Some of you know that I am not a huge fan of salads, so I understand where you’re coming from when you hear, “eating healthy” and start thinking “salads!”
The “salad diet” mentality began with the thought that salads must help with weight loss and good health since lettuce and other vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in fiber. Well, yes, they are all of those things, if you’re not adding other salad bar items into your meal. But, what if you’re adding baby corn, beets, cheese, nuts, dried cranberries, bacon bits, tuna with mayo, and dressing into the salad…still healthy? You’ll then be consuming some antioxidants, but you will no longer be eating a low-calorie, low-fat meal that you hope will assist you in your weight loss.
“What should I do then?” you ask. “I don’t want to eat a plain salad that’s going to leave me hungry for a REAL meal.”
Below are several tips on how to make your salad healthy and tasty. I’ve added in some additional tips if you’re ordering your salad from a deli or restaurant.
• Add fresh fruit like strawberries, apples, and/or mango. It’s a super tasty addition that will add flavor, fiber, antioxidants, and color to a somewhat bland base. You’ll need less, or no dressing when you add fresh fruit. A little balsamic or apple cider vinegar with freshly ground pepper should do the trick. Personally, fruit is the one food that makes me ENJOY salads.
• Do remember to ask if sugar was added to the fruit first!
• You can still add cheese to your salad, but make sure you choose the lower fat, lower calorie cheeses, like a goat cheese, and ask for very little (Stop them when you see it’s enough!).
• Only order one protein. You don’t need chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, etc. Which do you want today? Not only will choosing only one cut calories, but it will also give you the option to have more variety since you’ll want a different protein the next day.
• Make sure the nuts aren’t “candied” with sugar and be careful of how many you add!
• Choose the base you enjoy most. If you don’t like the base, you won’t eat the salad, or you’ll eat it but you will still want something else afterward. Do you like spinach, kale, romaine, or iceberg best? Choose any but iceberg because that’s just giving you such little nutritional benefits.
• Yes, vegetables are healthy, but if you’re trying to eat them to help drop the pounds, limit the high carb/sugar vegetables like peas, corn or beets. Choose high fiber veggies like broccoli, raw carrots and cauliflower instead.
Enjoy your meals, and feel light and healthy after eating them. To learn more, contact me for some recipe tips, nutrition guidance, and much more!
Amanda is a health and fitness contributor for Nimble Fitness and the creator of the A+ Plan. Formed in 2003 to help motivate, inspire and help people achieve their goals, the A+ Plan has continued to expand its services and products to have something for everyone. Amanda Winters, founder of the A+ Plan, works with all ages of men, women and children nationwide, working via phone and Internet for those outside of the NY area. She has a B.S from the Fashion Institute of Technology and certification as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. With a lifetime of experience in food intolerance and fashion styling, and a passion for helping people look and feel their best through nutrition, psychology and fashion, Amanda is quite the unique expert. Find out more at www.aplusplan.com.