Thursday, January 31, 2013

Salads Are For Suckers

Ok, I actually do like a lot of salads, and I don't think you're a sucker if you do either. But I am a sucker for alliteration.

However, salads day after day get so incredibly dull. Getting in those veggie GHG's doesn't have to be painful or hard, NOR SHOULD IT BE!

If you plan to change your lifestyle, you have to PLAN to maintain it. You have to make lifelong changes.  Eating salad day in and day out is great if that doesn't bore you and works, but for me, I immediately start rebelling. Or bargaining.

"I ate a salad, now I can have bunches of cookies cause I've paid my dues"
"I ate a salad now I don't need to work out"
"I ate a then I ate a quarter pounder with a large fries after"

I could go on and on. Obviously a good salad is a good salad. I think it is important to explore components of a "good" salad.

Below is a list of things that I think make a salad worth eating:

-Cheese- in particular a good distinct cheese, goat cheese, bleu cheese, feta, etc. I find that these cheeses add the most flavor in a small punch (although they do no count towards the dairy GHG because they are soft cheese, very sad)

-Protein- be it some bacon, chicken, egg, chickpeas, or pecans protein packs a healthy powerful punch. It adds diversity of taste and texture.

-Fruits- Fruit adds right to that GHG check and its 0 points (mostly!) what could be better? Adding apples to a salad can replace the crunch that croutons usually give you. Plus they add sweetness to help curb those "I ate a salad so now I need dessert" feelings.

-Avocado- This should really be under fruit, but I love it so much it gets its own category- Avocado is basically a dressing. Full of healthy fat. Avocado aren't a power food (which is silly, but thats a whole different post) however that doesn't mean they don't count to your GHG's. They are also so creamy and flavorful, sure to beef up any salad.

-Anything with crunch- a FEW croutons, a FEW tortilla strips are always good as long as you keep the amount within reason, because crunchy carbs are delicious.

The habit of salads though- I am still not into. And I don't think anyone can rely on salads as the only way of checking off all those boxes for the fruit/veggie GHG. Also for me eating that salad, fruit and all, doesn't stop that bargaining.

I've stopped this bargaining with myself by working fruits and veggies into meals I love. At meetings we have been aiming to eat a fruit or veggie with every meal and I have done so well with this and it made me get creative.

See below!

Avocado on toast gives you a healthy fat to replace the  "bad" fat in butter,  its creaminess can rival that of the best cream cheeses. 
Salsa verde and tomatos add loads of flavor to a scrambled egg, make it colorful and fun and spicy. Its more filling, diverse and delicious. 
The pizza sauce here is homemade and adds a serving of veggies as well.
There is a half a cup of blueberries in these low fat oatmeal pancakes. 
These homemade beef empanadas are sitting pretty on top of a bed of lettuce, some homemade guacamole and some pico de gallo
and lastly, but not leastly, this is a frozen homemade smoothie/pudding pop. It has half a cup of strawberries in it, and  a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt. This wonderful idea is another from (seriously you should go over there). You can get these silicone molds (which for cute are they?) from Amazon. 
All these solutions have stopped the bargaining and really incorporated veggies and fruit into my diet in a way that I love. I don't feel I am just paying my dues or forcing it on myself anymore. I feel like I'm really eating and achieving a healthy well balanced diet (I mean look even my dessert has fruit). The days of forcing a boring salad down my throat just to get in those GHG's. And by doing this I've identified what makes a salad a worthwhile meal to me, and I've had so much fun doing it.

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