Quick and Healthy Salad Tips

Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s off to a great start for you! 🙂

As each year rolls around, I find there’s one thing most of us have in common…we vow to exercise more and eat healthier. As we age, it’s imperative that we do BOTH!

I recently watched a movie that really resonated with me, and I would recommend everyone watch it!  “In Defense of Food” does a great job of showing us how we can reverse the ill effects of what our American/Western diet is doing to us…It’s making us SICK!  It seems we’re always being given contradicting advice…eat this, don’t eat that. Fat is good for you, fat is bad for you.  No wonder everyone’s confused! What we DO know is that sugar and processed foods are literally making us a sick society…the more you eat of them, the higher your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  We know this…we’re being told over and over, but are we really listening? My take away from this movie is to cut down on meat and eat more plants! I love salads and veggies, so this wont’ be hard for me to do.

Many of you have asked for some tips on how to eat healthy while keeping it simple at the same time. Here are my tips for creating a quick and healthy salad at home.  Try changing things up a bit if you find salads boring.  If you plan ahead and have a few items handy in both your fridge and pantry, you can always have a healthy salad on the table in no time!   Fill it with enough protein, and it can be the main course!

  1. I keep a variety of fresh organic greens in my fridge.  I like mixing several together like kale, baby arugula and spinach. Remember, the darker the green, the more nutrients it will have. I also ALWAYS wash my greens even if they say they’ve been prewashed. See “Marler Blog” for more information on food safety tips, especially buying precut and prewashed veggies.  Bill Marler is a personal injury attorney who litigates foodborne illnesses.  He’s handled all the big cases including the current Costco and Chipotle Restaurant cases.  I subscribe to his blog so that I’m always up to date on the latest recalls.
  2. I also buy canned beans for a protein alternative.  I like garbanzo beans, black beans and kidney beans.  I’ll open a few cans, rinse them well & drain, then pop them into the fridge in a ziploc bag for quick access.  Edamame beans are great in salads, too! I keep a bag in my freezer.
  3. Tomatoes, cucumbers, all colors of bell peppers, red onion, celery, carrots are just a few veggies you can add. They’re all good for you…try them all!
  4. Keep nuts and seeds in your fridge to add crunch to your salads.   Think pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans.
  5. And lastly, stay clear of bottled dressings.  Why fix a healthy salad only to defeat the purpose with a fat and calorie-laden dressing??  I keep fresh lemons or balsamic vinegar and mix with a bit of olive oil.

Quick, clean and healthy doesn’t have to be complicated! Take baby steps if you’re just starting out. Your body will thank you!

IMG_9855

A quick protein packed salad ready in less than 5 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Baby arugula
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Bell pepper (diced)
  • lemon and olive oil

 

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