This is a question I often get from my clients – so I thought I’d answer it here on the blog for everyone!
My answer? It depends.
Don’t you hate that answer? Me too, so I’m going to go into a lot more specifics and even share a .pdf cheat sheet for you at the end of this post.
A salad can be an excellent choice for a meal. Especially if you can do a little customization. What do I mean by that? If you think more veggies, more color and less fat, you are well on your way to a healthier salad.
When you are ordering a salad in a restaurant, here are some things to add and avoid:
- Your salad base: make sure the salad has a variety of greens – the darker green the better. If it has spinach or kale as part of the greens, that’s a bonus. Or try adding cabbage as a lettuce alternative – it’s fun to change it up!
- The colors: the more colorful your salad is (a variety of different colored vegetables included), the healthier your salad. Aim for at least three vegetables in different colors (ex: carrots, cucumber and red peppers).
- Extras: fruit is a great addition to your salad as are nuts & seeds (in small quantities); beans are fantastic – full of fiber and therefore filling without lots of extra calories or fats. Go easy on the meat and olives, these items should be a garnish, not the main part of the salad.
- Cheese: If you love cheese on your salad, limit the amount to an ounce or two and go for a high flavor cheese (feta, goat or gorgonzola). You’ll taste more while consuming less.
- Dressing: Ideally, if you have enough yummy ingredients in your salad you can get away with a splash of vinegar and some sea salt and pepper. Next best would be a simple vinaigrette made with vinegar, a little extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard and/or herbs. If you can’t stomach salad without dressing, at least use it sparingly. Just 1 T. can have 120+ calories.
Easy enough, right? It will be with a little practice. To help you out in the meantime, I’ve made a cheat sheet to keep in your purse: Salad Cheat Sheet
Do you love salads? What is your favorite salad?
I love to work with busy professional working moms and help them create a healthier and happier life. As a mom myself I KNOW how crazy life can get (driving kids to sports EVERY night anyone?) – but just because you are busy doesn’t mean you can’t have a life you love! Contact me today for your FREE clarity call and let’s get you started creating the perfect life for YOU!