This post was sponsored by Harvest Snaps. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow Brewing Happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
Healthy Chinese Chicken Kale Salad
- 4-5 cups kale
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup snap peas
- 1/4 green onions, diced
- 1/2 cup roasted chicken
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup Harvest Snaps Wasabi Ranch Snapea Crisps
- 1/4 cup liquid aminos (sub soy sauce)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl whisk together all of your dressing ingredients.
- Chop your kale into strips, discarding the stems, and add your kale to a large bowl.
- Pour your dressing over the kale, and massage with your hands until the kale is soft and the dressing covers all of the leaves.
- Top your salad with carrots, snap peas, green onions, roasted chicken, mandarin oranges, and almonds. Toss until everything is evenly distributed.
- Just before serving top your salad with Harvest Snaps Wasabi Ranch Snapea Crisps.
- EAT UP.
Hi, I’m Haley and this is my meat story. (lol)
When I was in middle school, one of my best friends on my competitive dance team gave up red meat and lost, like, 20 pounds. It was the first moment where I realized that you could cut things out of your diet and lose weight. So not surprisingly, I gave up red meat too. I realized that it was pretty easy for me. I didn’t miss hamburgers, and honestly I still don’t.
In college I started doing Weight Watchers as a way to lose weight and avoid dealing with my emotional overeating issue. Vegetables and fruits are zero points on Weight Watcher and meat is like, A LOT of points. So my unhealthy brain at the time thought, the less points I eat the less I’ll weigh. So there went chicken and fish – the last remaining meat in my diet. Voila I’m a vegetarian.
Then a few years later, after going through a break up and wanting to resort to food for comfort, but not wanting to gain weight cause *god forbid!* I decided to become a vegan. I saw all of those Instagram girls with bangin’ bodies and colorful plates of fruit sushi and smoothie bowls and hot Australian boyfriends and I WANTED TO BE THAT. I wanted that life, so badly. Mostly because I definitely did not want the life or the body I was living in. So vegan it was.
And yet, I wasn’t any happier or that much skinnier. But I was TERRIFIED that if I ate eggs or cheese or dairy or *gasp* meat again, I would gain weight and be a human unworthy of love. I felt a sickening mix of fear and guilt when I thought about adding animal products back into my life. Limiting what went into my mouth was the only life I remembered. How could I go back?
It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t a short road between veganism and this Healthy Chinese Chicken Kale Salad, but I’m happy to be here. In the interim, I worked on myself. I went to therapy, I read self help books, I cried, I went to workshops, I started to talk about my experience, and I even started this blog. I found out that the myth I created in my mind linking animal protein and weight gain was untrue. I also found out how to deal with my emotional overeating. I discovered how to love myself.
Every body works differently, and it should! For me, I work best when the rules are few. So I don’t place limits on myself. I still don’t eat red meat because it kinda grosses me out, and I read too much about the environment. So that’s not something I eat, but not because I “can’t.” Now it’s because I choose not to. The distinction is small but important.
The day I started eating chicken again was strange. I walked into the grocery store in awe that I was going to leave with an animal protein in my cart. And before I put it in my mouth I had to deal with a weird guilt pinging in my brain. It was the guilt of me breaking my own rules. But guess what?!? THERE ARE NO RULES. You get to put into your body whatever you want. All that I can hope is that, you’re feeding yourself out of love.
That’s the difference between now and then. I was feeding myself out of hate – a deep, loathing of my body and what it looked like. And now, I can look in the mirror and see a friend. So I feed it like a friend. I give it nourishing food that keeps it alive, and energizes me to live fully. But I also give it cookies when it’s time to celebrate.
So now I’m here in this middle ground I’ve found, eating a Chinese Chicken Salad that I put kale into cause dark leafy greens are dope AF for your body. I replaced the usual Chinese chicken salad crunchy noodles with Harvest Snaps, ’cause they’re gluten-free and overall better for me. (Plus they taste better.) And yes, I occasionally eat chicken and fish, and I love eggs and cheese. AND GUESS WHAT? I didn’t gain a million pounds, and I’m not unloveable. In fact, I like myself now more than I ever have. I’m a pretty cool lady, if you ask me. haha.
And it’s all because I gave myself permission – permission to love myself, permission to break rules, permission to try, permission to fail, permission to choose something and then un-choose it. I now feed myself good things, because I want to be nice to me. I gave up on restrictions and rules because I ain’t got time to be so afraid of the world. I ain’t got time to be afraid of my own body.
That’s what I hope this blog, and every recipe I put on here, helps inspire you to do. I hope it breaks some “rules.” I hope it looks delicious. I hope it feels good when you eat it. And I hope it helps you love yourself better – in whatever small way. Meat or meatless – kale or romaine – you do you, baby boo.