Pretty Poppy Seed and Strawberry Coleslaw


There are days where I just feel… unpretty.

Days when my clothes are too tight, my hair has a mind of its own, and a ginormous zit has taken up camp on the middle of my chin.

Days where I feel awkward, unattractive, and anything but fiercely feminine.

Where all I want to do is lounge around in sweat pants eating ice cream, watching movies and shutting out the world.

But the zero motivation, down on myself thing just wasn’t working for me. It’s just so… depressing.

Over the last 5 months (thanks to The Desire Map), I’ve learned that I can change any negative feeling into a positive one by just switching my perspective. That little nugget of truth was enough to empower me to get on the train of self love and punch that unpretty feeling out of my life for good.

And this is how I do it…

Poppyseed Strawberry Coleslaw (61)

How to Feel Pretty

Write a list of the things that make you feel pretty. For me it’s – flowers, walks along the water, hot yoga, being outside, pedicures, wearing a fancy dress, ordering room service, meditation, cooking, baking, writing, running…

When you’re having an unpretty day, go to your list, pick an activity, and do it. No questions. Drop everything; because let’s face it, when you’re feeling particularly crappy about yourself, how much work actually gets done?

Sunday was a particularly unpretty day for me. So, I called the spa, booked a pedicure and dropped by, post-haste. Then, when I got home, I made this gloriously pretty salad, parked myself outside on our patio with my pretty feet and my pretty salad and felt… gorgeous, radiant, pretty from head to toe.

Poppyseed Strawberry Coleslaw (13)

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Pretty Poppy Seed and Strawberry Coleslaw
Recipe type: Vegan (option), Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free (option), Egg-free (option)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Creamy and light coleslaw made with fresh strawberries, grapes and homemade creamy poppy seed dressing.
  • 1 large head of savoy cabbage, sliced thin
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 5 strawberries, sliced thin
  • 2 red shallots, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing:
  1. Add all coleslaw ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine well.
  2. In a small blender, add all dressing ingredients except poppy seeds. Blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds and pour the dressing over the salad.
  3. Toss to coat and allow to sit in the fridge, covered, for 1 hour. Or serve right then and there. It's good either way!
  4. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To make vegan, replace honey with agave nectar or coconut nectar and mayonnaise with egg-free mayonnaise.
To make nut-free, replace slivered almonds with an equal amount of seeds.
To make egg-free, use egg-free mayonnaise.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)


Chop up everything and add it all to a very large bowl. This recipe makes a lot of salad!


I asked on Facebook, “What makes you feel pretty?” You said:

“Drawing a happy face on my cheek with chocolate frosting.” “Dressing up and going on a date with my husband.” “Dancing!” “Living in accordance with my values.” “God’s love.” “Getting my hair done and my 4 year old son saying “mommy you look beautiful”!” “Big hugs xx” “A nice long shower after an amazing workout!!” “Being kind to others.” “Avoiding mirrors and letting my heart shine instead.” “My husband!” “Singing.” “Being a women of character when no one is looking.” “Great eye makeup!” “Eating healthy.” “Skirts.” “A great dress!” “Anything lavender-scented! I’m like a crackhead, sniffing all over myself.” “A long sleep, a long shower, matching underwear, a nice dress and a little bit of lip gloss and the way my husband looks at me after all of that!” “Smiling and laughing with friends.” “Bling.” “Pedicures.”
“Being healthy makes me feel great and self care makes me feel pretty.” “New underwear, a cute outfit and feeling happy and confident!”

Now I want to hear from YOU…

What negative feelings do just not want to feel anymore?

What thoughts/actions/practice could you follow to remove that feeling from your life for good?

Make a declaration. Let’s get all up and purposeful in here!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Ooh this sounds so delish, and pretty indeed!! I couldn’t agree more about spa treats making you feel more pretty. I have a massage booked for tomorrow after work and I CAN. NOT. WAIT! I hadn’t thought of room service – thats a good one! I find that dressing in lots of colour (rather than yoga pants, which I adore with all of my heart), doing my nails, and being around really positive people instantly give me the lift you’ve described. Hoping to do all of the above to combat a case of the Mondays!

    • Yes… getting out of the yoga pants. SO important, especially when you work from home. I now have a shower when I wake up, get full-on ready, hair and all. Even if I’m not going anywhere. So massively important!

  2. This is a coleslaw I could really gobble up! And the strawberry fields are open for picking right now – Field trip!

    I have pushed so long and hard against the idea of feeling “pretty” that it almost feels like I’m being a hypocrite when I do want to feel pretty… What tangly, nasty mess of limiting beliefs. I feel pretty when I slide into a sheets-fresh-from-the-dryer bed with just-shaved legs wearing pretty panties and a clingy (but not tight) tank top. It’s the kind of pretty I think I like best because it’s all about me and doesn’t require anyone else as witness (though I certainly don’t mind if my hubby’s there to share the space with me either.)

    • Amen to that, Michelle… being pretty is NOT about impressing others, but just feeling… good about yourself!

  3. Is there an alternative to the mayonnaise period? I’m paleo and have never really use mayonnaise (or replacements) so I want to try this, if possible, with a mayo substitute. It sounds absolutely delicious!

    • Hi Elizabeth! I don’t know what Leanne might recommend, but if you Google “Paleo mayonnaise substitute” you will find lots of helpful suggestions on how you can make your own mayo. I’ll be doing the same thing myself, since I’m in the process of converting to a Paleo/WAPF hybrid diet right now.

      • Thank you so much Heather and Leanne! I’m not sure why I didn’t think of doing a simple google search for that!! (I’ll blame it on finals, lol) Thanks Leanne for that recipe though! I’m new to your website…I’m glad to see that you not only have just dairy free recipes but also apparently paleo too! I can’t wait to try both of these now!

  4. I saw Danielle speak at an IIN conference in March. OMG ! She was amazing!!! On my list is to begin the desire map…:)

    Also on my list is this scrumptious looking salad…….. :) Do you think greek yogurt would work subbed as the mayo in this??

    • I forgot to add… What makes me feel pretty…. oddly, Is being completely sweaty and red after a kick butt workout! The feeling of working hard and pushing myself makes me feel so so pretty! (even though I look a hot mess!)

    • Yes, she’s quite amazing in real life, totally agree! Yep, I bet yogurt would be fabulous!

  5. This looks amazing, not to mention it is a thing of beauty as well, I will most definitely be making this. I am a big mani/pedi girl, it not only does a girl good, but so too the soul. Your creative is amazing, thank you so much for sharing with us.

    • Yes, pedicures are definitely soulful. I couldn’t agree with you more, Lynda! Thank you so much for your kind words ;)

  6. I can’t wait to make this salad! It reminds me of my favorite summertime salad from Panera Bread. Now, I can make what I’m sure will be an even tastier version at home!! And I totally feel ya on those pesky un-pretty days. Thanks for the tips on how to nip them in the bud. :)

  7. Now you’e talking my language! Thank you Leanne. The Lunar Eclipse this week is an intense one, so your post was great timing about turning things around.

    • Hi Barb – I don’t know much about the moon and it’s impact on our emotions, etc. but I’ve witnessed a lot of people get totally affected by it so I totally see how having a pretty list could help balance out the experience, slightly at least. Have an awesome day :)

  8. Looks and sounds delicious.

    I’ve been having a lot of un pretty days lately. Today I made myself take a walk and then fixed myself a salad for lunch. I feel much better when I do something good for myself!

  9. Looking into my husband’s eyes makes me feel pretty, because however I look, however crappy I feel, to him I’m the most beautiful woman on the planet and he lets me know that every single day. I am a truly blessed woman and merely the thought of that makes me feel pretty.
    I looove the salad! Strawberries in a coleslaw is just pure genius. I mostly add walnuts and a tahini dressing. I’ll be trying your version one of these days too :-)

  10. I don’t think of being pretty so much as feeling good about life, the world and myself. I make sure I am reading something I enjoy, have good things to eat that are healthy (and some treat that isn’t too bad for me!), and something fun to do whether it’s spending time with a friend or my husband, or walking somewhere that I enjoy spending time. I choose tv programs that don’t focus on man’s inhumanity to man, though strangely enough, mysteries work as long as the focus isn’t on cruelty. Guess I’ve reached a point in life where I’ve had enough exposure so I’m not naively unaware of reality. But, and I think this is key: both good and evil exist in the world, so for my peace of mind it is best to do what I can to brighten others’ day rather than focus on that which is cruel. During the 20+ years my husband was in the military he always said that I should only worry about things I cannot change IF, and this is important, I enjoy worrying. And, of course, a smile is the best cosmetic in the world!

    • Haha nope! I didn’t think to take pictures. I’ve been so bad with bringing my camera along with us on our adventures as of late. It’s such a pretty blue color, I was so impressed by it!

  11. Fresh air and sunshine, a nice manicure, coffee with a girlfriend, date with hubby, having a girls weekend away at the holiday house with my daughter 23, my best friend that’s where we are just at this minute!
    Glad I discovered you Leanne, have just looked up the next Mind Body and Spirit Expo in Melbourne Australia, in June so we will be going for the first time. Cheers xx

  12. I know how you feel about those days where you just feel unpretty, even though you’re not! This coleslaw is for sure very pretty, and a great twist on traditional lemon+poppyseed combinations. Hot yoga always does the trick for me, too.

  13. This looks awesome! I was looking for a reason to get off the sofa today (I found out that a store really close to me carries a line of Hemp milk!) so now I think I’ll get the stuff to make this, too :)

    Chia seeds would have the same appearance of poppy seeds, too, right?

    • It would have the same appearance for a couple of minutes, but would turn into pudding really quickly and wouldn’t have the same flavor. I hope that helps!

  14. Just got a pedi myself – as did my husband! Such a relaxing thing we like to do together (although he was initially apprehensive since our salon is in the mall…but once he tried it, he was HOOKED!) The salad also looks yummy and FULL of things I love, love, love!

    Now…onto the declarations you wanted to hear about. I am tired of feeling like crap all the time. I DO NOT want to feel that way anymore, and I DO NOT want to have to take pill after pill after pill to try to feel better. Bring on the healthier eating habits and exercise that’s GOOD for me, not just doing those things because they’re popular or trendy. I am also loving Danielle LaPorte and just ordered her book. I’m hoping that will not only help me get rid of the negative mindset that sometimes creeps up on me, but also the negative PEOPLE that keep working their way into my life.

  15. I feel pretty having my eyebrows threaded! I was relying on good, old-fashioned plucking during our 3-month vacation (and sort of sucking at it), so it felt SO GOOD to have them professionally shaped and taken care of again when we got back home. SO GOOD!!

  16. This week I had a doctor appointment. I walked in and she said, “Oh, you look pretty today.” I wondered why she said that because, after all, she had seen me just weeks before – I think wearing the exact same outfit. However, I didn’t put two and two together until I was making this Pretty Strawberry Coleslaw with Poppy Seed Dressing for the third time this week since you published it, and it didn’t even hit me until I was shredding the cabbage! Could it BE? Does this salad really MAKE you pretty? Or just FEEL pretty?

    Well, usually I don’t even bother to think about whether I’m pretty or not. Maybe because after all these years of not FEELing pretty, I believed I am NOT pretty?

    Well, I personally am just going to keep eating these pretty foods because maybe, who knows, they really do MAKE you pretty!

    Need I even mention that this salad is wonderful to eat, too? Even if you do accidentally grab a package of shredded iceberg lettuce instead of pre-shredded cabbage (because the store didn’t receive their delivery of cabbage the day I was there).

    • Oh, and I might mention that because the store still didn’t have cabbage the next time I made it, I just used finely sliced kale. Still scrumptious!

      • Oh – and one more very important thing! While you are FEELing pretty, just be sure that after you eat this salad you get all the poppy seeds out from between your teeth before you smile at everyone!

        • Bahahaha good one.

          I’m so happy that you enjoyed this salad, and that your doctor commented on how radiant you are. How awesome!

  17. I made the salad and it was delicious. I can only imagine how great this is for your body. The garlic and the spices in the mustard really worked my sinuses!

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