Chunky PB & Raw Salad

Do you like chunky peanut butter or smooth and creamy? Every time I get chunky, I end up with this…

01 chunky pb

I don’t know how it happens, but I unconsciously avoid the chunks and am left with a jar of peanut bits and a little bit of creamy peanut butter. Just one of my quirks, I suppose. I don’t know what to do with the bits besides eat them plain; I’m not complaining though. But I really should only buy creamy.

When I’m not desiccating (= removing moisture from) nut butters, I like to make raw salads.

02 raw salad

This is:

  • kale (1/2 bunch or so, maybe a little more) – massaged with 1/2 avocado and my own version of liquid gold elixir (olive oil, rice vinegar, bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 ear of raw corn
  • salsa (taco bell brand… not exactly raw! but you could use raw salsa)

I massaged the kale with the avocado and dressing, then topped it with the other goodies. As soon as I was done I made a repeat salad; do you ever do that? Sometimes after I have a salad I go back and make the exact same salad for seconds.

03 raw salad

In this case it was nice because I was able to use the rest of the kale head, the other 1/2 ear of corn, and the other 1/2 avocado. It works out. Maybe the reason I make the repeat is to use up the leftovers from the first one!

04 raw salad

Here are some word origins for y’all…

  • vegetable (Dori) – vegetables comes from a base in proto-indo-european (PIE = basically what preceded all of the european languages) that means “be strong, lively”. It’s also related to watch, vigor, velocity, and possibly witch. after PIE it went through Latin and French before it came to English.
  • shampoo (Heather) – this comes from Hindi (champo) where it meant, “to massage”, or “to press, knead the muscles”.
  • massage – this is from French, and before French it probably came from Arabic (massa = to touch, feel, handle). If it did come from Arabic it was probably picked up in Egypt when Napoleon was there. If it didn’t come from Arabic, it probably came from India (the French colonized it) from the word amassar (to knead), which came from Latin massa (mass, dough).

Gotta go grade… Have a great night/morning!

P.S. I’m in the middle of The Time Traveler’s Wife. So freakin’ good. Have you read it? I’m going to see the movie so I have to read it first.

Guest Post – Val & Yoga

Val has graciously written a guest post for me, and I hope you enjoy it. You can find her blogging and running over at Chicago Marathon Val.


Hello, “Say Yes to Salad” readers!  I’m so excited that Maggie is giving me the opportunity to do a guest posting today.  I’ve been following this blog for a long time and it’s great to be a part of it!

Knowing Maggie and her readers love their yoga, I decided to write a post about yoga, but first….

yoga 1

I should mention that I am in no way, shape, or form a yoga expert or even a yoga enthusiast – although recently I have begun to move more in that direction!  I took a yoga class during undergrad and, well, I fell asleep!  I know, I know, don’t hate me….

That was years ago, and it wasn’t until the past few months that I have begun to reconnect with yoga.  I love yoga for the increased flexibility and muscle toning, increased lung capacity, decreased stress, and for the way that it enables me to breathe better during my long runs.

However, aside from loving the benefits that yoga can offer to ME, I have recently began to see yoga as something that I can also incorporate into my profession.  As a school social worker in Chicago’s inner-city, I work with troubled youth that frequently suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, etc, and most come from single-family homes in impoverished communities.

Although I received my Masters degree in Social Work after learning a ton of traditional forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, etc, I have always leaned more toward alternative types of therapy – such as play, art, or movement therapy.

I have recently begun doing a lot of research about the connection between yoga and mental health, and many of the principles that I have been learning about can not only be applied to my students but also to all of us.  In fact, I’ve tried many of these techniques with my Type A husband who now swears by them!  It’s too tricky to describe various poses online without pictures, so here are some of the basics.

***Please note that while I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, hold an LSW degree (Licensed Social Worker), MSW (Master’s in Social Work), and I am a QMHP (Qualified Mental Health Profession), I am NOT a trained yogi nor do a hold a doctorate degree and as you all know by now, you should always consult a doctor before engaging in any new form of exercise.  I am also not attempting to treat or diagnose anyone’s stress or mental trauma, I am just trying to provide some recommendations for some asanas and breathing exercises that you may find to be helpful!  Enjoy 🙂

Recommended sequence for anxiety, worry, or tension:

  • Child’s pose
  • Downward-facing dog
  • Standing forward fold
  • Wide-legged forward bend
  • Shoulder stand
  • Seated forward bend
  • Bridge
  • Goddess pose
  • Savasana

Recommended sequence for depression or lethargy:

  • Upward hands pose
  • Standing forward fold
  • Pyramid yoga pose
  • Triangle pose
  • Revolved triangle pose
  • Supported headstand
  • Inverted staff pose
  • Seated twist
  • Goddess pose
  • Savasana

Some more tidbits…..

  • Asanas help to build a stronger nervous system which can help to decrease anxiety
  • The concentrative part of yoga can help to decrease symptoms of OCD or generalized anxiety
  • Gently press on your left nostril while breathing through your right nostril to energize yourself.  Take long, deep breaths in and out.
  • Conversely, you could also press on your right nostril while slowly breathing out of your left nostril in order to calm yourself down.
  • Hold your thumbs over your ears and making a “buzzing” breathe to cause a vibration.  With your eyes closed, look toward your third eye (between your eyebrows), chin, or tip of nose.  This creates a soothing effect on the mind and the nervous system.
  • While meditating, view incoming thoughts as bubbles;  simply float them out of your mind.  Assign the bubbles names or words in order to help you to detach from them, such as “this is a worry, this is a judgment,” etc.
  • “Sat nam” means “I am truth”; Recite this mantra and focus on the third eye and breathe.  Breathe in during “sat”, breahe out during “nam”
  • While sitting in a chair or standing, slowly fall into a forward bend while exhaling.  This releasing tension, excess agitation/counters anxiety, and is cooling.
  • While sitting on the ground or in a chair, begin hunched over and then begin to slowly move open your shoulders, move your arms back and bend your back while inhaling.  This is a heating position, allows more breathe,  and helps to counter depression.
  • Torso twist:  this reduces internal tension and redistributes heat throughout the body.  While sitting, inhale with your hands together in front of your heart, then exhale and twist torso to move hands to your side.  Switch sides, and eventually make these movements larger.
  • Hold one hand in front of your face, keep it still, and slowly and gently draw circles with your nose on your hand – this is very calming and centering.

yoga 2



Thanks again, Val 🙂 Good luck with your training! You’re going to be great. I’m definitely going to try out these sequences.

Back to School

This summer and this year have flown by. It seems like yesterday I was starting a blog, graduating college, and moving out West. That was all over 1.5 years ago. I want to share some of my favorites from Cornell and Ithaca (my college years). Ithaca is a wonderful place to find vegetarian/vegan/healthy food… at any time of day or night. This is a hummus plate from Aladdin’s.

1 hummus

My favorite meal to order there was this Fruit & Nut Plate. It’s yogurt, granola, nuts, fruit, and honey. The fruit varies every time you go.

2 fruit nut salad

This falafel salad was always a winner as well. Bobby even ordered it several times.

3 falafel salad

And the desserts can’t be beat (chocolate mousse cake)…

4 chocolate mousse

Here are some word origins:

  • school. the oldest meaning I can find is “to hold, hold in one’s power, to have”. the word scheme shares this root. that root comes from Proto-Indo-European.
  • favorite. this comes from French, and it means “to favor”.
  • fruit. this is from Latin. it comes from the same root as frugal; the root meant “to use, enjoy”. up until ~1225AD it also meant vegetables!
  • dessert. this is also from French. it means “last course”, and literally means “removal of what has been served”. it’s from the verb desservir, which means “to un-serve”.

If you’re graduated, do you ever miss the “back to school” feeling? Or if you’re still in school, are you ready?

P.S. Want another book rec? I started Panic in Level 4 last night and am about to finish it now. It’s by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone. It’s several long essays on crazy science things – nonfiction. I liked it a lot. He’s an amazing writer.

Chipless Nachos

For dinner tonight I had…

04 chicken nacho salad

Chipless nachos. This was a bed of massaged kale, topped with:

  • 1 sauteed chicken thigh (sustainably raised – from whole foods)
  • tomatoes, onions, raw corn
  • salsa
  • parmesan & cheddar – Sophia, you’re right – more cheese is always better 🙂
  • massage dressing – olive oil, bragg’s liquid aminos, rice vinegar, brown rice syrup

I went back to make another bowl. Bobby had real nachos; he’s not a kale fan.

I, on the other hand, cannot get enough kale.

03 kale pb

Especially with peanut butter. I have made major progress in reducing my peanut butter stash in the last few days, with the help of my new friend, Kale. The word kale comes from the Middle English word cawul, a Scottish variant of cole (cabbage – like cole-slaw). Apparently it can be used in slang to mean “money” as well.

I loved hearing all of your favorite words on my last post. Now, I have some more geometry prep to do.  I did finish writing that test for Friday; they said it was easier than usual but they did worse, so… guess not. This is my last week teaching.

I started and finished this book: Against Medical Advice. It’s about one boy’s horrible struggle with Tourette’s syndrome – so fascinating. It was a quick read and I highly recommend it.

Have a great week 🙂

10 Things!

I was tagged to list 10 things about myself yesterday, so here goes. I’m giving it a linguistics theme.

  1. My favorite website is the Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. I occasionally read the (other) OED for fun. I don’t have my own copy, but my birthday is coming up!
  3. One of my favorite foods is squash. The word squash comes from the Algonquian word askutasquash, which literally means “the green things that may be eaten raw,” from askut – “green, raw” + asquash – “eaten”. (The -ash is a plural affix like in succotash.) It was first recorded in 1643.
  4. When I was little I fell asleep in this position all the time. My dad thought it was funny to take pictures of it. This happens to be on halloween. (I was a pumpkin.)

    pumpkin sleeping

    The verb sleep comes from a Germanic root meaning “to be weak, to sleep”. It might have a connection with the adjective slack.

  5. I love salad. The word salad comes from a latin term meaning “salted vegetables”… salt and salad have the same root. The phrase “salad bar” appeared first in 1979.
  6. I love yoga. Yoga comes from Hindi and from Sanskrit yoga-s, literally “union, yoking”, from the base *yeug- “to join” (like jugular).
  7. I sang in Carnegie Hall with my choir when I was 10. Hall comes from a base meaning “to hide, steal”. “Hall of Fame” was first used in 1901 in reference to Columbia College.
  8. I am procrastinating from writing the Geometry test that I have to give tomorrow. Geometry comes from words meaning “earth”, “land”, and “measure” = “measurement of earth or land”.
  9. I do not feel like coming up with 2 more things so this is my list. 🙂

Enjoy your Thursday… Gotta go write up a Geometry test now. Almost the weekend!

What’s your favorite word?