For Food is Fuel Friday I usually share a recipe for something that my family knows and loves.This week I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about something that nearly everyone thinks of as the diet standard; salad. Salad played a huge part in my weight loss journey throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010. I needed to get used to seeing my own food for what it truly was: which is fuel for my body. What goes in must come out in terms of energy, and my intake certainly wasn’t matching the amount of energy I put out during the day. Taking baby steps in portion control was the first part of my journey. The principle that I could do just a little bit better in my food choices and lifestyle choices than I had the day before. One of my lunch staples became a fully loaded salad.
When I speak about salad, I’m not talking about little pieces of lettuce in a tiny bit of sauce, I prepare meal-salads a lot of the time for both myself and the kid. These can contain such amazing vitamins, minerals, and even sources of protein like nuts and seeds, eggs, or sliced meat for the carnivores.
So what are some of my favourite attributes that make a salad? Well… tonnes of organic spring mix leaves are a start. I love adding chopped veggies like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, red onion, green onion, carrots and grated jicama for a special treat. Nuts and seeds are not only amazing sources of protein, they’re also going to help you to feel full a lot faster. I’m sure I haven’t got to say it again, but shelled hemp hearts are absolutely wonderful in a salad, and they offer your body omega fatty acids which it desperately needs daily. Omega fatty acids are not something that the body stores, meaning that it needs to get them steadily throughout a lifetime.
I’m a fan of cheese for a bit of extra protein, maybe some croutons and definitely some amazing salad dressing. Salad certainly doesn’t have to be boring, and it can come in tonnes of forms. Even the less healthy kind like potato salad (one of my favourites when made with real mayo).
Eating well is not all about sacrifice. It’s about retraining your tastebuds, and your brain, about what tastes good. Now that I’ve been eating well the majority of the time for over twelve months, I want those delicious healthy foods. A good salad leaves me satisfied as a meal when it’s done right, and I know that what I’ve put in my body is what’s best for my body.
If you’re at a loss for what to eat in your lunch, whether at home or at work, consider chopping some fresh veggies up with a hard boiled egg in a large bowl, and you may find that you like salad more than you thought you did.