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Losing Weight Can Look Like This. An Easy Breezy Salad With Fig & Lavender Vinegars

I’ve lost 8-9 pounds in the last 6 weeks. I’d like to credit the new size to diligent exercise and proper, healthy eating, but I can’t. I’ve had to take an introverted look at myself to pinpoint the trigger.

It started with eating something that didn’t sit so well with me in Mexico last month. That caused an immediate elimination of 4 pounds. Stress is a constant factor, so I was sure that most inconvenient reality of most our lives kicked in, too, setting off another series of weight loss. Seeing 1/2″ off my arms, thighs and stomach, motivated me to start eliminating some things from my diet. I was so curious to see how far I could go. And how long it would last…

I got rid of milk (well, switched it for half & half for my espresso–another story for another day), eggs (unless I’m tasting a new flan) and eating random food at random hours of the day. I did start doing strenuous exercises at home and that kick-started some serious calorie burning. I started seeing some additional inches fall off, but the stress factor was still there. You’d think I’d be excited to do a full cleansing of my diet and start incorporating more appropriate foods, particularly vegetables. As much as I like to eat, I have the hardest time eating fresh veggies.

I go for the good, good, stuff! Meat, rice, beans, bread, tortillas, cuban pastries, cakes, ice cream and everything in between! Clearly, greens, vegetables and fruits have not been a priority in my daily intake.

Shame.on.moi. I know! BUT! As the pounds kept shedding and the stress starting dissipating, and with a big birthday just 2 days away (in which I had promised myself I’d look like I did 10 years ago), I realized that I need a major overhaul of what I was putting in my body. I also started noticing that my body feels better all around! More importantly, I love the way the slimmer bod looks! My clothes is looser and my face isn’t as pudgy and it normally is!


So, with the 3 material considerations in mind, I decided to make a concerted effort, not a shabby, half-assed one, to eat better more often. The fastest and easiest way to do that was to have a mental love affair with salads first and then morph into an edible one.  For most of my adult life, I’ve loathed salads. Unless they were replete with candied something and plenty of cooked protien, I wasn’t remotely interested. It’s almost as if I were allergic to a plate or bowl full of greens. By far contrast, both my parents can eat a dinner plates worth in addition to a main course. Watercress!?!?! Ugh, yuck and ick! My dad eats it like he’s a lone horse in lovely pasture.

But, again, I knew it was the most efficient approach at eating better (while keeping the weight off) and keeping my mind off the good, good, stuff. However, whatever salad I invited into my repertoire has to be colorful, super flavorful and filling enough to keep me satisfied. I make this, this and this salad and just love them, but it wasn’t until this revelation and committment to myself that I really embraced the idea of having them as full meals.

Over the last few days, I started playing with different ideas and all have satisfied me for the most part. I started considering what was in season and felt kind of limited. Tomatoes and corn are out the door in these parts of the world….so those were an unlikely staple.

Another epiphany! Who the hell cares?! If I want to eat it, I’ll eat it. If I can find a juicy tomato to enjoy, then I’ll have a juicy tomato. Could it be deemed culinary irresponsibility or insensitivity? Possibly. But at this juncture, I need to make it work which ever way I can.

And so, I came to this salad. A happy medium of flavors and seasonal byproducts.

Perhaps not the ideal fall salad, but I have a rack of tomatoes, a whole bag of cucumbers and 10 packs of halloumi cheese… boom! A crunchy and savory salad. It was missing some additional green and some aroma, so I added fresh mint. And of course, I needed a dressing. The most fabulous marriage ocurred in my kitchen today!!

Lavender vinegar blended with fig balsamic and a dash of honey! AHHHHHH!! What a marvelous salad. It had the perfect crisp I was looking for, the right amount of sweetness (though I’m thinking some candied pecans would not do this mix any injustice) and the right point of saltiness via the cheese…a wonderful cheese from Cyprus.

Fusion at its best.

I loooved it, friends. Took less than 10 minutes to make, and all of 5 to sabor. Now, you know this chica hates cooking for thy self, let alone eating alone, so this is something that will pacify those urges to enjoy something good w/out the grunt of cooking an elaborate meal.

I am one happy, lighter and on the road to a greener diet gal!

What would you add to this salad? I was thinking some lavender flowers. And, what’s your go-to salad? 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Cucumber & Tomato Salad With Fig & Lavender Vinegars*


  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup halloumi cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, smaller leaves or minced (optional)


In medium bowl, add all ingredients and toss well. Make your dressing toss into salad. Serve on plate.

*dressing provided under separate post here

Serves 1.

82 thoughts on “Losing Weight Can Look Like This. An Easy Breezy Salad With Fig & Lavender Vinegars

  1. That looks so good. I really wish I could somehow find the time and commitment to eat right. My diet is terrible. Bravo to you for making a positive change in your life!

  2. You loathe salads too! You ARE my twin! Lol. I would swear you enjoyed all foods because you were a chef, but it makes sense. Salads arent very tasty. I’ve also tried changing my diet. I’ve lost weight but not because of the green in my diet. I started working out and stopped eating after 6pm. Did the trick as 3 weeks later I lost 6 lbs. But I also have to eat heathier just for the sake of living longer and better. Your salad looks very pretty. Maybe, one day, I will take the plunge! Minus the dressing. I hate condiments 🙂

  3. That looks delicious, I only wish I could just get back in the groove so that I can stop feeling down in the dumps…I can understand the problem with the greens you know us Cubans are not very big veggie eaters but I do love my watercress 🙂 Is the cheese found in a local supermarket or is that something that needs to be purchased at a specialty place?
    On a side note just in case I miss it, hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!
    ♥ Noemi
    Fashion: Classy N Glamorous
    Travel: Across The Sea

  4. This salad looks delicious! I love to try new salads as I’m trying to add healthier food in my life. My salad usually ends up being lettuce, turkey and feta…but it needs to be spiced up a bit. Thanks for sharing Bren 🙂

  5. Monica: I was inspired when I saw the weight loss! Felt and looks good so I’m trying really hard to maintain it. I’m not a salad gal at all so it’s not easy. Though this one makes it way easier! Hope you try it.

    Suj: Yes! not eating 5 or so hours before bedtime is so critical in losing and keeping weight off. There are still some things that I’d like to keep away from my fridge, but this girl here looooooves to eat! why must salads be so unappealing? I don’t like creamy salads which is why I do vinegars and oils.

    Noemi: we are SO not into greens. I mean, really! Que cosa es eso! But like I mentioned in the post, my parents love all kinds of greens and salads. I wish I would have gotten that from them. Wish you well and sending you energy to get it done!

    Helena: Yay you for wanting to eat better, too! No turkey in my salads. I save that for sandwiches and Thanksgiving!

    Rosa: Yes.it.is. Love it. Well, almost !

    Carrie: Gracias, chica.

  6. From your pictures, you look slim and healthy, but I understand our health should be priority number 1. I love the simplicity of the salad made fresh with the lavender and orange blossom honey. Those are incredible ingredients. Be well.

  7. So delicious & inspiring! The protein in the cheese and anti-oxidants in the veggies give this salad a perfect balance to keep full & to be healthy overall! Lavender & fig balsamic dressing with orange blossom honey? Triple YUMMY!

  8. Hi Bren – Happy belated birthday, hope you had a marvelous day!
    Great looking salad, love the colors and textures.
    Missed you at the Tailgate party…

  9. Lovely-looking -and I am sure tasting- salad. You’re right, it looks very summer-y, but a good salad as appealiing to taste and sight like this can be had in any season. At least, I will eat it in any season, after all, what’ a “lone horse in a lovely pasture” to do?! 🙂
    Ah don’t lose too much weight!

  10. It looks delicious Bren. I have a tough time with salads too, mostly because I have a fast metabolism and get too hungry too soon. Also, I’m vegetarian so I creave CARBS. So I would recommend this: why not have half of what you normaly eat and accompany it with a small salad? I think this is a great habit, you eat less of the naughty stuff, and never skip your greens. And they say the enzimes in the raw salad help you digest the cooked part of your meal. Perfect combo!

  11. BUENO .necesito perder peso y con una ensalada como esa pierdo todo lo que pueda por que se ve muy rica .asi que lo hare manana mismo gracias

  12. That is great progress and awesome reflection. Congrats!!! Weightloss seems so hard at times until you get up and move. Keep it up the good work and keep sharing these great salads. Looks tasty’n

  13. I kept looking at the picture looking for the figs… and then I realized the figs are in the VINEGAR!!!! never had fig vinegar before, but it sure sounds delicious… Great that you’re looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. With moderation, you could eat anything… i’ve found that by limiting animal product consumption (just like you’re doing by limiting dairy, eggs and possibly meats) I tend to lose weight as well. My friend Kathleen also lost weight by adding BREAKFAST to her eating repertoire… I hope your lifestyle change has lasting results!!!!

  14. Yum! That looks so fresh and delicious. I will be adding to my food list. I’ve been waking up at the crack of dawn for a nice workout and this would be a great compliment to that! Hawaii body here I come lol!

  15. I need to get wifey to make this salad for me… doesn’t seem too complicated and the flavors will work with my picky palate…. and since I’m still on my weight loss mission, I’ll give it a try!

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