I talk to a lot of people who are trying to make small changes to eat healthier. That is great. SMALL changes are a more sustainable way to go. You can be like my mom and go Paleo overnight, but she’s a pretty determined and motivated woman (who runs their first mile at 51 and their first marathon at 55? But more on my mom’s amazing running journey later).
Back to small steps. Salads are a great way to get lots of veggies into your meal. Many people are incorporating meal salads into their diet (it’s a great dinner for those doing a Shaklee 180 TurnAround). Here are three tips to make your salad even healthier.
Lettuce isn’t the only “base”—add spinach, kale, and other mixed greens. Get creative with arugula or Swiss chard. These greens are definitely more dense with nutrients and can be more filling. Start with just a few pieces of kale. If you can’t handle the kale, trying adding craisins or something to off-set the bitterness.
2. Pile on the toppings
The recommendation is to consume 6-9 vegetables a day, so get creative with salads. The possibilities are endless. Some great veggies for salads are broccoli, carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, and cabbage.
I find the easiest way to make all the chopping easier is to get out the food processor
(I use a VitaMix) and shred up enough for a week’s worth of salads. When all the components of a salad are prepared, it can be the easiest thing to put together.
In addition to veggies, there are a lot of great and healthy things to add to a salad. Avocados are one of our favorites! Hearts of palm, artichokes, and olives are also great sources of fat to add to the salad. We also like to add crushed nuts and craisins or raisins (but not too much). When you’re making the salad your main dish, add leftover (or freshly grilled) chicken, hardboiled eggs, sliced beef, etc.
3. Make the most of your dressing
Knowing what’s in your dressing is very important. Some dressings are full of sugar and chemicals. We have found a few store-bought dressings we like, but we also like making our own dressings. Sometimes the easiest thing to do it just add a little oil olive and some spices.
Our recent favorite is a creamy dressing made with cashews. We make it Italian (like the recipelinked) but have also made a ranch version by using 6 tsps of a ranch mix we bought at a local spice shop. I’ll be doing more research on more dressings to make and I will post those too!