Loving the BITE: Our Everyday Salad Dressing
This week, let’s all pucker up for good health. Yep, we’re going to add a little vinegar to our Daily Nutrition diets for a variety of health benefits. The kind of benefits that may just keep up cycling longer, stronger, and with a better strength to weight ratio. As one of my recent clients stated, for speed, “Strength to Weight Ratio is king!”
Our Everyday Salad Dressing (adapted from www.thenourishinggourmet.com)
Ingredients for Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing:
- 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of Raw & Organic Apple cider vinegar (example: Bragg’s)
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 2 tablespoon of whole grain mustard or djion type mustard
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
You don’t have to sweeten this at all, but for anyone not used to the bite of a vinegar dressing, you can add a pinch of Stevia, or 2-4 teaspoons of honey.
Combine all ingredients and mix well before using.
There are many reasons why I chose a salad dressing this week, and this salad dressing recipe in particular.
First, I often see clients do their very best to include the loads of vegetables I recommend every day, only to drown them in unhealthy commercial dressings and sauces that include so many unhealthy fats, preservatives, colorings, and junk to almost negate the benefits. It almost seems that the antioxidants consumed in the vegetables are only combating the oxidative stress added by the junk dressing.
Now, I’m not suggesting you should eat all your veggies dry (I sure don’t). Just use a better dressing.
Surely, there are a few high-quality commercial dressings out there – the ones that use olive oil or another health-promoting oil as a base, but they’re often very high priced for only 8 ounces of dressing. They simply don’t last long in my household and don’t quite fit into the budget (we eat ½-a-dinner-plate of vegetables at EVERY dinner here, with dressing, and I recommend the same amount of vegetables at dinner for my clients).
Second, along with avoiding negative ingredients, it’s even more important to look at the flip side of the coin…to actually include ingredients that promote health and make you a stronger athlete. In this recipe, you’ll see olive oil. We’ll save all the benefits offered by this wonderful healthy fat for another post, but for now, know that most of its benefits come when it’s NOT heated– as in added to foods without any cooking such as a dressing or dip. You’ll also see honey and herbs, which contribute to the positive attributes of the recipe.
However, the key ingredient in this recipe is the Raw, Organic, Apple Cider Vinegar. Long touted as a cure-all in “folk-medicine,” this condiment has recently gained new steam after a few research studies have confirmed its ability to promote healthy blood sugars, weight, BMI, waist circumference, cholesterol and blood pressure. In fact, the researchers were able to show an extra 5 pound weight loss in 12 weeks in one study group which drank the vinegar in a daily tonic. Five pounds can definitely make a difference peddling up a steep hill!
Additionally, it’s known to reduce overgrowth of yeast in the body and even reduce risk of sinus infections – I have personal and client-based experience with the reduction in sinus infections. (If you want the details of some recent research, you can download one full article at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687).
Sound like a wonder-tonic? Many believe it absolutely is. This cycling dietitian believes that it promotes health at a cellular level, can aid with fat loss, works as a whole food with living ingredients, keeps sinus infections at bay, and makes for a great dressing!
If you’d like to reap the benefits of raw, organic apple cider in your own body, start by using it in dressings, sauces, and as a condiment. To take it one step further (if you’re trying to lose fat, reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, or reduce unhealthy high blood sugars), drink 1 Tablespoon in 16 ounces of water 2 times per day (plug your nose, pucker up, and down it). Or, if you feel a cold coming on and you’re prone to sinus infections (which can keep you off your bike for days or weeks!), begin drinking the 1 Tablespoon in 16 ounces of water twice a day as soon as you notice symptoms and until they are completely gone.
To buy the raw and organic brands, look in the “organic condiment” section of your grocery store or in a health food store.
A world of caution: NEVER drink the vinegar straight (the high acidity can cause damage to your esophagus). Always dilute with water as described above.
Pucker up Cyclists!
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.
Photo c/o Yolasite