The Super Simple Salad Dressing Formula

December 5, 2019

I’m not going to lie to you and say that salads are tasty and fun and great to eat. I eat my salad in this order:…

December 5, 2019

I’m not going to lie to you and say that salads are tasty and fun and great to eat. I eat my salad in this order: greens first, saving all the cheese, nuts, and other goodies for last, so I can finish my meal with a smile. However, I do believe that a tasty dressing made to your liking will take that salad from a 5 to a 7.5 (out of 10). 

Additionally, when you tell people that you made the dressing yourself, should it come up because you’re in the break room at work or serving it to friends and family, it sounds cool and impressive. 

Making salad dressing is incredibly easy. You just need a bowl, a whisk, and a few ingredients you probably already have in your fridge or pantry. Having made about a dozen different kinds of dressings over the years, I’ve figured out the perfect formula for making dressings at home with what you have on hand.

The ratio is 3 parts oil/fat, to 1 part acid, with about ⅓-⅔  of a part emulsifier/sweetener. Add herbs and spices to your taste.

Some additional tips: you’ll definitely want some mustard if you’re making a vinaigrette, but you can probably skip it if you’re making a creamier, mayonnaise-based dressing. 

Check out the graphic below for an easy visual guide to creating your own salad dressings.

Want to make it an infused salad dressing? Use the dosage calculator below to figure out your potency (usually a serving of salad dressing is 1-2 tablespoons). 

July 9, 2019

I don’t want to sound too braggy but I’ve not had a bad edible experience yet. I’ve always been a little apprehensive towards substances in general and have always erred on the cautious side when it comes to cannabis edibles. However, I’ve seen a handful of friends have a bad time with either edibles or smoking to know what you need to do in the event of a bad trip.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s not permanent, it won’t last, and you just have to keep calm.

Take a few deep breaths

Breathe in and out slowly and deeply and remind yourself that this is going to pass. It might feel a little scary and overwhelming right now, but it will pass.

Drink some water

I always find ice water the most refreshing when I’m feeling a little bit too messed up, but whatever feels good to you. Ask a friend for help if you’re feeling like you can’t do it on your own. No judgements, it happens.

Get comfortable

Whatever you need to do to feel comfortable, do it. Laydown on the floor if that’s what feels good. You might be feeling dizzy or light headed so it’s a good idea to just be still.

Be prepared for puke

I’m not saying you’re definitely going to throw up, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Put a new bag in your trash and bring the bin near your comfortable spot.

Sleep it off

Really the best move here is to lay down and go to sleep. By the time you wake up the spins and paranoia will have passed and you can get on with your day. Albeit probably a little bit groggy than you started.

June 25, 2019

I think it’s very important to take time off. You need to recharge and relax. It’s just as important as getting things done. We are not machines, but even if we were… machines break down from overuse, too. However, as easy as it is to sit down and give yourself a time out, it’s equally as hard to get back on track. Especially if you let that break drag on a little longer than you intended. Or the energy to complete regular day to day activities just isn’t there yet.

Sometimes what we need, and what we intend, don’t always line up.

If you’re here, maybe you’re having trouble picking up where you left off. That’s perfectly fine and wonderful. First, I want to commend you for taking the break you needed. Good job! Second, let’s get you back into the swing of things.

Start with just one of the things you’ve been neglecting

Generally when I am off my “good” routine, I’m way, way off. I’m not exercising my mind nor body, nor eating in a balanced manner, nor following through with my skincare routine, especially at night. One derailed good habit snowballs into another until suddenly I’ve eaten takeout every single night in a week and I can’t quite place why I’m both tired and not sleeping. Oh right. When it feels completely overwhelming to get back into your old beautiful routine, just pick one good habit to reintroduce into your life. Whatever one you want. I always pick eating better because I really like cooking. It does bring me joy to make a good meal and that endorphin rush helps seal in the habit of eating well at home.

Create a simple reward system

Make a small goal, set at time frame, and then pick a little reward. Maybe you know you should eat a good breakfast every day but that means waking up 15 minutes earlier and it’s been hard to commit. Make a promise to yourself that if you can wake up 15 minutes early every day you work this week, then on your next monday (whatever day Monday is for your schedule), you’ll stop for a coffee and bagel at your favorite shop on the way to work. Then make it two weeks. Then a month.

Sleep with your blinds/curtains open

Let the sun wake you up for a change. It might feel really great to be gradually woken up in that way instead of shaken out of bed by the screech of your smartphone. Plus it’ll totally switch up your normal morning routine.

Change your old routine altogether

Maybe you are in a rut with your routine because your routine sucked. What’s a better time to experiment with your schedule than when the old one stops working? Pick a different way to start your day each day of the week. Maybe one day you wake up and go straight for the kitchen for breakfast. The next you start it with some yoga before a shower and breakfast, and on another you start right in the shower. The day(s) is(are) yours! There’s no reason you have to do anything in any particular order as long as you get where you need to on time.

Stop being so hard on yourself

Most importantly, even if you slack off for the next ten years, there are worse things you can do. Give yourself a break. You’re probably doing better than you think you are and you deserve some credit. You’re still alive. You’re still here. And you matter regardless of how well you stick to your desired routine. Falling into a slump and skipping the gym or not vacuuming as much as you think you need to isn’t the end of the world. And to be honest, no one, besides you, is really paying that much attention to whether or not you’re following through on whatever schedule or promises you made to yourself. It’s ok to change the due date on a personal goal. It’s ok to make it easier to accomplish. You can always try again.

March 6, 2019

One question I frequently hear from people about my cannabis use is how do I reconcile that with my desire for physical fitness. There's a reason why people associate cannabis use with never ending, unhealthy snacking -- because cannabis makes everything taste and smell better. It does trigger a hunger response.

Which is one reason why I won't keep my favorite lactose free ice cream in the house on the regular.  

It's common knowledge that consuming cannabis can increase your appetite but I didn't know why. Thanks to the folks over at Marijuana Doctors, now I know and you do too:

Infographic provided by Marijuana Doctors

science behind the munchies

I'm going to transcribe the information from the image here for the visually impaired:

The Munchies According to Science

This visual highlights some of the most popular scientific explanations behind the munchies. By using naturally occurring neural networks, THC can increase our sensitivity to scents and flavors to convince the brain that it's starving. 

How Cannabis Triggers the Munchies

THe cannabinoid compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to and activates cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1) in humans and animals to increase appetite.

Below this text is a cartoon cannabis leaf with glasses on, smiling, and standing in front of a chalkboard with the chemical symbol for THC, like a little scientist/teacher. 

CB1 Receptors Responsible for Appetite

THC fits into CB1 receptors that are part of the brain and body's natural endocannabinoid system. They are found across various locations. 

Below this text is a diagram of the human body with labels pointing out parts of the body where the natural endocannabinoid system are found. 

Forebrain: enhances food palatability (the front, part of your brain where you'd find your forehead)

Basal Ganglia: enhances eating pleasure (found above the ears)

Hypothalamus: regulates appetite and food intake (found just below the basal ganglia slightly behind the ears)

Stomach and Small Intestine: regulates ghrelin, the appetite stimulating hormone (found in the center bottom of the torso)

Solving the THC and Appetite Puzzle

THC Changes the Function of Neurons in Your Brain

THC activates a subset of neurons called proopiomelanocortin neurons (POMCs) in the hypothalamus releasing a chemical: beta-endorphins, which stimulates appetite and cravings. 

Neurons that normally play a role in feelings of satiety become the driver of food intake when exposed to THC. 

Study conducted by Yale University, lead by Tomas Horvath, professor of neurobiology.

Accompanying image: cartoon cannabis leaf with lines on belly indicating that it's hungry and/or making noise

THC Makes Foods Smell and Tase BEtter

THC Stimulates the olfactory bulb, which is the part of the brain responsible for recognizing scents. 

Mice dosed with THC significantly increased the ability to smell food and eat more of it. Because scent and taste are closely related it likely allows us to better taste flavors. 

Study conducted by The University of Bordeaux, lead by Giovanni Marsicano

Accompanying image: cartoon cannabis leaf licking it's lips and smelling something delicious in the air

THC Promote the Release of Dopamine

THC was found to increase the release of dopamine in the basal ganglia to enhance the sensation of pleasure-- that come as a result of eating while high. 

When THC is present, your body receives an extra rush of dopamine from the food you're eating. 

Study published in Neuropharmacology, lead by Maria Antoinette De Luca, PhD

Accompanying image: cartoon cannabis leaf munching on some pizza

THC May Actually Stimulate Hunger 

THC increases the levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone that speeds digestion. 

Ghrelin is also responsible for creating the sensation of hunger that plays a part in metabolizing carbohydrates, which might be why THC causes craving for carbohydrate rich substances. 

Study published in Journal of Biological Chemistry, lead by Barts and the London School of Medicine.

Accompanying image: cartoon cannabis leaf looking up lovingly at bread, french fries, and a croissant/all the carbs

Munchies For Medicine

THC appears to convince our brains that we're starving, which can be especially helpful for weight gains and appetite stimulation in people suffering from a variety of illnesses: 

  • cancer
  • HIV/AIDS-- a study published in the journal of Pain and Symptom Management found
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrom

97% of HIV patients reported improved appetite with medical cannabis treatment

Accompanying image: a collage with a microscope, cannabis leaf, rx pills, and other little nondescript, but science-y flourishes. 

A New Kind of Health Care

www.marijuanadoctors.com

Sources: Smithsonian | Examine | Futurism

January 29, 2019

Throughout the course of 2017 and 2018, I lost over 45lbs. And I did it while smoking, and eating a lot of cannabis. Like… a lot. Of course, it was not smoking that made me get in better shape. It’s not like there’s some new coughing cardio.

Should I do more dabs? Are there any dabs and abs classes? Is that a thing? It should be. You can email me to license this idea.

Anyway…

Last year I wrote about all the things I learned losing the first 35 lbs. In 2018, I lost another 10. I haven’t looked much at my scale since I hit that mark. I don’t even remember when I hit that mark. To be frank, when I had to buy a size small winter coat last year, I kind of stopped caring. I realized my focus had shifted to increasing speed and strength in the rest of my body.

Cannabis has played an integral role in helping me stay focused on my goals. Throughout 2018, I used it as a motivator and as a recovery tool. I made it a point to document especially towards the end of the year. I incorporated edibles into my recovery routine with more consistency in the Fall.

Cannabis as a reward

If you have the opportunity, I find smoking right before a run to be one of the best moves you can make, with one caveat. Smoking before a run can lead to a sluggish first mile or two. But, once your endorphins start to kick in you are on top of the world. I find the sluggishness to be especially pronounced with an indica strain.

I also like knowing there’s a bowl waiting for me when I get home because #mymansthebest and he preps it for me. It’s an excellent reward. So yes. I’m saying smoke before you go and smoke when you get back. You’ll feel awesome. Give your body a good stretch between hits.

Another way I like using cannabis as a reward is to pack a bowl, and then do a set of something, taking a toke after each set. Sometimes it’s a quick free weight circuit, sometimes it might be 25 squats. Do your reps then take a hit and start again.

Cannabis in recovery

If you think I’m putting all this weed in me for fun you’d be right. Jokes aside, I do use cannabis for it’s medicinal properties, even though I am not medical patient. Turns out for most people who use cannabis, it’s both a recreational and medicinal plant/hobby.

2018 was the year I started taking CBD. I bought any CBD tincture or edible I thought sounded interesting. Starting at The Green Solution and then settling on DRAM Dose. I like micro-dosing a little of DRAM’s adaptogenic drops with an equal dose of THC if I can.

I went into trying CBD with low expectations. I didn’t think it would work for me. I thought that everyone who loves it was overselling it. I don’t think it’s a cure all but CBD has helped relieve both pain and anxiety. I’ve made headaches go away with The Green Solution x Canyon Cultivation CBD lollipops. I’ve slept with more peace since I started taking DRAM +CBD Sweetgrass drops.

I use edibles as well. 100mg will give my body a wonderful, relaxing reset. Relieving any tension in my back, hips, and shoulders so when I go to the gym next I’m ready to kick ass.

Cannabis and my future health and body goals

My goals this year are to continue running as much as I can. I want to run 300 miles. I want to bike 300 miles. I want to run 10 miles straight. I want to add another 10lbs to each of my dumbbells. I kind of want abs but I’m not sure I want to sacrifice all that food I love. All the good stuff.

I do want to continue to build muscle and strength. That’s my primary goal. I want to be able to run a marathon even though I won’t. You know I want to feel strong enough to be able to, in case I ever need to. In like an emergency or something.

I did run a 10k (which is 6.2 miles for non-runners in the United States). I want to run 10 miles this year. It would feel like such a huge accomplishment for me. I have never run that far in my life and I want to do it.

I’d also like to try my hand at the Manitou Springs Incline a couple more times. This time without an unrealized sprained ankle that I will make a hundred times worse. I would like to complete it in less time than the first time (which was about 90 minutes). I’d like to do it in 75 or so.

I’m definitely going to work on my nutrition plan this year. Before my January financial cleanse, I was a little lazy and irresponsible at dinner time. This led to more fast food than I would like. I did maintain my fitness regimen, but that helped keep my jeans from getting too tight.

More data

I am also going to take a more dedicated approach towards tracking what I’m ingesting and when and how it helps in 2019. I would like to be able to measure my progress. I want to make a more direct connection between my health and my cannabis use. This includes finding a doctor who won’t judge me for the use and will work with me in how I want to treat myself and my body.

I can’t wait to update you on how I achieve these goals throughout the year. Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Twitter for updates. And please let me know what your goals are in 2019 for your health in the comments below.

Are you ready to blaze and graze? Get the complimentary recipe book now.

This free recipe books contains the perfect solutions for beating the munchies while still getting nutritious foods. Sweet and salty is the name of this game.