Spinach and Bacon Salad

I love the beginning of the new year.  There’s just something about the beginning of something like the year, month, or even week that makes it feel like the right time to renew my goals.  Around the new year, most people call them resolutions but for me, I like to build on what I’ve already been doing, get back on track or up the challenge a little bit.  It’s more like a time of recommitment, I guess you could say.

For this year, I am refocusing on getting my eating on track again and making good food choices.  Making progress on that goal will help me achieve my fitness goals for the year.  This year I am committed to running 2,016 miles and completing 104 other workouts.  The running mileage might seem like a lot, but it’s pretty close to what I normally do during training.  Making it into a goal like this helps me get out the door on the days I don’t feel like running.  The way my brain sees it is that the decision to do it has already been made so I do it.  And I’ve never regretted heading out the door.  The other workouts goal is for all things non-running – biking, yoga, weight lifting or whatever I’d like to do.  While 104 may seem like an unusual number, it works out to twice a week.  That’s totally doable, right?

One of my big food challenges is getting enough vegetables in during the day so that’s a huge area of opportunity for me.  I had to really think about how I could accomplish this goal.  Sometimes it can be tough to get vegetables while dining out so that means I won’t be eating out as often (money saving bonus there!).  The reason I dine out more than I should is because I’m short on time some days (partially the result of working on the running goal I mentioned above).

My solution was to make a few different salads that I would really love.  I’ve been experimenting with different flavor combinations that really get me excited about eating salad and loading up on veggies.  I’ll be featuring some of these salads on the blog soon but I’ll start by sharing my favorite salad so far – this spinach and bacon salad.

I kept it really simple with this salad.  Spinach is my favorite green so that had to be the base of my salad.  Just looking at the vibrant green of the spinach leaves really makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my body.

A salad just isn’t a salad, in my opinion, without onions, especially red onions.  So I added some sliced red onions.

Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D (plus they taste great) so onto the salad they went.

I don’t eat a lot of bacon but I thought it would add a nice savory flavor.  Plus, I wanted to try this warm bacon salad dressing  If I don’t have much time, I occasionally buy precooked bacon that’s easy to just heat and eat (or add to a salad, in this case).

Next, I added more protein with boiled egg slices.  I usually boil a dozen eggs on the weekend and eat them as snacks during the week.  Boiled eggs are the perfect grab and go snack!  And they are easy to slice up and put on a salad.

I topped my salad with warm bacon salad dressing to really enhance the flavors.

While I was at Walmart picking up my salad ingredients, I noticed the LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Collection meals in the freezer section and thought they would help support my goal of eating foods that fuel my body.  I had a hard time deciding which one to try first.  Since I love mac & cheese, I thought that would be perfect with my salad for a delicious and filling lunch. LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Collection dishes can help me achieve my 2016 goals with balanced, satisfying meal.

Spinach and Bacon Salad

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

Baby spinach
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced
Dressing (this warm bacon dressing is fabulous with this salad)

Instructions

In a large bowl, toss spinach, bacon, mushrooms, and onion.
Top with egg slices.
Add dressing and serve.

Now that I’ve got a good plan and a great recipe to meat my food goals for the year, I’ve also got a plan for getting my other workouts done.  I came up with this arm toning workout to do once a week to help develop my upper body strength.  If working out is one of your goals too, I thought I’d share my workout with you.  Feel free to print it out and use it yourself or share it with a friend.  Or make it even more fun and do it with a friend!

Get the printable here.

What are your goals for this year?  Tell me about them in the comments below!  

Be sure to check out other great items that can help you live a more balanced life here and more tasty recipes on Pinterest.

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