Category Archives: Healthy Eating

8 Of The Most Interesting Facts About Makeup

8 Of The Interesting Facts About Makeup

Makeup has existed for thousands of years. In ancient times tar, lead and other elements we wouldn’t dare put on our skin today, were applied to beautiful faces all over the world. Now we’re much more conscious about what we put on our skin.  The ingredients and trends may have changed throughout history but one thing has stayed the same…women love how wearing makeup makes them feel gorgeous, powerful, and sometimes even more confident. The cosmetics industry has grown so much over the years & the statistics and facts about makeup have tooI thought I’d share 8 of the most interesting facts about makeup that I’ve seeSome of these might blow your mind! red-woman-girl-brown 1. You know the shimmer & shine in some cosmetic products like nail polish and lipstick? Where do you think the “shimmer” comes from? Well, we can thank our little fish friends! Yes! The FDA has approved fish scales in your beauty products.  So shimmer & shine on my friends!!

2. In the Victorian Era, makeup was most popular with prostitutes, actresses, working class women and women of questionable morals. Needless to say, many women chose to go “all natural” to avoid being mistaken for a “working girl”.  England almost passed a law that allowed men to divorce their wives if they caught them wearing makeup.

3. Waterproof mascara was first introduced around 1938 & one of its main ingredients was turpentine, which is often used as a paint thinner.

4.  Every year there are close to 900 million lipsticks sold worldwide. So that means almost every single person in the United States could own three tubes of lipstick! (I’m pretty sure I own enough for at least 5 people.)

5. Some laws never get tossed out no matter how outdated and ridiculous. In order for a woman to wear makeup in Morrisville, Pennsylvania she must get a permit first.

6. In the 1400’s, the “hairless” look was in. Women shaved their foreheads, plucked their eyelashes and even their eye brows.

7. In the Elizabethean Era (1550 AD) , coal tar was used as eye liner, mascara and eyebrow pencil. The downside? It smelled bad, caused blindness and is flammable.

8. Women spend an average of $15,000 on makeup in their lifetime & an average of $784 a month on beauty products while 94% of these women are in debt. (Apparently women have no problem spending money on makeup & beauty.) 20151119_133837-1-1-1 I think Tyra Banks says it best, “Makeup is the great beauty equalizer. We don’t all wake up with naturally sculpted cheekbones, long lashes or plump lips but we can use makeup to take what we have & transform it into what we want.”

Why I began referring to myself as a “friend snob”

It wasn’t until I hit my late 30’s & early 40’s that I really understood friendship.  I have always had a lot of people whom I called my “friends”.  Many times over the years I’ve put myself in situations where I involved myself or spent time with people who were more “acquaintances” than friends.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really started to take friendship seriously.  I am not comfortable sharing my life secrets with everyone.  I don’t necessarily open up as easily as I did when I was younger.  I guess you could say that I’m more “guarded”.  I think that has a lot to do with the fact that over the years, I’ve learned not to trust so easily and I’ve gotten hurt one too many times.  So, this is why I began referring to myself as a “friend snob”.

I guess I’ve become a little “picky” about who I spend my time with.  Life is just too short to spend it with people who bring you down.  We should spend our time with those who build us up, encourage us, who are interested in our lives as much as we are interested in theirs.  I don’t want to spend time with negative people…you know the ones that complain about everything or have something negative to say all the time.  I want to be with people who make me laugh & smile and in turn I do the same for them.  I just want to spend my time with people who make me feel better and not worse.  If I leave your presence and I just feel irritated, annoyed, mad, disappointed, or any other negative way…chances are we won’t hang out much, or at all ever again.  Now this is not to say that those whom I call friends will never be negative or whatever, but for the most part they are consistently those who make my heart happy.

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When I was younger, I thought I had to put up with people even if I really didn’t want to be in their presence.  As I’ve gotten older, I know that I don’t have to be everyone’s friend.  I don’t! I will respect everyone and be kind to everyone but I certainly don’t have to give you my time.

My favorite things to do with my friends include some sort of food or drink and shopping! I love to go out for breakfast, lunch, coffee or even drinks.  I like that it’s an intimate setting where we are forced to chat and communicate.  Shopping with my friends…is just fun!! I have friends whom I may not speak with for weeks or even a month but when we get together it’s like no time has passed.  We just catch up and move on.  I am ok with that because we are busy mamas.  Life sometimes gets in the way of our friendships but no matter what, I know they will be there for me if I need them and they know they can always count on me.

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Friendship is a wonderful thing.  We all need friends.  We all need people in our lives who support us, look after us, encourage us, & even put us in our place from time to time.  You don’t have to be friends with everyone.  You get to choose who you spend time with.  I don’t know about you, but I do get by in life with the help of some amazing friends!!

 

5 Surprising Reasons To Drink Green Tea

I must admit that I’m a bigger coffee drinker than tea drinker, however I do love a good cup of tea.  I’ve always heard the benefits of drinking green tea and I knowing it’s growing popularity with the health conscious people is something to consider, but until recently I’ve never been one to drink it daily. For thousands of years, people have used green tea for medicinal purposes, so maybe I should be drinking more of it! Right?

I started doing my research and this is what I found about green tea.  The unique set of chemicals in green tea has so many health benefits. It has 10 times more antioxidants than the amount found in fruits and vegetables. What?! Why haven’t I been convincing my kids to drink green tea alomg with their fruits and veggies?

Green tea comes in all sorts of flavors and can be consumed both hot and cold. My personal favorite flavor is Pomegranate.  I typically look for organic tea but this particular favorite of mine is not organic.  I love the Yogi teas.  They have the fun little quotes on the tea bag tags too.

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What I discovered about green tea was interesting so i came up with 5 surprising reasons to drink green tea and I thought I’d share them:

1. Green Tea may lower your risk of getting sick.  It is packed with antioxidants which boost the immune system, making us healthy and strong. Studies have show that green tea helps suppress the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

2. Green Tea is good for your teeth.  It contains catechins which may inhibit the growth of bacteria and can lower the risk of infections, cavities & reduce bad breath.

3. Green Tea can delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by protecting brain cells from dying & restoring damaged brain cells.

4. Green Tea can give you smoother & younger looking skin.  The antioxidants in green tea kill the free radicals found in the body, giving you a healthy and glowing skin. It acts as a natural anti-aging ingredient, preventing wrinkles and blemishes. Green tea prevents cell oxidation and damage that makes us look older.

5. Green Tea can help manage diabetes by regulating glucose levels thus preventing high insulin spikes which result in fat storage.  This also aids in weight loss. 🙂

6. Green Tea can help relieve pain & swelling.  Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can prevent the loss of bone density too. Doctors also recommend green tea as a remedy for treating arthritis.

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I have started drinking a cup of green tea after dinner and I’ve noticed that I’m actually sleeping better.  I used to wake up several times during the night but now, I am waking up maybe once.  Coincidence? Maybe but I’ll keep drinking it and let you know for sure!!

Are you a tea drinker? If so, what’s your favorite brand or flavor? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to “comment” down below or drop me an email at happycleanlife@gmail.com.

 

 

10 Clever Tricks For Taking The Perfect Selfie

As we all know, social media is the big thing these days! Everyone is on some form of social media…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, etc. One thing you’ll see is lots of pictures of people.  These photos that people take of themselves are called “selfies” in case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know that.  🙂 A selfie is defined as a” photograph one has take of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared on social media”.  Many people struggle with selfies. I for one, get paid to share my selfies so I take a lot of them and I’ve discovered some very clever tricks to take the perfect selfie.  Want in on the secret?

If you have obsessively clicked your own picture tyring to get at least one to come out right, you are in the right place! I’m going to share my 10 tricks and have you taking pictures like a “selfie queen”!

1. It’s All About You

You gotta work that camera! Excude confidence, sass, show some sense of empowerment and just be comfortable in your own skin. Make those eyes twinkle! See through that lens, don’t just look at it. Flirt with the camera a bit. It’s ok…no one is watching!

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Can’t you see the confidence in her?

2. Lighting is Key

One of my biggest tips is to take your selfies in natural light.  You want to face the direction of the light.  So stand fakcing a window when you click that pic.  Using filters is ok too so that you can accentuate color & give your photos more contrast. Mayfair is popular one because it gives you intense color which people love!

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I always take my selfies facing a window.

3. Holding the Camera

Holding the camera too high can make your head look like a lollipop because it looks bigger than the rest of you. Hold the camera perpendicular to the floor at about arm’s length. I like to hold my phone so that it’s about level with my head & I’m looking up just slightly…we don’t want double chins!!

 

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Tyra Banks took this pic but it looks like a photographer did. Right?

4. Your Stance is Important

Models pose with a 3/4 angle of their bodies facing the camera.  Your face should be straight on and your chin slightly down.  You should stare straight into the camera lens. You can also try taking selfies so that no one will know it’s a selfie.  Stretch out your arm ad bend your elbow so you don’t see your arm in the picture.  Try to pose so it looks like someone else took the picture.

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She is standing at an angle to the camera which gives a much more flattering photo.

5. Hold Your Phone Upside Down

Try holding your phone upside down the next time you snap a selfie.  You will be surprised at what it does for your face.  Your lashes will really pop and it might even thin down your face a bit.

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I took this pic with the camera upside down.

6. Your Expression

Share a sense of playfulness & fun.  Don’t be too uptight.

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Just showing of my Tyra Beauty “Hater Blocker” Lip Model lipstick. Having fun of course!

7. Confidence in Front of the Camera

When you look great, you feel great! So click pics on days when you love your outfit, hair or makeup (which is daily for me). I love taking selfies after I leave the salon…don’t we all feel amazing after a fresh hair cut & color?

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8. Signature Smile

Did you ever notice that celebs have the same smile & stature in all of their photos? That’s because they’ve perfected their signature smile.  Go ahead and grab your smartphone and start snapping some selfies to find your signature smile. Practice makes perfect here! 😉

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What do you think? Do you think Tyra Banks has a signature smile?

9. The Rule of Thirds

This is all about composition.  Instead of putting yourself dead center in the picture, put yourself on the left or right of the photo.  It makes for a much more interesting & compelling photo. You can get this effect by cropping your picture afterwards.

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10. The Two-Handed Selfie

You generally have two options when taking a selfie: hold the camera with one hand or two.  Using two hands is easier because you an hold the camera with one and snap the photo with the other but you have to be more careful not to cover up the lense.  If you use both hands and pull the camera away from your body, your arms can act as the frame which gives a cool effect.

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I hope you loved my clever tricks for taking the perfect selfie! I’d love to hear some of your tips if you have some to share.  Feel free to comment below or drop me an email at happycleanlife@gmail.com.

Have a happy, healthy day!

~ Michelle

Why Walnuts?

Walnuts are an amazing nut! Up until just recently, I was an “almond girl”.  Almonds were my “go to” quick snack and I always keep a canister of them on the counter.  Recently, I read an article about the benefits of walnuts and now I’ve got both walnuts and almonds in glass canisters on my counter. I’ve always enjoy walnuts in baked goods…breads, cookies, brownies and etc but I’ve never kept them around for snacking, that is until I realized just how perfect these little guys are for my health!

My kids are not too fond of the taste of walnuts.  They do have a slightly bitter taste but I personally love them.  I grab a small handful (about 7) and off I go! It’s one of the best snacks for your health, skin and even hair.

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Here are 10 reasons to start eating walnuts (organic is best) every day:

1. IMPROVE HEART HEALTH

Walnuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for heart health. These Omega-3’s help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol while boosting good cholesterol which is good for your heart.

2. FEED YOUR BRAIN

Omega-3 fatty acids that are in walnuts are also good for your brain health.  Improve your memory and keep your brain functioning at it’s best.  Isn’t it ironic that a walnut looks like your brain?

3. RELIEVE CONSTIPATION & IBS

Walnuts are high in fiber which is crucial for maintaining a healthy functioning digestive system.  To have proper bowel movements, we need fiber.

4.  SLEEP BETTER WITH LESS STRESS

Walnuts contain melatonin which helps with sleep patterns.  And since the Omega-3’s keep your blood pressure in check, you feel less stressed.

5. LOWER YOUR RISK OF BREAST CANCER

Research suggests that walnuts inhibit an anti-inflammatory enzyme that advances breast cancer while it activates 2 breast cancer genes that actually help prevent cancer development.

6. BUILD STRONGER BONES

Walnuts contain and essential fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid which can help bones grow stronger and healthier over time.

7. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Walnuts contain good amounts of antioxidants to keep the immune system healthy and protected from many diseases.

8. CURE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES

The high amounts of fatty acids in walnuts helps with inflammation which can be beneficial to those with inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis and eczema.

9.  DELAY SKIN AGING

Walnuts are filled with Vitamin B’s & Vitamin E which are amazing for your skin.

10. GET HEALTHIER, LONGER, SHINIER HAIR

Walnuts are a great source of Omega 6, potassium, Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids which all help strengthen the hair follicles.  The proteins in walnuts improve hair color while adding a healthy shine. You can consume walnuts or even apply the walnut oil to your hair for best results.

 

Skinny Chicken Salad

I love good homemade chicken salad but I’m not a big fan of the fact that it’s loaded with so much fat and calories.  A good chicken salad is one of my favorite comfort foods…especially if it’s on a fresh croissant.  Yum! These days, I’m doing my best to choose healthier options especially with my food.  I do try to eat organic and natural and yes, sometimes I do splurge and have something “not so healthy” but for the most part I really do try to eat healthy.

A while back I came across a post on Pinterest with a recipe for a “healthy” chicken salad.  It sounded delicious but I just never got around to trying it.  Last night I grilled some chicken breasts on the grill for dinner and much to my surprise we had 3 breasts left over.  My husband recently had food poisoning from some chicken he ate at a restaurant and still hasn’t gotten his taste for chicken back.  I don’t blame him! Yuck!! So, lucky for me (sorry honey) we actually had some leftovers that I could use to try out some chicken salad.  So, I took the recipes I’d found on Pinterest and tweeked them a bit and let me tell you…this is the BEST chicken salad EVER!! It’s the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, crunchy & healthy.  This recipe is SO good! I can’t wait to have dinner tonight and I’ll probably be enjoying this for breakfast and lunch tomorrow too.  It is THAT good! The best part, is that it’s not packed with all of the fat and calories that your typical chicken salad has.  I used and recommend using organic ingredients when they are available.  I struggle to find organic grapes at my local grocery but most everything else, was organic.

 

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So, here is my recipe.  Feel free to adjust any of the ingredients to fit your taste.  You could substitute walnuts for the almonds.  I used purple grapes because those are my favorite but you could use red or green grapes.


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SKINNY CHICKEN SALAD

 

2 Cooked/Grilled Chicken Breasts, diced (or 1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded)

1 Green Apple, diced

1/3 c. Dried Cranberries

2/3 c. Grapes, halved

1/2 Red Onion, diced

1/3 c. Slivered Almonds

1 T Lemon Juice

1 c. Greek Yogurt

Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder

 

1. Start by cutting your onion, apple, grapes and chicken.  Place all in a bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.

3. Serve on bread, a bun or roll or on a crisp leaf of romaine lettuce.

4. Enjoy!!

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I would love to know what you think when you make this recipe! I am sure you will love it as much as I do!! Please feel free to share your comments, suggestions, and etc. in a comment below or email me at happycleanlife@gmail.com

 

Have a happy, healthy day!

~ Michelle

 

Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters

Is there anything better than chocolate with a little sea salt? Yes!Chocolate, sea salt AND almonds!!

This is one of my favorite sweet treats to make quickly and have on hand when I or one of my 4 kiddos has a chocolate craving.

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You will need:

1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

3/4 c. Almonds

Himilayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

Start by measuring out your chips and almonds. Set the almonds aside for now. Melt the chocolate chips on the stove or in the microwave until melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Low heat is best or if using a microwave, use 30 second intervals and stir between. Once your chocolate is melted, give it a good stir and pour in your almonds. Coat the almonds evenly with the melted chocolate. Then drop the chocolate almond mixture by spoonfuls onto a waxed piece of foil or waxed paper lined baking sheet . You can make then any size you prefer. However I like to keep mine bite sized. Once you’ve got all of your almond clusters done, sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt. Then put them in the fridge to cool or if you are like me and just can’t wait that long, stick them in the freezer to set up faster. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove the clusters and place them in a container and keep them in the fridge. Now when you have a chocolate craving, you can indulge with a little less guilt! Enjoy!

Have a happy, healthy day!

~ Michelle

Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

I’m a huge fan of roasted veggies…broccoli, cauliflower and etc. All you need is some fresh organic veggies, a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. It’s really that easy and the veggies come out so good!

Last week, my Green Bean Delivery included green beans and crimini mushrooms. Tonight I decided to roast them for dinner. But first I wanted to give them a little flavor. So I used my usual olive oil and added a bit of balsamic vinegar too. I love balsamic!

I started by washing the veggies.  I let the mushrooms dry a bit on a paper towel while I cut the ends off of the greens beans. The easiest waytocut fresh green beans is to grab a handful and line up the ends and cut the tips off. Do thesame with the other ends.  I then cut the mushrooms inhalf or quarters depending on the size. I placed the veggies in a large ziploc bag.

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I made my marinade mixture with 1 1/2 T of olivE oil and 1 T of balsamic vinegar. I added some Himilayan Sea Salt and a dash of garlic powder.  Ithen whisked it all together and poured it over my veggies.

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Now seal the bag and give it all a good shake to evenly coat the veggies. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the veggies out onto the foil. Spread the veggies out a bit so they cook evenly. Roast in a  400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Start checkingthe doneness after 20 minutes. You want to cook the beans until they are tender but crisp. The mushrooms should be cooked and any liquid on the pan from the mushrooms evaporated.

Once the veggies were roasted to my liking, I removed them and sprinkled them with a little pepper, Himilayan Sea Salt and grated parmesan cheese. These are best when served hot. These were delicious! The balsamic gives it such a great flavor…sweet and tangy and oh so good!

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you in a comment below or email me at happycleanlife@gmail.com.

Have a happy, healthy day!

~ Michelle

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10 reasons you should not be skipping breakfast

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Did you eat breakfast this morning? Do you often skip breakfast completely? If so, you are not alone. About 18% of males and 13% of females between the ages of  35 and 54 skip breakfast according to a study done in 2011 by the NPD market research group.

 

We’ve heard many, many times how important breakfast is and how it is not a meal we should be skipping.  Are you sick of hearing this? In my opinion, it needs to be shared over and over because there are still far too many people skipping breakfast. Here are a 10 reasons you shouldn’t be skipping breakfast:

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1. Increase your metabolism

People who skip breakfast have a metabolic rate four to five percent below normal, which may lead to weight gain of eight pounds per year.

2. Avoid obesity

People who skip breakfast tend to choose less nutritious and convenience foods to curb their appetite and may consume more calories throughout their day. Studies show that those who skip breakfast are more likely to be over weight.

3.  Provide your body with the nutrition it needs

How can you pack in the nutrition  your body needs to function at it’s best if you are only consuming two meals a day? Guess what? You can’t!! Make sure you include protein in your breakfast to feel fuller longer and induce weight loss.

4. Give your body more energy

Food provides your body with energy.  You put gas in your car to make it go, so why wouldn’t you put food in your body to make it go? If you put nothing in, you are running on empty.

5. Avoid over-eating and binge eating

Spacing your calories out throughout your day is much better than starving and binging all day.  Don’t deprive yourself of breakfast or any other meals because you just might find yourself losing control later in the day.  It makes more sense to eat a nutritious breakfast & then enjoy a piece of your son’s birthday cake rather than skipping breakfast and being so hungry that you eat several pieces of cake.

6. Be smarter

Eating breakfast provides an energy boost to the brain so you will be more alert, more focused, have better concentration & perform at your best.

7. Be happier

Eating breakfast boosts serotonin levels which controls mood, appetite and sleep.

8.  Be healthier

Skipping breakfast can weaken your immune system.  You are more likely to get sick because you are more sensitive to germs and illnesses. It not only makes you weaker, it makes your organs and cells weak too.

9. Lower your risk of developing diabetes

Skipping breakfast and meals leads to the body’s cells becoming less sensitive to insulin. When you skip meals and your cell receptors become less sensitive to or resistant to insulin, you have excess sugar floating through your bloodstream. The body then tries to produce more insulin to get sugar into the resistant cells. This cycle creates weight gain, insulin sensitivity and ultimately diabetes. Obesity and diabetes rates are 50% lower in breakfast eaters than in non-breakfast eaters.

10. Set a good example for you kids

If your kids see you skipping breakfast, more than likely they will too.  Set a good example for your kids and start your day with a nutritious breakfast and share with them why they should eat breakfast too.

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Need some suggestions for nutritions breakfast foods? Send me an email at happycleanlife@gmail.com or comment below and I’d be happy to offer some healthy meal options for you.

Have a happy healthy day!

~Michelle

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Dressing

I don’t know about you but in the winter months, salads just don’t taste the same or have the same appeal for me.  But as soon as it starts warming up I crave salads.  This week here in Indy it has been almost “spring-like” which had me craving a salad.  So, I decided to throw together a salad with some organic produce I had.  I had recently pinned a recipe for a veggie salad that had a chipotle lime dressing so I decided to make that for my salad.  I was grilling chicken for the family, so I added that to it as well.  This salad was delicious!!

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I started by chopping up some baby spring mix & hearts of romaine lettuce.  I loved chopped salads about as much as I love the Simple Truth Organic foods at Kroger.  Next I added in some organic chopped red pepper, yellow pepper, cucumber and onion.  I also added some black beans as well as organic corn.   I chopped up my grilled chicken breast and added that as well before adding a few South West tortilla strips.  I like a little crunch in my salads! I topped it off with my Chipotle Lime Dressing.

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Chipotle Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 avocado, pitted

1/4 c fresh organic lime juice

1/4 c chopped organic cilantro leaves

2 t olive oil

1 t chipotle seasoning

1/2 t garlic

1/2 t cumin

1/2 c water to thin  as needed.

 

Simply put all ingredients into a bullet mixer or blender until smooth.  Add water to thin to the consistency you prefer.

 

Let me know what you think if you give this a try.  You could also turn this into more of a sauce and use it on tacos or fajitas.  SO good!!

Happy Friday!

~Michelle