You know the drill — eat a salad and you’ve done all your clean eating for the day. So what if you ate a burrito the night before? You’ve made up for it by eating a salad.
Unfortunately, not all salads are created equal. A caesar salad for example, has enough calories to last you the entire day. The croutons, cheese, and bacon alone are overly filled with calories. If you’re feeling sluggish after your salad, you’re probably eating or preparing your salad the wrong way.
Want to get your healthy eating on track? Today, Evolve Daily shows 7 Ways To Make The Perfect, Healthy Salad:
1) Build a strong base.
Choose a nutritious base for your salad by loading it with mesclun greens, kale, arugula, and baby spinach. These leaves are rich in folic acid, lutein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
2) Add lots of different vegetables.
The general rule for vegetables in salads is: the more colorful it is, the healthier it is. To add some color, you can choose from healthy ingredients such as shredded carrots, red bell peppers, and cucumbers. You could even add fruits like strawberries, pears, and apples, but keep them to a minimum because they can be high in sugar. In fact, skip the fruits altogether if you’re cutting weight!
3) Add some grains.
The more earthy the color, the better. By adding grains like quinoa, wild rice, kamut, and freekeh, you’ll increase the fibre, protein, and anti-oxidant content of your salad. If you’re one of those people who can’t stay satiated with just a salad, adding grains might be your best option.
4) Add some protein.
For meat lovers out there who feel like salads are just “rabbit food”, you may add proteins to make your salads feel more like full meals. If you want to include animal protein in your salad, choose one or two lean sources such as turkey, chicken breast, or lean sirloin steak. If you’re vegetarian, you can opt for tofu, kidney beans, or other legumes.
5) Add something extra.
Worried that your salad will be tasteless? Why not take your salad to the next level by adding more flavor? Choose from feta, bleu, goat, mozzarella, or parmesan cheese. You may even add an ounce of avocado. A little goes a long way for these extras so make sure to stick to about one tablespoon serving of each.
6) Add crunch.
Just like the extras, be sure to use crunch sparingly. You don’t want to add too much sodium or calories to your diet. You can include air popped popcorn, nuts, toasted quinoa, or even some sunflower seeds into your salad to give it that yummy crunch!
7) Dress it well.
For most people, a salad isn’t a salad if it isn’t swimming in dressing. Unfortunately, the amount of dressing one puts in a salad could take it from healthy to unhealthy in an instant. If you’re ordering salad at a restaurant, request to have your dressing on the side. When you can, choose vinaigrette or other low-calorie options and stay away from anything creamy.
The proportions and combinations are up to you, but remember to keep an eye on those extras and dressings! By making healthy eating a habit, you’ll be on your way to a six-pack in no time!