Cruciferous Crunch Salad

So I just ordered a new swimsuit! My first two piece in quite a while… hmm now that I am really thinking about it, I think that the last two piece I had was early college years? A tankini of course. So I decided that since in one month, the goal is to be at 170 lbs (lowest weight in 3 years), I was going to treat myself to a new swimsuit that covers a tiny bit less since hopefully there will be less of me to see!

After finally seeing the number go down a bit in the past couple weeks, I have decided to make some long term goals more concrete. I expressed in my “Healthy Living 2016” page that I am really determined to get to a healthy weight for some short term goals like Mexico and Christine’s wedding, but even bigger than that is the long term. I want babies and a clean eating family. I didn’t set a weight goal because as I was writing it, I really had no idea what would be possible.

But now, I am on day 58 of clean eating and exercising and I do not see an end in sight. I am going to make a big positive thinking leap and get a number in mind.


Okay, so for thin people, that is probably their definition of overweight. BUT for me, 140 is what I weighed pre-high school when sneaking off campus for McDonalds cheeseburgers and daily caramel macchiatos was a regular thing. I also keep telling students that I would be THRILLED to get back to my high school body and that I wish I had appreciated what I had back then. So I need to make good on my words. 140 also sounds like a good number due to how the inspiration chart I made worked out… As you can see, the chart ended at 140 naturally, so I am going to go with it. I like symmetry.


So as usual, I was feeling a little blecky the other day because the time of the month made its usual appearance. I was a bit bloated and I could really tell because my wedding ring, which has been so loose lately was back to its too perfect fit. So I Pinterest searched, “weight loss motivation” and all these rewards charts and visual reminders of why I was doing this came up. I realized that I do get a lot of pride and feeling of accomplishment when I log my weight on Lose It or MyFitnessPal and see the number go down and down. I like Lose It because it shows you in a cute little graph with a line chart all your weight log ins. So in order to capitalize on that, I made the paper chart that I printed and where I can cross off as I go and have a visual reminder of my goals! This also gave me the opportunity to brainstorm some rewards for myself! You know, rewards besides getting rid of tons of fat… I am going to post it up in my walk-in closet as soon as Ryan finishes building it 🙂

I talked to my ridiculously sweet husband about it and we have set aside about a chunk of money that I can use guilt-free to help me reach my goals. This can mean workout gear or equipment, gym classes, or rewards for reaching my goals! Hey, getting in shape is not exactly cheap. Don’t even get me started on how much more I spend on groceries. I am sure if I just stuck to chicken breast and broccoli every night, I would save A LOT of money, but in order to keep things interesting and varied, I spend a little… a lot…too much.

I think it is going to feel really good to take a Sharpie to every pound I lose. When you make a plan to lose 30 lbs, you have to make some rewarding stops along the way.

So here is the MICHELLE HA REWARDS plan:

175 lbs- New swimsuit for Mexico

170 lbs- New high heels (already have some adorable Vince Camuto floral print pumps picked out!)

160 lbs- A trip to Victoria’s Secret

150 lbs- Lulemon yoga pants

145 lbs– Professional photos of Teddy, Ryan, and I (there is an awesome photographer in the area that does really cute and romantic couples/family/pet photo shoots)

140 lbsShopping spree for new clothes with the money left over

So the swimsuit I ordered was my little gift to myself for losing 10 lbs. By the time it gets here and I am ready to wear it in Cancun, I should be at 170. Gotta love Betsey Johnson and her polka dots. I will never ever grow out of polka dots.

On to the food portion of my ramblings!

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So people have always been trying to get me onto brussel sprouts and until this year, I would have insisted they taste like trash up and down. There was no convincing me that those smelly, garbage tasting balls were any good. I don’t really know what happened. Did I change? Did the brussel sprouts change? I think they did, because now I find them delicious. Yeah, yeah I take it all back! Little by little, I have been adapting my taste buds to not tolerate, but ENJOY brussel sprouts. If you are like 25 year old me, then please try this recipe for one of the best salads I have ever had so you can hop on the bandwagon too.

My mother in law, Barb, made this salad for Christmas dinner and it was so good, the recipe landed in my email inbox right away. I finally took the time to make it this week because I discovered Trader Joes’ cruciferous crunch salad mix and knew it would be perfect for this recipe. I love how easy this recipe is and how you can adapt it depending on what you have around the house. I almost always have everything handy for the dressing and as for the pears, pecans, and dried cranberries, they are easily substituted for. I could see apple, walnuts, and dried cherries working just as well in this salad. As for the green part, you can do just brussel sprouts or buy the mix like I did. If I didn’t want to go out of my way to get to a Trader Joes’, I would probably do a bag of broccoli slaw and some shredded brussel sprouts instead. Turns out that overcooking brussel sprouts is what gives them a terrible odor and taste. So play it safe and eat them raw if you have never liked them before!


I adapted this recipe the tiniest bit from the one that Barb found at Iowa Girl Eats- Fall Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad to fit my needs. I also just really like alliterations…

Cruciferous Crunch Salad

(Serves 4 as a side, 2 as the main dish) Ignore my photos in terms of quantity. I tripled the recipe to make for my entire family for lunch last week. 


  • 1 bag of Cruciferous Crunch from Trader Joes (You can make this salad with just shredded brussel sprouts too. I like this mix because it also has broccoli, kale, red cabbage, and green cabbage. I like variety!)
  • 3 TB EVOO
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pear (Bosc is preferable as I like a harder pear for salads)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry cranberries (I would omit when I am feeling strict on sugar)
  • 1/4 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese or Gorgonzola


  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the EVOO in a skillet on medium high. Fry the shallots until golden brown. When fried, let them sit on a paper towel for a few minutes to cool and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients and add the shallots.
  3. In a shaker bottle or mason jar, shake together all the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over salad and toss well.




4 thoughts on “Cruciferous Crunch Salad

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