Erin Wade: Raising the (Salad) Bar

September 21 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: Making Healthy Choices

The moment I stick a piece of arugula in my mouth, I instantly feel healthy. (Ignore the fact that it’s probably on a slice of pizza.) Now that we’re several seasons into the year, I think it’s safe to say most of us have abandoned our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier.

It’s easy for women to feel ashamed or angry with ourselves about our less-than-stellar eating habits. After all, when there’s a plate of cookies in the break room, what’s a girl to do? Today, let’s take back our bodies and make at least one really healthy choice. We believe in you!

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Five Years Longer

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, avoiding bad habits like smoking and embracing good habits like regular exercise and healthy noshing can help women live five years longer.

The tips for a longer life are pretty straightforward: don’t smoke, exercise, drink alcohol in moderation and eat five servings of fruits and veggies each day. And people who adopt these behaviors live, on average, 14 years longer than those who don’t!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Erin Wade, Farmer, Chef and Restaurateur

Today, we are talking about Erin Wade, a self-taught farmer, chef and restaurateur. Erin always had a knack for succeeding. She was valedictorian of her high school and went to Harvard University with the idea that she’d become a doctor. However, after graduating from Harvard, Erin traveled to Milan to study fashion design.

One thing about Italy really resonated with her, and it wasn’t fashion; it was food. In Italy, people relished food, talking about it incessantly and enjoying it fully. After about a year, Erin grew weary of the big city and longed for more natural, open spaces. So, she moved back to the States and purchased a large property near Santa Fe, New Mexico, with no real plans of what to do with it.

Erin didn’t have a clue about farming, but gathered a ton of research from her trusty friend, Google, and hired a couple experienced farmhands. She soon gained skills in organic farming and her crops began producing bountiful harvests. Her next step seemed obvious: create a business plan for an unusual restaurant that would feature a ton of her organically grown produce in the form of really tasty salads. Called Vinaigrette, Erin’s salad bistro—basically a well-curated salad bar with creative entrée salads, super yummy sandwiches, soups and house-made desserts—was a culinary smash, and now has three locations in two states.

Most of the produce available at Erin’s two New Mexico restaurants comes from her 10-acre farm there, and a Texas farm provides local produce to her restaurant in the Lone Star State. For Erin, running Vinaigrette is about more than feeding her customers delicious, healthy dishes. For her, sustainability is a top priority. That’s why food waste from the restaurants gets returned to her farm to feed the animals, and also gets composted back to the land to feed the healthy soil.

Thanks to Erin’s hard work and dedication to growing and serving healthy, organic (and really delicious) produce-focused dishes, we’re certain Vinaigrette is changing the way people think about eating salads. You can bet the farm on it!


I’ll leave you today with this wise quote from Thomas Edison about eating healthy. He said:

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

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