Healthy Salad Tips
If you’ve made a vow to add more veggies to your diet, you might be perusing the salad options at your local salad bar, lunch joint, or restaurant more often than usual. And you’d be smart to do so—salads are exceptional vehicles for adding more protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients and minerals into your daily fare.
But Beware: Calories can add up quickly if you’re not careful—even if you fix a salad yourself. For example, a salad made with 2 cups kale, 1⁄2 cup quinoa, 3 ounces shredded chicken breast, half an avocado, a large hardboiled egg, 3 tablespoons bacon bits, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing can pack nearly 900 calories.
The Trick: Be mindful of ingredients—and portions —that go into your salad. To get the most nutritious mix, start with a base of dark leafy greens, like kale, spinach, or arugula, then load up on other veggies, the more colorful the better. With the exception of a few high-calorie items—such as olives, avocado, and potatoes, for example—you can add as much or as many types of undressed produce as you like without adding too many calories.
Most vegetables are so low in calories and high in fiber and other nutrients that you can really eat as much as you want. For example, there’s less than 25 calories in a half cup of shredded carrots, chopped red pepper, or cherry tomatoes.
Next: Pick a lean protein—such as chicken breast, tofu, chickpeas, a hardboiled egg, or a grilled piece of fish to increase satiety.
When you hit the Maintenance Phase a little fat in your salad is good—your body has an easier time absorbing some of the nutrients in vegetables when they’re eaten with oil, avocado, nuts, or some other type of healthy fat. Still, go easy on the dressing, aiming for no more than about 2 tablespoons—oil and vinegar is better than something creamy. What most people don’t realize is the dressing is often the biggest contributor of calories, sodium, and fats in a salad.
And if you’re craving a treat, such as bacon bits, croutons, or cheese, which tend to be higher in calories and sodium than veggies, pick one and sprinkle lightly.
These tips are easy to forget, though, when you’re faced with endless options at a restaurant, salad bar, or even at home. To keep the nutrition numbers in check, we created this handy visual guide to help you see how much of some favorite salad ingredients you can have for 100 calories. If you’re following a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and are enjoying the salad as a meal, aim for no more than 500 to 600 calories per serving.
How many times do you chew your food?
Maybe you’ve never actually counted… but you should.
You see, it’s a common ‘eating mistake’ to chew your food too little when you eat.
And I do mean MISTAKE — for several reasons.
First of all, chewing is the first step of the digestive process.
Before you even swallow, powerful digestive enzymes in your saliva start breaking down your food into smaller, more usable compounds.
And chewing your food thoroughly makes it easier for your body to finish this breakdown process after you swallow — when digestive enzymes in your stomach take over.
Chewing also sends messages to the rest of your digestive system so it’s ready for the incoming food.
This helps your body digest your food more easily and use more of the nutrients in it.
Also, as you get older, your body produces less of these enzymes.
This makes it even more important to fully chew your food! Otherwise, you’ll wind up with more digestive problems and less energy from your food.
Now, there’s another important reason to chew your food thoroughly. And I think you’ll find this reason particularly exciting…
It helps keep pounds off!
This is due to something I call ‘the 30-minute rule’:
Your tummy takes up to 30 minutes to tell your brain that you’re full.
So, the longer you chew your food, the fewer bites you’ll take before you feel full.
But how many ‘chews’ are enough?
Well, that depends on what you’re eating.
If you’re eating soft food, like bananas, peaches, fish, or cooked veggies, 5 to 10 chews should be enough.
Meanwhile, if you’re eating more solid foods — like meats, poultry, raw veggies, or nuts — you should give them at least 20-30 chews before swallowing.
So, when you’re eating your next meal today, try to be mindful of how many times you chew different foods.
You might even find that you enjoy your food more when you take your time.
And after all, what’s your hurry? 🙂
Nutrition comes down to these 4 simple suggestions:
One pound of leafy greens everyday (1/2 raw & 1/2 cooked).
One handful of raw nuts daily.
Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds per day.
Two tablespoons of natural probiotic everyday.
Think about it. There are ALWAYS things we can eliminate. When it comes to giving your body what it needs to succeed at weight loss, its about nutritional additions versus subtractions.
Whatever your goal is for this year is – Improving your diet, having a better work/life balance, not staring at your smartphone so much or the ever recurring goal of… LOSING WEIGHT AND STAYING HEALTHY– the truth is…If you don’t stay focused, you won’t achieve your goal.
The desire to improve your quality of life is the one goal that everyone on the planet can agree on.
FACT: 45% of Americans usually set New Year’s Resolutions; 17% infrequently set resolutions; 38% absolutely never set resolutions. 24% (one in four people) NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year. That means that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed. (Inc. Magazine)
So…HOW DO I GET IT DONE?
Here’s some ways to increase your success rate in achieving your goals in 2019:
- KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)
Most people fail before they even start because they start with huge overarching plans to “extreme makeover” their lives.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have big dreams but your New Year Resolutions are not the place for that. Motivation can quickly give way to frustration if you aren’t careful so you need to break it down into smaller achievable first steps towards your goal.
Keep your list short. Maybe 3 things to get you going. If you attain them, great! Set new ones for the rest of the year. Take it one step at a time.
Then keep it simple. If you’re planning on eating healthier, start with changing ONE thing rather than going totally organic and vegan. It is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks. If you’re going to start exercising, start with 10 minutes at home rather than sign up for a gym membership you’ll probably end up not using.
- FRONT AND CENTER WITH YOUR GOAL
There’s no perfect way to do this, it depends on the individual. Some people keep their goal in a journal, some on a post-it note on their mirrors, others use calendars, others use “vision boards” and some like to share it on Facebook.
Whatever you decide to use, it has to be in a place that you can see so it keeps you accountable to yourself. Also, let someone else know what you’re planning. People who are close to you and care about you are a great source of support and will keep you accountable to your goals.
- YOU GOT THIS – BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Think about it, you’re among the minority group that actually HAS a goal. Most people don’t have one and don’t even care. So don’t beat yourself up for failures along the way. Pick yourself up and reassess your goals. Maybe it was overreaching and you need to trim your goal down to something you can manage better.
Just don’t give up. Failure isn’t final, it’s a learning experience. It’s only final if you never learn and decide to give up.