HAPPY Wednesday :D
How are you doing?! Are you having a PRODUCTIVE week so far?! It's midweek so hopefully you've gotten in some good workouts and you're eating clean :) If not...no worries! The loads of magic happens everyday of the week (lol) so jump in and get started!!
Eating a salad a day is 1 of the best ways to work vegetables into your diet! But even at a salad bar, a few bad toppings can take it from health food to stealth splurge faster than you can say "ranch dressing!"
Today's post is on building a salad! Next time you hit a salad bar, go for veggies in a rainbow of colors and get a wide range of nutrients!! Bring SALAD On :)
- Spinach And Kale Mix: So many nutrients, for next to NO calories! If you're still deciding between a sandwich and a salad for lunch, chew on this: It would take 61 cups of kale to equal the calories in 1 chain's turkey and cheese sandwich with mayo, and a whopping 69 cups of spinach to hit that mark. Go for the darkest greens available because they tend to have the most antioxidants.
- Red Cabbage: "Leafy purples" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "leafy greens," but don't hold that against red cabbage. The veggie's purple tint comes from heart healthy compounds.
- Tomatoes: Red tomatoes have lots of lycopene, which might lower the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.
- Carrots: There's a group of disease fighters called carotenoids, and if the name hasn't already tipped you off, carrots are full of them. (So are orange peppers.)
- Red Onions: Always a smart add, with plenty of flavor and almost no calories.
- Yellow Peppers: These are antioxidant powerhouses. That's true of some other yellow and yellow-orange produce, too.
- Olives: Olives are loaded with healthy fats, and its only takes a few to load your bowl with flavor.
- Walnuts: Add crunch to your salad with nuts and seeds. Walnuts are full of heart healthy omega-3s.
- Eggs: Eggs are key for a satisfying salad. New science says that pairing raw vegetables with cooked eggs may help us absorb more of the veggies nutrients. Other good protein picks: Chickpeas, beans, and grilled chicken.
- Goopy Dressing: A creamy 1 can have more than double the calories of a vinaigrette. Skip it, or make it your only salad splurge.
- Oily Vegetables: Grilled and marinated veggies can sneak in fatty calories. If you opt for them, use less dressing.
- Bacon Bits: Whether you go for the real or imitation kind, the salt can get pretty crazy. Ditto for crispy onions.
- Cheese: Sprinkle with care: Many cheeses pack in about 100 calories in a tiny 1/4 cup. (And feta, is high in sodium to boot.)
- "Crispy" Chicken: That's restaurant speak for "calorie laden." Grilled or roasted chicken is better.
- Croutons And Crispy Noodles: Pass on both. The calories vary but they can rack up more than 100 per 1/2 cup.
When I go to a salad bar, I keep my dressing as simple as possible. I drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.
If you're making a salad at home, you can customize this classic with flavorful add-ins, like grainy mustard, chopped scallions or shallots, fresh herbs, ground pepper, and lemon juice.
It's going to be a salad bar kind of day for me :D
Have a DELICIOUS, SMART, and FIT day!
SEE YOU on Fridayyyyy!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist