Avocado, Feta and Spinach Salad; Remembering Sher and Fighting Women’s Heart Disease

Avocado, Feta and Spinach Salad

Whew, that’s a long title….
Lia, of Swirling Notions has done an amazing job of organizing an event to raise money for a worthy cause in memory of a worthy food blogging friend, Sher, of What Did You Eat.

Clos du Bois has most generously agreed to match any contribution made through the end of August, up to $10,000!  WOW!!!!

Head over to Swirling Notions to read about the details, learn how to contribute (my graphic is for demonstration purposes only) and get some scary info about women’s heart disease.

Ladies, you will be unhappy to know that in this area, at least, we have finally surpassed the men!

We all know, at least intellectually that diet, both what we eat and how much we eat is an important part of, not only heart health, but overall health.

I have always thought that exercise plays an even greater role in keeping all of our parts working as they should.

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, I developed an, at the time, unexplainable allergy.

I would go into anaphylactic shock, a very acute, life-threatening reaction to, well, something.

When I woke up in an emergency room with a priest hovering over me, I realized it was serious.

I went to all the doctors, took all the tests, and was told that I had very minor allergies to a few foods.

I avoided the foods religiously (still contemplating the priest).

It didn’t help.

Every few months, I found myself with acute anaphylaxsis: looking like a relief map of a mountain range with no discernible pulse or blood pressure.
I gave me shots of adrenaline, as, in turn, did most of my friends.  I was loads of fun to go out with!

It always seemed to be related to exercise: dancing after eating, walking after eating, etc.

It didn’t matter what I ate, although some foods seemed to be more of a trigger than others.  But  the food didn’t do anything without the exercise.

So I quit exercising.

I drove everywhere.
I always took the elevator, never the stairs.
If I had to walk someplace I moved so slowly as to make a parked car look fast.

To say I got seriously out of shape is a serious understatement.

I would get out of breath watching TV.

I may have put on a few extra pounds (is twenty ‘a few’?)

When it got to the point that I resembled a slowly, very slowly, rolling ball I realized I had to get my life back.

I joined a gym that was in the same building as an Allergy Clinic.

I went to the clinic, explained my situation, then started working out.

I thought (probably mistakenly) that if my body was reacting to exercise I would make it immune… like becoming desensitized to mildew.

I have spent anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours exercising almost every day of my life since.  The average time, if I’m not doing an outdoor activity such as golf (I walk and carry my clubs) or hiking, is 45 minutes.

This has kept my weight under control, my blood pressure low and my heart rate low.

As to the ‘allergy’, I ended up at Mayo Clinic for 3 days of tests.  They determined that I was not allergic to anything, and were duly puzzled.  A few years later my condition finally had a name “Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxsis”.

Damn, I love being a ground-breaker.

It did get me to exercise, however, and I now firmly believe that it’s the key to good health… and good heart health.

But, Avocados and Olive Oil help…. (you were wondering, weren’t you…)

Avocado, Feta and Spinach Salad

Avocado, Feta and Spinach Salad

1 ripe avocado
3oz (100gr) cherry tomatoes
3oz (100gr) feta
1/2 cup dry, Greek olives
3oz (100gr) spinach
1 tbs snipped chives
1 tbs oregano leaves
Balsamic  Vinaigrette

Make vinaigrette. Wash and spin dry spinach. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut feta into cubes if needed. Snip herbs.  Pit avocado, slice thickly, then cut into cubes.  Put avocado, tomatoes, olives, herbs and feta into a bowl. Add 2 – 3 tbs vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Arrange spinach on two dinner plates. Spoon the salad into the center and serve, any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

In small bowl whisk vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Please visit Swirling Notions to learn how you can contribute to better heart health for all women… In memory of Sher.

And… Get moving!  Walk to the store, take the stairs, park far, far away from the mall… It all adds up!

12 thoughts on “Avocado, Feta and Spinach Salad; Remembering Sher and Fighting Women’s Heart Disease”

  1. This is really great advice, and a good nudge for the obvious – I need to exercise more too, like many people I suppose. THanks for spreading the word about this event! I’m glad you’re doing much better!

  2. Your salad looks so good! I can’t tell you how much I love avocado.
    I hope the donations can match the $10,000. That would be amazing.
    I like the new blog design btw.

  3. Thanks, Joelen, hope you like it ;-))
    Susan, so many wonderful salads… and summer seems so short!
    Michelle, the only thing a dislike more than exercise is dieting… I rest my case!
    Emiline, you noticed! Thank you!

  4. I’ve found that with a really good balsamic, I don’t need to use oil at all — and it’s a great balance to the richness of avocadoes. I’d much rather exercise than diet any day…

  5. Good for you, Katie! If ever there was an excuse NOT to exercise, being allergic to it would be it. Bravo to you for persevering . . . and for this salad! Thanks, too, for spreading the word on the WomenHeart fundraiser for Sher. I’ll hope to see you all there!

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