Oh salads, the mascots of diets and being healthy. I think my first realization that not all salads are equal was when I made the amazing discovery that the difference between nachos and a salad was the placement of the lettuce versus the chips. Chips first…nachos, but lettuce first, you got yourself a salad. Salads provoke such a wide range of reactions from me from are you serious to gloriously yummy and satisfying. With salads, the possibilities are endless!
Since I eat healthy, and I’m sensitive to different foods, at work lunches or get togethers, people will say that there’ll be salad. It can be so disappointing and frustrating to see the salad (meant to be my meal) being a basic iceberg lettuce with the faded, flavorless carrots. That’s if I’m lucky. Sometimes it’s covered in croutons, and being gluten-free, well, sorry. Then there’s the packaged dressing usually leaving me with the iceberg lettuce and carrots dry. At that point, I have a choice. I can either eat it to make other people feel better. Or just wait to eat later. Because teasing the body by beginning the digestion process with not much being delivered is just wrong in my eyes. Once I was told that there was organic lettuce for me. I smile because I must be a rabbit.
Then there’s another pitfall to salads… the unhealthy ones. The ones loaded with fried chicken, candied fruit and nuts, and covered in high fructose corn syrup dressing.
So you can imagine if clients tell me they eat salads everyday, I have to say, “Tell me more.”
So if you’re eating side salads as your meal (you must be starving!), or if you’re thinking maybe your salad is failing in the healthy category, check out my tips for building a sensationally satisfying salad:
1. Start with a variety of greens. Break away from iceberg. Explore some new leafy choices. Maybe go wild and add some red cabbage. Personally, I like to add spinach to other greens. I like how eating spinach makes me feel, but I get bored with it.
2. Add protein- wild salmon, grass-fed beef, organic chicken with no hormones or antibiotics, organic eggs, or beans
3. Add healthy fats- nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil
4. Have fun and come up with new combinations. If you do dairy, try different fruit and cheese pairings such as pears and gorgonzola. Or try asparagus with strawberries.
5. Still not filling enough for you? Add some brown rice or quinoa
6. For salad dressing, sometimes I just drizzle the olive oil. You can also use a simple balsamic vinegar. I highly recommend making your own salad dressing, so you have control over the ingredients. If you’re looking for a store bought one, here’s one that’s popular with my family, and I like as well. It’s Primal Kitchen’s Greek Vinaigrette with Avocado Oil.
Hopefully, this will get you started on some incredible and satisfying creations of your own.
Want to learn more?
One of my group programs beginning in January is Let’s Get Healthy Together. It includes 12 weekly calls with different topics (nutrition, movement, stress, and more) to educate and motivate you to make sustainable lifestyle changes. You’ll be part of a facebook group, so you can share and support each other. I’ll be posting tips as well. You’ll have access to an app with tracking and messaging with me as your coach. It also has a shopping list and recipes to help you.
Check out this and other group programs starting in January at http://vibrantcincy.com/pages/groups-and-classes
Sign up for a group program at https://squareup.com/store/vibrant-cincy/
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