When life starts spinning into overdrive, it is easy to want to hit “pause” on habits that seem optional….exercise, food preparation, cooking, yoga, getting together with friends. It is common to say things like “I will get back into exercising when this happens. I will start shopping better when that happens. I will get back into eating more vegetables after this time…” I am guilty of this. And I know I am not alone because I have heard other friends say similar sentiments.

The trouble with this kind of approach to our lifestyle is that we end up waiting for a “perfect” time that doesn’t really exist. When you have a family, when isn’t life in over-drive mode? Oh right, on vacation….maybe on school break. And a few weeks when we are off-season from our kids’ activities. Otherwise, there seems to always be something in our lives that prevents us from having the kind of lifestyle we dream of.

I am not saying that we need to push ourselves to the point of stress to include all elements of our perfectly envisioned lifestyle. Rather, start noticing this kind of all-or-nothing approach to our lives. Having a healthful lifestyle is not about being perfect. It is about consistently including habits through slow and busy times. Small lifestyle wins, consistently included over time, will help move you toward the healthful and energy-giving lifestyle you desire.

One of the lifestyle habits that I aim to include in my weekly schedule is to make a DIY salad dressing, vinaigrette or what cookbook author Rebecca Katz calls a “dollop of yum”. One small simple act can result in a domino effect in other parts of life. Creating one simple “dollop” results in me easily throwing together a veggie-filled salad, and providing a dressing for some steamed vegetables. It helps me more easily include vegetables throughout the week. And we all know we (likely) should be consistently eating our veggies!

I have made other vegetable dollops out of yogurt including this savoury lemon yogurt dressing

I created this maple tahini dollop to add in pizzazz to my mostly-weekly dressing habit. You can enjoy this dollop along with salads, spinach, zucchini, stir-fried vegetables as well as cooked chick peas, fish and chicken. Here I add this dollop of yum to this energy bowl. Enjoy!

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Written by a Registered Dietitian.

Maple Tahini “Dollop of Yum”
Prep Time
5 minutes
10 servings


1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
1/2 cup (125 ml) 2% Greek yogurt
6 tbsp (90 ml) olive oil (flavoured if possible)
6 tbsp (90 ml) white flavoured balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125 ml) hot water (less water if you would like a thicker dollop)


  1. In a glass bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Store in a jar.