Enjoying summer yet? Warm days have us leaning towards lighter fare and markets are bursting with summer fresh produce. Talk about a match made in heaven: just when the bounty of summer is reaching its peak we stop craving beef stews and start salivating over berries. It is time to take advantage of farm fresh produce and start feasting on fruits and veggies all day long. So this week, I want to challenge you to eat a salad at least twice for your lunch or dinner. Don't just add a side salad to your meal - I want the salad to be the main event. Salads are an amazing way to eat a nutrient dense and low calorie meal and ensure that you get your minimum servings of antioxidant loaded fruits and veggies. Beware, not all salads are created equal: croutons, iceberg and ranch dressing do not a power food make. Follow my five steps to a healthy salad and pick up your favourites at the farmer's market or local grocer. Need more inspiration? Check out some great recipes on the web!
Power Up: 5 Steps to a Nutritious and Filling Salad
1. Punk up your greens. Skip the iceberg and go for greens with attitude. Spinach, baby kale, arugula, mache...whatever you like. Pile on a few big handfuls. They deliver hyper nutritious, practically no calorie filler.
2. Add Super Veggies. The bulk of your salad should be 1 - 11/2 cups of chopped multicoloured veggies. Add whatever floats your boat, from radishes to tomatoes, snap peas to artichoke hearts.
3. Pump up the Protein. Add a full serving of protein with 2 hard boiled eggs, 3/4 cup of beans (a super filling addition thanks to extra fibre) or 3 oz of chicken or fish.
4. Drizzle on the Healthy Oils. Use a tablespoon of a natural salad dressing, preferably made with olive oil or cold pressed canola. The quickest way to dress your salad is 1/2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice with a hit of salt and pepper. If taking the salad for lunch, carry the dressing in a separate container and dress prior to eating so your salad doesn't wilt.
5. Texture. Add crunch and variety with a tablespoon of raw nuts or seeds, from cashews to flax to pumpkin...you'll add nutrients and healthy fats. If you like, add a tablespoon or two of crumbled feta or chevre or try some dried apricots or cranberries!
Enjoy the sun,
Enjoy the sun,