My favorite Bay Area Nutritionist Jae Berman’s most recent newsletter was all about creating healthy summer salads. It was such good information, I could resist sharing it with all of you. My goal is to create a supportive online community to help you live a healthy life. Hopefully this helps you continue to nourish your body well! Thanks Jae for the inspiring read…. cant wait for the next newsletter!
Jae Berman Nutrion Newsletter, July 2011: What Really Is A Salad?
“Question for you…What really is a salad?
So many people associate dieting and “eating right” with having a salad for lunch and dinner. What is the main ingredient in a salad? The correct answer is non starchy vegetables. What is a non starchy vegetable? These are all the veggies out there except for peas, corn, potatoes and squash. So when you go to a salad bar, order a salad off the menu or go to the market to buy salad fixings notice if non starchy vegetables make up the majority of that salad. Most salads these days are filled with nuts, cheese, olives, fruit, avocado, croutons, seeds and other higher calorie foods. The reason salads are considered a “diet food” is because you can eat a huge bowl of salad full of greens, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, radishes, celery and other veggies for barely any calories. However, when you load on cheese, nuts, high-fat protein, olives, avocado, dried fruit and dressing—it is no longer a salad!!! I know this is going to hurt many of you but a Cesare Salad is not a salad!!! Sorry guys. I need some more veggies on there!
How to order a salad:
- Fill the plate with as many non starchy veggies as you like—go crazy! Choose vegetables with different colors and textures–fill the plate!
- Add a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean steak, egg whites, cottage cheese, tofu or beans
- Add ONE splurge if you want—whatever you prefer. Cheese, nuts, olives, avocado, dried fruit…
- Choose a low calorie dressing. Ask for olive oil and vinegar rather than a pre-made one and go lighter on the oil than the vinegar. Add lemon juice, pepper and other seasonings for extra flavor without the calories.
Whatcha think? Some of you will save 300-1000 calories by changing your salad. SERIOUSLY!!! Be mindful of what you eat and take control. You can do this!”
Inspired by Jae, I thought I’d chime in with my favorite ways to keep salad healthy:
Veg Out – Start your salad with leafy greens (I love chopped romaine) and then pile on lots of other veggies — sliced peppers, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced beets, and more. Avoid marinated veggies that look super-shiny — those are probably loaded with fatty oil.
Pick the Right Protein – Stick with lean protein, like chunks of white-meat chicken, turkey breast, and plain flaked tuna. Steer clear of things like salami, scoopy salads (they’re most likely made with full-fat mayo), and bacon. Avoid cheese, since it’s probably the full-fat kind. Toss on some beans (chickpeas rock) and sliced hard-boiled egg whites too (leave out the yolks).
Crunchy Toppers – Skip the croutons, tortilla chips, Chinese noodles, and anything else that might be fried. Add some crunch to your salad with things like sliced water chestnuts, thinly sliced almonds (just a tablespoon or so), and crispy raw veggies.
Dressings: Look for dressings that are light and refreshing. Get your dressing on the side — then dip (don’t pour). No healthy finds? Your best bet is to go with straight-up balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette!) — it’s loaded with intense flavor, so you don’t need much, and it’s low in calories. Salsa is another awesome low-calorie choice, and it will give your salad a zesty kick. Don’t like those options? Play it safe and bring along your favorite light dressing. Try this vinaigrette: 1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar, 4 TBSP mustard, pack of stevia – a thick, balsamic vinaigrette that wont turn your salad into a health hazard.
Other good reads on keeping your salad HEALTHY:
- Cooking Lights Restaurant Salad Shockers.
- Super satisfying salads and delicious dressings.
- 5 Tips for Building a Healthier Salad
What are your tips keeping your salad healthy? Whats your favorite fresh salad recipe? Would love to hear what salad greens keep you smiling 🙂