Monthly resolutioners, are you still with me? Look at all we’ve accomplished so far…
Have you noticed how we have been alternating between lifestyle and nutrition goals? Well this month, it is time for this super foodie to strip it down to the basics. We need veggies people, and lots of ‘em! I find enforcing the “minimum of one big salad per day” rule extremely helpful in ensuring I (and baby) receive the 5-10 cups a day we are supposed to be getting. Plus, it’s summer (er…sort of), time to stock up on raw veggies while they are abundant and exactly what our bodies tend to crave right about now, just start listening. Sometimes your body says “spinach” and you hear “Twinkies”. Whoops! Talk about mixed messages…
Although I must admit, even I get bored of the same old, same old when it comes to salads. So I am going to do my best to boost up the creativity in the salad department this month and share with you some of my (hopefully) fabulous creations.
Here are some tools I use to create wonderfully complete and delicious “salads as meals”.
The Salad Builder
The most common complaint I get about salads is, “they don’t fill me up”. Being married to a man who eats his weight in food every week, I’ve learned to come up with ways to boost it up with things like nuts, seeds, grains and superfoods to fill you up and make sure your body will be more than satisfied! Unlike when you eat a Twinkie and are starving again minutes later…
Use this ‘Salad Builder’ as a guideline when creating your salads, it will help to ensure you are getting the right mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein to make a salad a sustaining meal.
- Greens (at least one) – kale, spinach, arugula, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce basil, cilantro, parsley
- Veggies (at least 3) – broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, green onion, red onion, celery, bell peppers, etc.
- Grains (optional) – quinoa, millet, buckwheat, brown rice
- Nuts (optional) – almonds, brazil nut, walnut, pecan, macadamia nut, cashew, etc.
- Seeds (at least 1) – hemp seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, sesame seed
- Protein (optional, but recommended) – beans (any cooked or sprouted), organic & free range meat and/or cheese (chicken, bison, hard-boiled eggs, turkey, goat’s cheese, etc.), tempeh, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Fats (at least 1-2 tbsp) – cold pressed, virgin oils (flax oil, hemp oil, olive oil), olives, avocado
- Edible flowers (optional) – nasturtium etc.
- Sweeteners (optional) – dried fruit (raisins, goji berries), fresh fruit (pears, strawberries), unpasteurized honey, pure maple syrup
Keep some of these around the house to mix and match and make your own salad dressings that are fresh, additive free, healthier & cheaper than buying pre-made store bought dressings. Just shake em up in a jar and pour on top of your salad right before you eat.
- All natural Dijon mustard
- Bragg’s soy
- Unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or other vinegars)
- Miso paste (gluten free if needed)
- Tamari (gluten free if needed)
- Fresh lemons, juiced
- Healthy oils (flax, hemp, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, extra virgin olive, etc.)
- Spices & herbs (fresh or dried)
- Nutritional yeast (dairy free, cheesy tasting substitute – full of energy boosting B Vitamins)
- Fresh ginger
- Hot sauce (Franks, etc.) or cayenne pepper (stimulates metabolism)
- Green onion
- Pickled onions (just put thinly sliced onion is apple cider vinegar and salt and they’ll pickle within 5 minutes!)
- Pure maple syrup or unpasteurized honey (small amounts)
- Kelp powder – a seaweed superfood! (or sea salt)
Now let’s get our salad on!
Happy July…can you believe it is already July?