Retreat Planning and Wendy’s Fresh Salads

Wendy's Fresh Salads are a great quick lunch option. #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #ad


I never ever thought that I would be someone who can’t find the time to eat. I love food and I hate to be hungry. But over the last few months, I have found myself missing lunch. It is always on super busy days of shuttling kids around or trying to get in a photo shoot for the blog that I find it hard to take the time to stop and eat. But I’ve also noticed something else. Where, in a jam, I used to be able to eat chips and call it lunch on those busy days, now I am resisting those empty calories. Am I growing up? Maybe a little. Or maybe it is because summer is coming up and I’d like to still be able to fit in to my clothes. And I’ve totally been craving salads lately. I never thought I’d find a decent, fresh salad from a fast food joint! But I did!

A better fast food option, Wendy's Fresh Salads. SO good! #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #adAbout once a week, I pack up all the things I need for photo shoots, and head to Lauren’s house where we work together to hammer out posts for both of our blogs. If we’re lucky, one of us has to shoot a recipe that we can eat for lunch, but last week I needed to grab us a quick lunch on my way over. Have you heard about Wendy’s fresh salads?! OMG! They were so good. And a lot of chains claim to have fresh salads (wherein they use fresh, but then frozen items, which are then shipped to the locations to be assembled on site), these are legit fresh. Like, they cut heads of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and more, each morning for their salads. And the white meat chicken actually looks and tastes like chicken and is made to order when you order a salad. They make the salad from start to finish, at each Wendy’s, as if you would if you were making it for yourself at home. P.S. Wendy’s does not condone smoking. Especially smoking cats. (How hilarious is that shirt?!)

Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad. A fast, healthy lunch choice. #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #adIt has come time for us to start planning our end of summer retreat for creatives and so we decided to make it a working lunch picnic. Our retreat is always in Palm Springs. And when Coachella rolls around, it is our reminder that we need to get planning. It is a total bucket list item to go to Coachella. Maybe next year we will begin our planning in between sets…a girl can dream, can’t she?

I need to be honest here. I am a fast food lover. I feel like it isn’t trendy to say that but I love a good hamburger/fries/soda combo from time to time. But I wouldn’t have even thought to order a salad. A bad salad is just plain awful. But look at those fresh veggies! They are crisp, not soggy, bright in color instead of not right looking. And that perfectly grilled chicken was so good! Check out this video which follows the romaine lettuce as it is picked in the farm to when it ends up in your Wendy’s salad. Pretty cool. They will be releasing more videos in this series sharing just how fresh the salads are. And for when I’m really trying to eat cleaner, I can skip the dressing and use just a squeeze of lime or lemon. Which will be a really hard switch since the BBQ Ranch dressing was so tasty.

Creative planning picnic. #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #adThere are 5 different salads to choose from. Lauren tried the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and I did the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. Because Applewood bacon and ranch. Yum. We talked about how we want to make our retreat a little bit different this year and set to work showing each other some visual inspiration we had gathered which will guide the look of our creative weekend in Palm Springs. If we couldn’t actually be in the desert, at least we really enjoyed our picnic lunch out in the sunshine. And I am sure if I had put the salad in to a real bowl, Lauren wouldn’t have known it wasn’t a homemade salad, which can’t be said for all fast food salads.

#campmixalot Pool Balloon BannerOur retreats include lots of pool time so you know a salad is the perfect lunch idea…You can see more about year 1 of our retreat and year 2 here and here. Want to come? Let us know here.

Backyard business planning with fresh Wendy's salads. #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #adBeing able to grab a healthy, fresh lunch fast was awesome. Instead of focusing on what we were going to make, we could eat something prepared fresh for us and hash out plans for the retreat. Our retreats have a distinctive look each year and they also have a specific sound. I’m not sure the participants would even pick up on that but for me, a good playlist or even one great song, can really share the vibe I’m going for like nothing else. We brought the music out to our picnic so we could start to dial in what the weekend will feel like. So basically, we brought Coachella to us.

Easy summer picnic with fresh salads. And a little wine. #BeyondTheBowl #CleverGirls #adAnd since this was Friday, and we had a bottle of wine open for one of our shoots, we brought a little out for our picnic. For a minute, it felt like we were not in the middle of a work day but hanging out in the desert. Thanks, Wendy’s!  (Please drink responsibly. Wine is not sold at Wendy’s.) And I’m really excited to have a new go-to lunch option in these salads (I’m going to try the Apple Pecan Chicken salad next!). No more missing lunch because I can’t find something good to eat!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Clean Eating Recipes

Roasted veggie farro salad.  So yum!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com I found myself in a really crazy, unhealthy spot a month ago.  I was concurrently taking antibiotics for a sinus infection, along with steroids for said infection, a muscle relaxer for a strained muscle and had a pain shot for the pain from said strained muscle which I was instructed not to take with my headache pill because they would not react well together.  I looked at all of that and just stopped.  I don’t want to be taking all of that.  It just shows how unhealthy my whole life is.  I don’t fault the doctors for just layering all of that on, they can’t be the only director of our health at this point.  Gone are the days where they truly care about our overall health and focus more on the ailment at hand.  Which leaves us to be the controller of our temple.  And my temple was falling apart.  In conjunction with Andrea’s challenge, I decided that I need to make some changes in my life.  And I’m starting with food.  I attribute all my cellulite to processed foods and see that my kids are consuming an awful lot of junk food in our crazy, busy life.  So while I am not going whole hog (I refuse to throw away the food that is in my freezer and cupboard simply to start over – there is far too much money invested in that to throw it away), I am changing our meals a little at a time and taking this time to really learn about clean eating.  My kids don’t love it but they are trying.  My husband is totally on board.  And I have to say, aside from trying to get in enough protein to keep me feeling full, the food has been delicious!  I wanted to share a few of the things I have made recently with you.  So feel free to change these up to suit whatever your diets needs or flavor preferences are.  And not all of these recipes might not be the cleanest as written, I know I can modify them to be.

Fantastic Clean Eating Recipes

This cold, roasted veggie farro salad is AMAZING!  I brought this to a barbecue and everyone loved it.  I was able to make most of it the day ahead so it is a great entertaining recipe.  I left the cheese out of mine but served it for anyone else who wanted it.  And the leftovers were fantastic too!

A strawberry vinaigrette?  Yes!  SO good!  Perfect on baby spinach and chicken and whatever.  I have not made her whole salad recipe as she has it in this post, I just wanted to try out the dressing recipe for my son who doesn’t like salads.  This didn’t make him like salads.  But it made me love this dressing.

I’ve been addicted to popcorn because I get snacky and feel like it is probably a pretty safe, clean bet.  Well, probably better than cheetos.  I have not tried this Sea Salt and Coconut Popcorn recipe yet but it seems like the perfect snack when you need a little treat.

I made this strawberry chia seed jam to replace the hopped up stuff I had been putting on my kid’s sammies.  Chia seeds are amazing.  They sort of congeal making the fresh cooked strawberries not runny but, duh, like jam.  And it tastes amazing!  And it is super easy.  And you can see how you could use all different kinds of berries to make more combos.  Mmmmmmms, maybe a little ginger peach chia jam for my oatmeal?

I have not made this yet but how crazy does this coconut “bacon” sound?  I know it will probably never really take the place of legit bacon but I love coconut and might be another great way to add some texture to salads.  I try not to have too many nuts around the house because of an allergy so sometimes my salads aren’t as well-balanced, texturally speaking.

I’ve started a clean eating board on Pinterest if you want to find more recipes to try out.  And don’t forget to browse Andrea’s site for some REALLY helpful posts on healthy swaps and how to handle the prep involved for making clean eating meals a priority.