Shrimp and Avocado Salad

by Jenn on April 26, 2010

in Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Salads,Seafood


I had a post ready for you all.  I was so moved by Shauna‘s recent post where she poured out her heart and soul about her life; it was exactly the wake-up call that I needed.  I immediately wanted to share with you all my story, and my struggles with my own body.  For, while not nearly to the same magnitude of hardship as Shauna went through, over the past few years I have had extremely valid reasons for maybe finding a little too much comfort in food.

I let two of my best friends read it first.  I wanted to make sure it was still relevant for you all.  And I think it is.  But, I’m not ready, not just yet, to share all the gory details.  It’s a story for sure, but one for another time, a different day.  Not this day.  For now, I give you the brief version.

There was a time when very suddenly, several instances of tendinitis in my legs all at once rendered me unable to walk, let alone even stand on my own.   It was not so long ago.  Eventually, after some harrowing and some fantastic experiences, the problem was fixed – only a momentary disturbance in my well-being.  Though I remember that summer, not just for the experience I went through, but also for how those events marked the time when food became my comfort.  I remember the strawberries at the farmer’s market were heaven that year.  My mother and I gorged on them every weekend because they were as sweet as candy.  As time went on I could stand and walk a little, and after several months found the strength to stand and make a quiche for my darling now-husband.  I watched a lot of TV that summer, and taught myself to make risotto by watching Gordon Ramsay.  Cooking became an outlet.  This was something I could do, when so many things were so far out of my reach.  While I was cooking I got excited about the possibilities that presented themselves, and for a few moments each day, the pain went away.  Cooking, creating, and eating, took away pain for me, and gave me hope that things would return to normal.  Maybe too much so, and it continued to be this way with each major life-changing event that occurred from then on.  Even now, the role food plays in the status of my emotional well being is a bit out of whack.

(we interrupt this regularly scheduled program for a Technorati claim token – wooo Technorati!) SMEAARW4R7P4 – I promise this will be removed once verified….For now please keep reading the rest of this post for some delicious shrimp & avocado salad :)

So this day, I do not want to dwell on past events (though they will make for a grand story), for things did return to normal, and all became well.  No, today I want to talk about excuses.  For, my reasons then as well as now, however valid they may have been, however deserving I was to enjoy comforts of many dishes of pasta or  bacon or  butter when I was feeling homesick, at some point devolved into excuses.  My reasons transformed over time, ever so slowly, hardly even noticeably, into the excuses they are today.  Excuses for not exercising, for letting my eyes rather than my stomach dictate my appetite.  I’ve clung onto them like crutches, unwilling to let them go – afraid to let them go.  It’s amazing how a few certain events can be so profoundly life-altering – when you go through and successfully overcome a change you almost want to reminisce about it – it can be incredibly difficult to put those events behind oneself and simply move forward.  But at some point there comes a time when one has to make the decision – do I keep letting such things dictate my life, or do I strive to live life freely and to its fullest potential?  Heck, before this week it didn’t even occur to me that that’s the decision I was postponing in my sub-conscious.  But I have been, and for a while.  I’ve been letting life and its stresses get in the way of my own happiness and health.

I certainly have had my reasons for accepting, even encouraging my current physique.  But how does one discern when it is time to look back, and see that they aren’t enough anymore?  I think I need to just get over my fears, know it’s going to be rough to start, and just do the exercise.  Even when I work 10 or 12 hours a day.  I am going to need your help.  Heck, I’m going to need everyone’s help.  Thanks to my awesome nutritionist a few years ago, I know exactly what proper portion sizes are, and I know how to enjoy great fresh vegetables and produce.  Now I just need to know how to not go back for seconds, and how to take the time in my day to go for a walk, or a short run, or whatever exercise it is that I can muster.  But no matter what, I have to do it.  I need to do it.

Thank you, Shuana, for causing me to realize that my reasons aren’t reasons anymore.  They are now officially excuses.  It’s time for me to wake up!

Today I share with you a slightly smaller, simpler recipe, but a good one nonetheless.  It’s one of my favorite salads – I’ve made it 3 times this week. I’m addicted.  So easy, so satisfying, bright and fresh, perfect for this warm weather we are having!


Ingredients (2 servings):
1 dozen shrimp, cooked and chilled
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c. olive oil
a few springs fresh cilantro. chopped
1 avocado, cubed
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a bowl toss shrimp in lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro and let sit in the fridge about 15 min.
2. In a separate larger bowl combine avocado, mozzarella and tomatoes.
3. Bring contents of both bowls together, add salt & pepper to taste.
4. Enjoy!


Also submitted to –
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Gluten Free Wednesdays


Rosa April 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

That a delightful salad!



Jenn April 27, 2010 at 9:26 am

Thanks! I’m making it again tonight haha!

katie April 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm

This looks amazing!

Best of luck with working out. I finally started back a month or so ago, totally worth it.

Jenn April 27, 2010 at 9:27 am

Thank you! Yeah, starting is always the hardest – so far so good though!

Valérie April 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

This was a very moving post. It must have taken some courage to dig into yourself and analyze what you found. All the best in your choices.

And that salad is a thing of beauty!

Jenn April 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

Thanks – yes, self-reflection can be tough, but it’s the first step to making change. It’s funny how comfortable we can sometimes be with circumstances we create for ourselves that we inherently know somewhere in the back of our minds aren’t the best. Admitting it was a big weight off my shoulders, it really was.

Christine April 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Kudos to you for wanting to take more control in your life! That salad looks quite delicious!

Jenn April 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

Thank you! It won’t be the easiest road I’m sure, but it’s a necessary one.

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free April 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I’ve been there…it’s a tough place to be. I lived it for years. I understand all too well how Ben & Jerry’s can solve your problems – for a few hours at least. The beginning is the hardest part but after a while it becomes so normal and natural. Changing my food changed my life. I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

Now…not to take away from your heartfelt story or breath-taking dish (I’m expecting a delivery from you later tonight…) but I had to laugh when I saw the Technorati claim code. It took me FOREVER to get that resolved. I just stuck the code somewhere and didn’t even explain why.

Jenn April 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

One of the things I love about food is how deeply emotional it can be. But that can also be a dangerous path, especially when life hands you lemons….

Ha yeah, we’ll see how the technorati thing goes!

Vicky April 28, 2010 at 1:44 am

What a great looking salad! I recently started a low carb diet and have been looking for unique salad recipes. Just stumbled upon this blog…great pictures! Recently started my own blog and these are great inspirational photos! RSS’ed =)

Ariane April 28, 2010 at 2:10 am

The salad looks awesome – makes me very annoyed that my husband strongly dislikes shrimp (and mushrooms!). At least he is redeeming himself right now by fixing my trellis for my sugar peas though.

Glad you are getting back on the exercise wagon. I remember how happy you were with your body before the tendinitis and I know that running for me the last few months has been life-changing. You have some awesome scenery to look at for your runs too.

Miss you,

Jenn April 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Yes, I do have some amazing scenery – mmm sugar peas in the garden sound fantastic!

Ariane April 28, 2010 at 2:11 am

Also, your blog is apparently in Swiss time since it is only 8:10pm local time :-)

bake in paris April 28, 2010 at 11:23 am

Keep up the exercise, Jenn! A little bit at a time, and just get it going..

And btw, the photo of this salad is so stunning! Great shot!

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Jenn April 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Thank you so much! I’m so glad it’s light out late enough now that I can take pics after getting home from work!

Linda April 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Thanks for sharing, Jenn. Shauna’s story affected me too. In the midst of my thyroid struggles, one thing I have been able to do without fail is walk the dogs every morning. Some morning it’s late, but it gets done. I hope you find a way to get some exercise in each day too. Your salad looks delicious. I think one of my kids would particularly like it.

Jenn April 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

That’s great that you’ve been able to do walks everyday. I’m starting to now :)

CDM April 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

This is going on the menu for next week. Looks great!

Jenn April 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Oh awesome, I hope you like it!

Cindy April 29, 2010 at 7:42 am

Shrimp and Avocado; two of my favorite ingredients! I especially like shrimp and avocado tacos. The cilantro, lime, and tomatoes in this recipe remind me of my tacos but this salad version is much lower-carb without the corn tortillas. I’ll definitely try it out. Thanks :)


Jenn April 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

oooh I may have to turn my salad into your tacos, that sounds perfect!

Shirley @ gfe May 2, 2010 at 5:02 am

That’s a gorgeous salad with some of my very favorite ingredients. I could eat that every day for sure.

Thanks for sharing some of your story. We all have those stories … things that hold us back and keep us from being the best we can be. But, then we buckle down and get to the business of being who we need to be.

All the best, Jenn … as someone who is going through her own personal journey to be her best, I’ll be cheering and following you as you find your best self. :-)


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