… keeps the doctor away. That’s the saying right? Well it should be.
It’s part of my routine to eat one Big A$$ Salad every day. I mean BIG. Making this a habit has helped me to make sure I get daily servings of some of the healthiest things: greens, fiber, protein, healthy fats, a variety of veggies. Most people struggle to get in enough servings of these everyday, so swapping one meal (lunch or dinner probably... but hey maybe breakfast salads should be a thing) for a giant nutrient-packed salad would be a great way to make a healthy change and positively impact your health without sacrificing on satiation or feeling like you are doing some crazy restrictive diet. The sheer size of these things helps to crowd out other, unhealthier choices.
Prioritizing fitting in MORE healthy food is a great way to switch your focus when preparing meals. “How can I add in more health to this meal?” is a much more positive and sustainable approach to healthy eating than focusing on what you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat.
Add in the health, start feeling the results, and there just won’t be as much room in your day, your stomach, or your food choices for the unhealthy stuff.
Eat for nourishment and health most of the time, and there will accidentally be less opportunity for unhealthy choices in your diet.
It’s a shift in mindset that celebrates the healthy impact you can have on your body each time you eat, rather than a dieting mentality that can be detrimental to your relationship with food and your body. Let’s roll with that positivity today.
Here’s how I do it:
1. Start with a big ol’ bowl. I got this set of mixing bowls from a thrift store several years ago. The big one has since broken (rip) but the middle size (biggest one in this picture) seems to be just perfect for my salads.
2. Fill that sucker with greens. I mean fill it up! Greens are some of the healthiest foods that we should eat every day, but most of us don’t get nearly enough of them. Here is a chance to make that up. I love a combo of greens. Romaine is nice and crunchy but isn’t as nutrient dense as other greens. So, I add a few handfuls of baby spinach, spring mix, or baby kale. This makes for a nice mix of textures.
3. Add in plenty of other veggies. Salads can be more than just lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers (although those things are delicions). I like to use whatever I have on hand in fridge or waiting for me in the freezer. I love a combo of cooked and raw veggies. Lots of different colors and textures make for a very interesting and super satisfying salad.
4. Find a protein source. Beans, peas, lentils, tofu, and tempeh are my go-tos. Adding in some whole protein sources helps your salad to be more satiating and to help you stay full longer.
5. I usually add in a healthy starch source to my salad as well. This could be optional depending on how the rest of my day went, but I like some starch to help fill me up. Potatoes, rice, or toast go great with all the veg. If you are trying to lose weight, this is a great tactic to help you cut down on some calories without really noticing. Eat a huge salad with a smaller serving of starches on top, rather than a huge rice bowl with some veggies on top. It’ll be a much bigger, more satisfying meal with fewer calories. And, bonus, the calories you are consuming are high quality ones full of vitamins and nutrients that will nourish your body to improved health.
6. Top it with a healthy fat source. This is crucial to the satiety to my salads, and healthy fats are an important part of nutrition. Don't fear the fats! If I don’t add some good, healthy fats in to my salad, I’ll be hungry an hour later. I love adding some avocado, nuts and seeds.
7. Add a healthy dressing. Be wary of bottled salad dressings. They are usually traps for unnecessary oils, preservatives, and sugars that have no business running through your body. I like to whip up my own dressing for each salad. It makes it feel special and fresh, just like I want to feel. Here are some of my go-tos:
“Tahini On Everything” Dressing (my absolute fave. Sometimes I will make a salad for dinner simply because I NEED this dressing in my life that day):
2 Tbs of tahini (great source or healthy fats
juice of half a lemon
a few drops of coconut aminos (or soy sauce or liquid aminos, although I really prefer the coconut aminos because they have a subtle saltiness and sweetness combo that is so, so yummy).
Mix it all together and trickle in water until it is the consistency you like.
A few tablespoons of hummus thinned out with some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and some water
A combo of lemon juice or your favorite vinegar (balsamic, red wine, etc), brown mustard, agave syrup- the components of a vinaigrette minus the oil
Salsa makes a delicious dressing especially if you’ve got a mexican thing going on your salad that day (rice, beans, avocado)
8. Mix it all up. Try not to spill it all over your counter like I do. Every. Single. Time.
Settle that Big Ol’ Bowl into your lap and shovel it into your face. Oh you don’t sit cross legged on the floor when you eat? That’s weird.
After introducing a Big A$$ Salad into my routine for a several weeks in a row, it almost felt like the day wasn’t complete without one. It’s a really simple thing to start incorporating into your routine that can help you get tons of important nutrients into your body.
Eating for nourishment does NOT mean dieting or starving yourself. It actually means eating in abundance and filling your body with as much health has you can each day. Add in a daily salad as an easy way to take a step toward better health.