You've always been told you should "Eat your veggies!". As you know, salads are one of the best ways to get a hefty dose of veggies and are relatively easy to make and find at almost any restaurant. BUT (and that's a big "but"), knowing what to add in/ask for in your salad will determine whether your salad is a satisfying, healthy meal or a blood sugar fat bomb. To make sure the latter doesn't happen, I've broken it down for you below.
- Gem lettuce
- Butter lettuce
Any of the above leafy greens (alone or combinations) are full of nutrients and fiber, creating a solid base for your salad (No iceberg lettuce 'round these parts please).
- Organic chicken
- Wild caught Salmon
- Canned Tuna/Sardines
- Chickpeas/Other legumes (for vegans)
Choosing a quality protein source for your salad is the difference between leaving you full and satisfied for hours or frantically giving in to the 3pm office cookie temptation.
- Roasted vegetables (sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
- Raw vegetables (any vegetables of choice)
Take your pick with these. Add in raw veggies, cooked veggies, or both..Whatever floats your boat. I personally love the combination of textures from cooked and raw veggies in my salads.
- Organic cheese
- Crushed nuts/Seeds
We need some goood toppings for our salads to make them extra delicious and even more filling. Don't skimp out on these! Just choose the right ones to make sure you're making the most of your meal.
Top your salad with some avocado, a sprinkle of full fat high quality cheese or some nuts and seeds. Think of these as sprinkles on your sundae rather than the ice cream itself.
- Olive oil/sesame oil/avocado oil/algae oil
- Lemon juice/lime juice/apple cider vinegar/balsamic vinegar/etc.
- Spices and other add ins
Every salad needs a good dressing for taste and for healthy fats (which we need. Don't be afraid of these!). Use olive oil/sesame oil/avocado oil/algae oil and start from there. Once you have a healthy oil, add some kind of acid like lemon juice/lime juice/apple cider vinegar/balsamic vinegar/etc. Then, start doctoring! Some recommended add ins are sea salt, mustard, spices like turmeric and cumin, tamari, coconut aminos, honey or maple, and any other natural flavor enhancers that sound good to you. Never buy a jarred dressing again! Just use this formula and you'll never look back.
I hope this post helps nix some of the questions you may have about what should go in your salads to ensure they're healthy and delish. Let me know how it goes! : )