Self Love and Salads

in Self Improvement11 months ago (edited)


The ingredients for my awesome vinaigrette!

EDIT: Hello, friends! It was recommended to me to not use canola or other vegetable oils and instead opt for healthier choices such as olive oil. While nutrition in general is not in my wheelhouse and nothing I say should be considered as health or nutritional recommendations, I felt I should pass on the advice I was given. Thanks and stay well!

I'm almost one year into my self-improvement journey, and I thought I'd share some of the bumps, joys, and miles along the road with you all today. If it serves as an inspiration to some, I'll be absolutely honored, but I hope if nothing else it's a good read for everyone who finds this post.

I've always struggled with moderation. Like with everything. Food, drinking, gaming, sex, I mean, everything! I'm not sure how one would label it - hedonism, addictive personality, no delay of gratification... I think any of those terms give the general idea. None of it posed much of an issue during my formative years, I think owing to luck in some cases, but the cracks started forming as I grew older. Weighing down my former marriage, for example. Guilt at the previous evening's behavior. Guilt at missed opportunities because I was too sucked in to [fill in the blank].

But the biggest impacts came with the pandemic and how I let my bad habits surge during it. As much as I like to think I'm still there, I'm not in my 20s any more, not by about 20 years. And drinking and smoking a lot in your 40s really affects you. I already worked from home and was socially isolated, so losing myself in strong IPA beers nearly every night was comforting - and smokers and former smokers out there know what I'm talking about when I say how well cigarettes pair with your favorite alcohol. But combining those with poor eating and letting exercise go left me waking up every morning feeling desperate, ragged, and exhausted. Any cardiovascular movement beyond walking left me winded. And to put this all in perspective, about seven years ago I could regularly run 5-6 miles!

I'd tried quitting smoking. I had quit. Probably 40-50 times. Once for nine years. The best advice I ever got, and that I'll give anyone who ever listens to me, is "never quit quitting." In June 2021, I finally put them away. I honestly don't know what it was, maybe the fact that I was coughing constantly, maybe because I didn't want to put my kids through what I knew would be a terrible death for their father... maybe because I was tired of all of it and of feeling sick all of the time? Whatever the reason, I just knew this time was it. There was no doubt in my mind. It's honestly been the strangest feeling... and even though I miss them, and when I smell someone smoking, I still wanna yank that sonofabitch out of their fingers and take a long drag, I know I won't.

Drinking took me a little longer, but only a little. It wasn't the embarrassment at how I'd acted - again - well, it was of course... but I actually noticed my guts saying "gruhumm-gruuuhuu" and feeling the very odd sensation of something other inside them. Turns out, I'd given myself an ulcer.

Interestingly enough, having suffered from mental health issues all of my adult life, I discovered that my commitment to sobriety after discovering my condition actually improved my brain's reception to my medication and drastically reduced my symptoms for the first time in decades.

I never thought I'd be grateful for an ulcer.

Sobriety is fascinating for other reasons, too. I'm much more aware. Of everything. Including my own worth.

But that poor eating and lack of exercise, right? Riiiiight? Yeah. My guts are still super pissed at me about all of this nonsense. So here's what I do - remember that vinaigrette pic? Here's how it turns out!


This stuff is so damn fine.

One of my best friends makes his using the same ingredients, but adds water, onion powder, dill and tahini to clone Annie's Goddess dressing - and thinks it might even be better.

So after I made the dressing, I go to town on the salad itself.


Healthy goodness

And since I'm still an unhealthy hedonist at heart and we all deserve a reward...



Finally, my new, every-day lunch, because damn it, I'm worth it:


Now, one may be looking at this salad and thinking, "Rogers, this is effing huge, man." And your thinking would be 100% correct. I cannot argue with you that this salad, and all of my salads, are gargantuan monstrosities that would normally serve as dinners for normal people. All I can say in my defense is that at least I'm overindulging on vegetables and organic apple cider vinegar.

Honestly though, you can't appreciate the size of it without proper scale:


I'm still working on regular exercise... but I will say that having an Oculus, a Netflix account, and a recumbent exercise bike works miracles during harsh winters!

Stay well everyone, love yourselves, and thanks so much for reading ❤️🥕🍅🥗


I never thought I'd be grateful for an ulcer.

Please, I laughed so hard because it's relatable. Although I still don't have an ulcer, I am suffering from erosive gastritis. I can no longer eat whatever the hell I want, including this salad with vinaigrette. I want to cry, it looks so good! 😭

Totally get it! And sometimes, what can you do but laugh? I also didn't want to go completely off the TMI deep end with this piece, but I'm a bit restricted with my diet now, too.

I read up a little bit on erosive gastritis - that sounds absolutely terrible. Are meds helping you recover?

I hate being restricted, especially when it comes to food.

Yes, I have meds but I no longer take them because I don't want to be dependent on it. I only try to stay away from foods that are bad for me.

It really is a big shift, one I never considered before it happened.

Oh that makes sense. I'm glad staying away from bad foods is helping you.

Lovely food u got and I believe itz yummy

Thank you!! It's so, so good - I don't know why I waited so long to start making it every day!

I’m not a salad guy (more of a !PIZZA fan) but even I know the value of a good vinaigrette.

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how can there be "too much engage" monsters

There are a few tip/vanity tokens that have different requirements to call. !ENGAGE has always been hit and miss for me. I think only so many a day can be called, period.

Others, like !BEER, usually go through for me, but I think !WINE is dead. Not sure how that panned out.

There has already been too much ENGAGE today.

What did the mayonnaise say to the icebox?
Close the door, I am dressing.

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There has already been too much ENGAGE today.

Sex addiction is funnier when it’s Mr Rogers spitting game and slinging dick all over the neighborhood. Just saying.

Aaaaaaaaaaand why am I surprised you went there omg I'm crying lol

one one come you kitchen is so damn clean!? That is the only thing I need to know, and the solution can't involve any physical activity, I am okay with magic wand!

Because you can't post pictures of a dirty kitchen for a blog post that involves food! Healthy food at that! I'd lose any credibility I had lol

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ohhh... healthy. I am not a fan of cooking but salads I can easily prepare! Thank you for sharing how to make your Self-Love salad. I gotta try that!

You're welcome! Salads are so good for you and so easy!

Learning to be a great cook is a long-term goal. A long-long-term goal. 😆