A Salad A Day...

A Salad A Day...

Ditch The Apple, Try This Instead

These pictures are part of a set of photos that were taken towards the end of the summer to realize one of my projects that was close to my heart: making a calendar for the coming year. Because I like to admire the colour and textures, vegetables are an excellent choice because they can offer a whole show for the eyes all year round!
Photo by Nadine Primeau / Unsplash

An aspect of diet that I (hope) health conscious folks across the entire dietary spectrum can agree upon is that vegetables should be included as part of a healthy diet. However, plenty of people think of eating salads as something reserved for those trying to lose weight or those on a strictly plant based diet. While they certainly are great for that purpose, a big, nutritionally dense and satiating salad has a place in every healthy diet.

Benefits from your future awesome salad include but are not limited to

  • Nutrient density, lots and lots of good stuff like vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy fats packed into one meal.
  • Physically filling. Grab a mixing bowl, imagine it’s filled to the brim up with leafy goodness, now imagine all that in your stomach. It’s going to take a while to break all that down, keeping you happy and full in the process.
  • No post meal crash. Since our salad will not have much in the way of sugar or highly refined carbohydrates, it means you’ll actually feel good after eating it and power though the rest of your day.
  • The satisfaction of knowing you made a healthy choice that is in alignment with your lifestyle. Eating well doesn’t mean eating boring.

With that said, let’s make an awesome salad you’ll want to eat everyday.

Let’s get one thing straight to start, a salad is not a sad pile of iceberg lettuce drizzled with ranch 🤮 and bacon bits. If water was a food it would be iceberg lettuce, quite possibly the least flavorful food in existence. Thankfully your options at the grocery store now include at least spinach, kale, romaine, red and green lettuce, spring mix as well as microgreens that range from tender and mild to bitter and crisp. I’m personally a fan of a 50/50 mixture of spinach and kale. When mixing your greens together don’t grab a cereal bowl, as that is much too small and wimpy for our mighty salad. Get a mixing bowl, a big one and load it up. Be sure to leave a little room to mix in our other goodies though. Vegetables to mix with your salad are only limited by your imagination. Peppers of all types, tomatoes, onion, artichoke hearts, carrots, beets and avocados just to name a few.

Let’s talk about protein options. We want this salad to fill us up, and protein does that job very well. For the meat eaters amongst us, almost anything goes. I would avoid fried items, but ham, turkey, salmon, boiled eggs and chicken are just a few things to toss on top. If you’re not eating animal products options such as tofu, beans of all types and quinoa have a plenty of protein pop as well.

A good salad can be ruined by bad dressing, so let’s avoid that mistake by (gasp!) not using any dressing, or making our own healthy version. Personally, I mix in half an avocado with my salads and a few spritzes of balsamic vinegar, and some good olive oil, so I rarely use dressing, but it definitely has it’s place. How can dressing make a super salad sub par? Chances are, if you bought it at the store, it’s loaded with either soybean oil, sugar or most likely both. Making your own vinaigrette at home is easy and vastly healthier than most products at the store. Making your own also allows you to adjust how tangy, bitter, sweet or savory you want it to be. Love Caesar dressing? Make a traditional one that blows away the bottled ones.

Now that we know how to make a killer salad, let’s put it into practice. For 30 days make one of your meals each day a big, beautiful, luscious salad. Of course you can have other sides with this meal, but make the salad primary object. I usually have a baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon as my side. I eat this basically everyday for lunch and it keeps me going strong all afternoon.