You Don’t Have To Eat Only Salad
For some reason, people who think of dieting think of salads. Of course, salads are great, when they help you eat a wide variety of vegetables and other nutritious foods, but they’re certainly not all you need to be eating to lose weight.
When people visualize these “diet salads”, they don’t visualize tasty, creative food, either. The picture that arises in their mind is of a few limp lettuce leaves, with perhaps a few shreds of carrot. Boring. Definitely not something that could satisfy you as a meal.
Salads Don’t Have to Be Boring
Salads are made up of combinations of the following components – and they certainly don’t have to be boring. And the list below isn’t exhaustive. Surely with these possiblities and the wonderful salad recipes on the internet, you can end boring salads forever!
Green Leaf Ingredients See pictures here.
- lettuce (leaf, butter, frisee, iceberg, romaine)
- cabbage (red or green)
- kale (young leaves work best)
- dandelion greens
- baby bok choy
- beet greens
Added Vegetables and Fruits
- brussels sprouts (sliced thin)
- snap peas
- chayote squash (sliced thin)
- bamboo shoots
- daikon radish
- water chestnuts
- sweet potato
- orange sections (or juice from oranges, limes, lemon or other citrus)
- berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc)
- dried fruit such as dried cranberries, in moderation
Culinary Herbs and Spices
- sea salt
Nuts and Seeds (raw or roasted at home to avoid bad fats – use in moderation)
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- brasil nuts (chopped)
- hemp seeds
Homemade Dressing Takes Salad Further
Almost every “store bought” salad dressing contains bad fats, and many contain surprising amounts of sugar. I encourage you strongly to learn how easy it is to create your own salad dressings at home. If you have a Magic Bullet type device, this gets so quick it’s easy to make a fresh dressing each time. Otherwise, you can make enough for several salads in your blender, and refrigerate for a few days until needed.
Look for recipes online. One easy method is to buy some flavored balsalmic vinegar, and combine it with a healthy oil such as MCT oil (a liquid form of coconut oil). You can also skip the oil and its calories, and try using a bit of fresh lime juice instead.
Amazing Nutritional Quality
A salad can have amazing nutritional quality because it can offer a wide range of nutrients and contain a rainbow of vegetables and fruits. This gives you a broader spectrum of vitamins and a wider variety of antioxidants. While vegetables offer some protein, you can take that further with various kinds of beans, nuts, meat or fish. Adding a little chicken, sliced beef, tuna, shrimp or cheese to a salad can really make it feel like a full meal – because it is.
Tips and Tricks For Healthy Salads
Many people miss the opportunity to add texture to their salads. The list of ingredients above offers broad opportunities to try different combinations of flavors and textures.
Don’t miss out on the spices and herbs, either. Almost every salad can benefit from some freshly ground pepper, and perhaps some salt as well. Adding fresh herbs such as cilantro can really add taste, but be aware that some people have a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap to them. Check on that before you serve it.
Another great way to make a salad stand out is to add in roasted vegetables. Roasted carrots, chickpeas, turnip, sweet potato, broccoli florets, or tomatos can be a delightful surprise to include in a salad. You can roast them (or nuts and seeds) by adding them to a pan over medium heat with a tiny bit of olive or coconut oil, and a little salt and pepper. Don’t overcook them – lightly browned is just right.
Did I miss any of your favorite salad ingredients in this list? Please add them to the comments below.