Avocado Feta Salad & Why I Choose to Be Heart Healthy
This post is sponsored by the American Heart Association. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this post belong to Savvy Saving Couple and do not necessarily represent those of The American Heart Association unless explicitly stated.
Two and a half years ago, I lost my father to a heart disease related condition. He had a heart aneurysm that ruptured and killed him instantly during a peaceful sleep in his home. It was such a shock at the time that my only newly turned 51-year-old father could die so young, and leave behind young children grandchildren, and a wife. I love my father dearly and there is not a day that passes by where he is not in my thoughts.
The truth is, now that I reflect on it, I truly feel my father’s early demise could have been prevented. He was, unfortunately, a smoker, slightly overweight, and never exercised or ate right. I can remember his love of meat, cereal, and lots of sugary sweets. While my father loved growing vegetables, eating wholesome meals like the featured Avocado Feta Salad was not on his menu.
Can you believe I never saw him exercise one day in my life?
My father’s early death took months to sink in, but now I am only more fueled to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want a crash diet or a restrictive plan, but just a balanced way of living. After his death, I joined a gym and began slowly transforming into a healthier me in all facets of my life.
One of the small changes I made in my diet was to save greasy, fried meals for occasional indulgences. Gone are the days of fries, burgers, and deep-fried foods weekly. Now that I can reflect on it, I was eating like pure garbage. I felt sluggish, unmotivated, and depressed. The truth was I was addicted to bad foods that did not love me back!
Now, almost 2 years into my lifestyle change, and each month I am losing weight, becoming stronger, and feel all around nourished. My change is quite easy and just involved nixing processed foods from my diet and eating nature’s rainbow daily. Each day, I get my complete fruit & vegetable servings from tasty smoothies, quick salads, and lean proteins.
My all-time favorite heart-healthy food to use in my cooking are Hass Avocados. I love the creaminess and versatility of these avocados and the fact that they are loaded with heart-healthy omegas. I eat them mashed on whole grain toast, in guacamole, and my favorite salads.
Get more recipes like this one on the Hass Avocado Board’s official site and love one today.
I know eating vegetables can be super cumbersome if you just stick to the steamed, or even canned varieties. The truth is, there is no fun in those. By adding colorful veggies to your shopping list like rainbow peppers, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumber you have the basis for endless salad possibilities.
Right now, I am all about fresh and quick salads that can be prepped ahead of time.
In honor of June being Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month, I wanted to share a fun and tasty recipe with you all.
This Avocado Feta Salad is perfect because the peppers, tomato, and cucumber can be chopped ahead of time and stores well in your fridge. When lunch or dinnertime rolls around, all you have to do is slice open a ripened avocado, and whip up the quick lemon dressing. Add these fresh ingredients to your pre-chopped veggies, and top with a little feta cheese for a perfectly balanced dish.
Here is how to make Avocado Feta Salad *serves 2
- 4 mini rainbow peppers in red, orange, and yellow
- 3 small seedless cucumbers, or one large one diced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 avocado chopped into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons low fat, or fat-free feta cheese
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- pepper to taste
Chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl
In a small dish, combine the lemon juice, mustard, oil, and black pepper- whisk until mixed
Add the dressing to the veggies and toss
Serve in avocado shells, or a bowl topped with a small amount of feta cheese- Enjoy!
As you can see, eating healthier does not have to be hard. Join the Healthy For Good movement to get inspired and educated. Go to www.heart.org/HealthyForGood and scroll down and click “join the movement”. This site can help you to eat smart, and add more color to your diet.