From low calories to nutrient potential, salads can be a go to in “healthy eating.” It’s an easy option to lighten up a meal encounter and comes with a variety of options. It does have some pitfalls. Eating raw is not for everyone and every digestive track. Lightly cooking veggies is a healthy option if veggies in their original form is detrimental to your food relationship. Salads can fall into the monotonous status that is tasteless and boring. Certain choices can hurt your relationship and health if you are not careful. Fortunately a boring and unhealthy salad encounter can be fixed.
When you’re out eating and trying to stay committed a salad seems like the no brainer option. Often it’s not the case. Spend a few obsessive hours researching restaurant menus and nutrition, then most often you find there are hidden”fees.” Croutons are not the sole culprit. You pay for higher sodium in dressings, fried foods, tortilla strips, sauces, etc. Too much salt sucks out the good part of you. Then there are the bad fats. Not like “ooh bad” or guilty pleasure. Like bad, bad. Physically and mentally bad for you. From too much processed cheese, fried toppings, and dressings. Short lease those fats. An every once and awhile entanglement is okay. Then there’s your salad base. The semi- green base that’s the meh to your food relationship, it looks pale or wilted. That’s your salad connection dying. Read below to fix that. When you are settling in at home or meal prepping, it’s a similar problem with salads. High sodium, high fat, not enough variety thus nutrients. It’s time to find the balance.
The Salad Fix
In every relationship there needs to be a base to spring from. In making a salad there are more supportive options such as Mixed greens, spinach, kale. These does more than carry the “fun stuff.” They have their own contributions to your nutrient profile on a plate. Once you have your base, then you need lean sources of protein. Chicken breast, chick peas, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, turkey pepperoni, lunch meat are a few choices to add on. “Whole” is best, meaning it doesn’t require a label or comes with a few listed ingredients. While it does this part well, protein is more than a filler. It has it’s own set of nutrients and it builds from muscles heart to brain to body. When adding on to your base and protein, for nutrition and simplicity sake, rainbow variety needs to be your salad motto. Each pepper, tomato, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and so on is packed with their unique set of nutrients. This is a great way to get multiple vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants. It’s a better calorie burn with increase function of brain, nerves, eyes, etc. When dressing a salad, it needs to be the right one. Low calorie, low fat is not necessarily the best. There are fats your body needs plus those low cal/fat option may have artificial ingredients that are harmful. Avocado, sesame oil, avocado oil, or olive oil are a few examples of a short leased but great options to get dressed in. Read ingredient lists; the least amount listed on that bottle the better.
Not so salady options
Salad don’t have to look like the precursor to an entree. An Asian vinaigrette with lean pork or chicken on chopped mixed greens/ bok choy is delicious. Ground turkey taco meat with salad on greens is a naked taco. Who doesn’t love naked? A limited use of pepperoni, turkey deli meat, ham deli meat with an italian dressing and greens makes a lighter cousin to the sub version. There is so much more less salady options on Pinterest. Just watch the base, ingredients, and dressing. Armed with the right green base, you can break that food relationship boredom and not pay for it with your health.
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