I always get asked:  How do you eat salads everyday? Don’t you get sick of eating salads day in and day out? Well, my honest answer, is that I don’t!

 

Yes, I am a creature of habit, which helps, but I also don’t see salads as a diet food,  it’s essential food. Salads are a great way to add as many delicious veggies into one meal as possible. Because salads contain lots of raw veggies, they are packed with enzymes which aid in digestion, as well as vitamins. Water soluble Vitamin C, for example, is lost when foods are heated, but when eaten in a raw foods format is very available to the body.

 

The key to not get bored is to keep things interesting! Anyone, even I, would get sick of having a simple lettuce, tomato a cucumber salad with the same dressing every day – boring! Start to think of your salad as a complete meal, which should include carbohydrates, fats, and protein. This will allow you to stay satiated and regulate blood sugar.

 

So how will you keep your salads interesting? Use as many ingredients as possible, without making your life too difficult, and plan ahead of time.

 

Here’s how to un-bore your salad and boost it’s nutrition content:

 

Begin with a couple of handfuls of organic greens of your choice (lettuce, baby greens, arugula, baby spinach or a mix), and then start to have some fun with your other ingredients:

 

  • VEGETABLES THAT ADD CRUNCH:

Celery, cucumber, radishes, not only add a great crunch but are also high in water content, so they help keep you hydrated and are a great source of fiber. And as you know, water and fiber are great for digestion.

 

  • HEALTHY FATS:

Avocados & olives, add great flavor and are packed with healthy fats. If your body can handle them, you can also sprinkle with some  goats cheese, or nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, cashews or sunflower seeds.

 

  • ROOT VEGGIES:

Carrots! Grate several carrots that you can store in a glass container and use for the week. Alternatively, you can but already chopped raw carrots. Carrots are underrated veggies. They help to regulate blood sugar and help to detox the body from excess estrogen.

Raw or roasted beets. Grate raw carrots into your salad, or simply peel, chop and roast with a bit of coconut oil for about 40 min. Beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, they also have a unique source of betaine, which helps to fight off inflammation.

 

 

  • SPROUTED VEGGIES:

You can buy a pack of these at most health food stores, but sprouting your own is really easy too. Broccoli sprouts, sunflower sprouts, pea sprouts, bean sprouts, add a nice crunch and adds some serious nutrition. Did you know that sprouting a seed or grain increases its nutritional content, such as vitamins and protein, and also makes it more digestible!

 

  • SAUTEED OR GRILLED VEGGIES: 

Don’t throw our leftover dinner veggies! sSautéed veggies such as onions, mushrooms and peppers, grilled asparagus and green beans, make a great addition to your next day’s lunch salad.

 

  • SUNDRIED & MARINATED VEGGIES:

Sundried tomatoes, marinated mushroom, eggplant, artichokes, hearts of palm are amazing in salads. Just make sure that you buy them packed in olive oil, not canola oil or another vegetable oil.

 

  • VEGGIES WITH PROBIOTIC POWER:

Fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut. Naturally fermented in a salt brine is best for the gut and will help keep you regular.

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  • FRUITS:

Sliced fruit such as a tart apple, pear, strawberries, orange or green mango slices, add a little sweetness to your salad and blend really well with most vegetables.

 

  • CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES:

Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are great veggies to add raw to your salad. But, listen to your body, as many people have a hard time digesting these raw. Personally, I like to enjoy these sautéed or steamed, but I know many people that eat these raw without any issues.

 

  • PROTEIN:

Don’t forget the protein! A salad without protein is missing an important component that will fill you up and keep you full until your next meal.

Sliced chicken, sliced beef, grilled or canned wild fish, hard boiled eggs, grilled tempeh, can all be planned and prepped ahead of time, so you are set for the week ahead.

 

  • DRESSING:

So this is where I’m a creature of habit and generally go with olive oil, lemon and sea salt, but you can get really creative with your dressings.  Here are a few great dressing recipes you can make on Sunday night and enjoy the rest of the week.

 

CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in a mason jar shake well.

 

HOUSE DRESSING

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp organic tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder or mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil

 

Place all ingredients in a mason jar shake well.

 

 

I hope that this post inspires  you to pack a nutritious salad for work daily, or at least most days.

 

Try the following:

 

Schedule in 10 min on Friday during your lunch hour or before you go to bed and write down your favorite salad ingredients, or the ingredients of a few salads that you want to try. Saturday morning head to a local market or supermarket and start checking off that list. Sunday afternoon or before dinner, cook a few extra portions of your Sunday dinner protein. Then before hitting the sack lay out a few containers and start stacking the ingredients in. Presto, you are ready for a few days of healthy meals!

 

~Daniela