monday – Wednesday – Friday (dinner was generally the same)

Organic Spring Mix 20
Red Peppers (do they have to be roasted?) 10
Radishes 10
½ cup tuna 5
½ cup chickpeas 5
2 tbsp hemp 10
1 boiled egg 10
¼ avocado 5
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 5 (but can I count this too)
Chia Seeds 10
Black Pepper 2
Total 92

** do I get bonus points for having tons of green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes?

Lunch salads Tuesday – Thursday (I am not a fan of lettuce, so eat it only every other day)

½ cup Red Peppers 10
Blue Berries 10
1 cup tuna 10
1 cup chickpeas 10
1 egg 10
½ avocado 5
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 5
Chia Seeds 10
Black pepper 2
Squeeze of fresh lemon 3
Total 75

** do I get bonus points for having tons of green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes?



Heather Lochner is a mother to two wonderful and energetic children and a freelance writer. Together with her children, husband and dog, she has recently relocated to Toronto after spending 15 years on the West Coast – many of which were spent living aboard her sailboat. Heather loves to exercise but always finds a reason to sit on the couch. While she knows carrots, whole wheat pasta and lean meat are good to eat, Heather loves to munch on a burger, chicken wings and poutine. Heather loves to cook, but is notorious for ruining every batch of chocolate chip cookies. She looks forward to seeing what’s in the cards during this Ace journey....www.heatherlochner.com


2 Responses

    April 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm Reply

    Ugh, knife skills are not my forte either! And just like you I don’t buy the pre-chopped veggies either because it would mean I am lazy.

    Usually the chopping time is much less than the mountain in my mind, though. And, I agree with you Heather on the healthy feeling from eating salad. It’s like a spring cleaning after a winter of heavy foods!


    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm Reply

    mmmm!!! i love salads! especially when they’re prepared for me, which doesn’t happen often. i sometimes wonder what it would be like to be Oprah, to have staff to clean and chop the salad bits and provide you with an endless variety of tasty green inventions. i’m with you. as soon as i learned that chopped, packaged veggies have been bleached to prevent rot has pretty well stopped me in my tracks from buying it. so good for you for taking the time to wash and rinse 3 times and learn to love the goodness of greens. and like you i looove the feeling of healthy going into my body, assuming i have all the digestive enzymes i need to take advantage of it all. you’re doing great heather, this is definitely a great chapter!

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