Trim Your Waistline & Stay Healthy With These Summer Salad Creations!
Let’s face it. When you’re trying to eat healthy and exercise you immediately envision days filled with lettuce and tasteless meal creations that leave you frustrated and reaching for that plate of sweets. Well, I’m here to tell you that salads can be filled with flavor, and whether you’re a fan of fruits or red meat – we’ve got a salad creation for you. Five simple steps to build your perfect summer salad, complete with protein, antioxidants and tons of flavor. Because, when you’re watching your weight, you should enjoy your meals, not dread them.
First step of your killer salad is your base: the greens. According to Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, “Greens are the No.1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health.” So, let’s choose your green: romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach, shredded broccoli, cabbage. The list is ongoing, but we’ve selected these because they’re recognized for their antioxidants, high fiber content and overall taste. While romaine lettuce is your basic salad starter, try to broaden your culinary horizons and opt for kale or spinach. These have a much higher source of vitamins and fiber, plus they’re super versatile in the kitchen. If cold salads aren’t your thing, you can use kale and spinach to create delicious side-salad options.
Next, choose your protein. Many people think they can only eat grilled chicken. Wrong! Think: edamame, quinoa, fresh grilled fish, eggs, marinated garbanzo beans and sweet, succulent shrimp. Salads aren’t sounding so bad anymore, are they? Choose a meat, fish, bean or high-protein grain. Chicken, steak, tilapia, mahi mahi, shrimp, garbanzo beans, and quinoa – the choices are endless. If you’re dreading the mundane grilled chicken, try spicing it up with a marinade. Citrus Sriracha, Chili Lime, Sweet Thai, Honey Lime… using organic ingredients and spices to create a marinade will naturally flavor your food and increase your chances of sticking to your healthy lifestyle. Because, let’s be real, who wants to eat plain grilled chicken for the rest of their life? Not me.
Time to dress it up with vegetables and/or fruits. Think color. The more color the fruit or vegetable has, the healthier it is. Maybe you’re trying a mahi mahi and mango salad. Fresh mangoes, maybe some pecans or sunflower seeds. Talk about flavor. Some of my personal veggies/fruits to add to salads: strawberries, avocado, corn, broccoli, hot peppers, asparagus, mango and apples. So whether you’re a fan of strawberries or broccoli – add as many vegetables and fruits as you want. This is the filler portion of the salad that will keep you full for hours, while filling your body up with vitamins and minerals.
Now it’s time to add the extras. Nuts, seeds, cheese, bacon bits – the works. This is another great area to fill yourself up while adding a nutritional punch to your salad. My personal favorites include: pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, gorgonzola cheese and cashews. Super yummy and packed with protein, flavor and that extra crunch.
So whether you’re thinking of creating a Bacon Avocado Chicken salad or a Steak Gorgonzola creation, there are endless possibilities when it comes to the world of salads. The best part about our salad formula? You’ll never be hungry because you’re not just eating lettuce. You’re eating greens, protein, fruits and vegetables and the yummy extras. So this summer, skip the sandwich and opt for a salad. You won’t regret it. We promise.