Dressing-less salad. My new fav. The secret….Avocado.

A post by Producer Jessica Cribbs


As I mentioned in a previous post, I have broken up with sugar….for the most part. Sugar is so addictive to me…mostly in the Snickers bar form, and so far..I’m doing ok.

Over this summer spent in Michigan, I gained 10 pounds. You read that right. “Oh, but don’t look like it.” Is what I’ve gotten from a few friends.

But, I’ll tell you. I have. And I feel it. I’m officially 45 pounds overweight. Or in layman’s terms, obese.

Yes, I know. I’m muscular and carry my weight a little different, so obese doesn’t exactly describe me…but heavy, curvy, pear shaped, unhappy and unhealthy all do.

I decided to join Shannon and Lindsay on their conquest to take on a challenge. The Expressing Motherhood Challenge (#ExMoChallenge).


Our stop in The Grand Canyon

On the way home from Michigan, my driving partner was my Aunt Julie. Julie is a farm girl..and when I say farm girl…I mean farm girl. The vegetable kind.

Julie is my aunt by marriage. She and my mother’s brother have been married for 34 years. (It actually might be 36). I haven’t really ever known my Aunt Julie in my adult life. She’s the quiet type and since I’m not, I probably seem unwelcoming, or overbearing, whatever you want to call it. Julie actually gave me my first job at 14, working at her local grocery store.

photo(10)I digress…Julie and my mother knew each other for a long time. I know she was heartbroken when mom died…and if my very cloudy memory served me right, Julie was in the room with us as my mother slipped away. In my eyes, she changed. Something softened in her…I know my mothers death had a certain kind of impact on her that I’m not sure she’d ever talk about… with me anyway. The truth is, is she reminds me a lot of my mom. Her sense of humor, her hardworking nature, her understanding and patience with the kids…and especially her ability to laugh at herself. My mom was really, really good at that.


Back to the salad.

On the drive home, I packed some snacks…you know, Hershey Kisses, Snickers Mini’s and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. With full intention of eating them. But, I didn’t. (FYI..those were my snacks..not the kids’.)

Julie doesn’t eat grains. She eats a lot of vegetables and nothing processed. Or as little processing as possible. She inspired me.


This super powered farm girl beat me up and down our hike in Burbank.

If nothing else, I walked away from our trip together with a love for a new kind of salad. The kind with no dressing. What my Aunt does, is smash a full avocado on the bottom of a plate and then builds her salad on top of it. Voila!

I didn’t think I’d like it either. But I do. I really do. I’ve been eating them every day since she’s left.


The time I spent with her is invaluable.

My #ExMoChallenge continues.