Salads can be a great lunch if they are loaded with nutrient dense ingredients. Make sure you are munching on a smart salad instead of empty calories consisting of lettuce and dressing…which will tend to leave you starving an hour later and ready to eat everything in the room. Below are four tips to help you create a smart salad.
- Have nutrient dense greens such as spinach or kale instead of butter lettuce or romaine.
- Be sure to have complex carbs with your luscious leaves. Add some beans or grains or both. Some great complex carbohydrate examples are lima beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, quinoa or brown rice.
- Lean protein. Salmon is one of my favorites. Beans, tempeh and quinoa are also a great source of protein for vegetarians.
- What about the dressing? Moderation is key. Don’t have dressing with a salad. Have a salad with some dressing. Some dressings can be like candy. I love sticking to the classic olive oil and balsamic. It is refreshing, doesn’t drown out the taste of the other ingredients and has heart healthy fats. Love sweet funky dressings? Then go for it, but don’t drench your beautifully blended greens in it. Instead of a sugary dressing add some walnuts or pumpkin seeds for extra flavor and great health benefits.
Pay attention to your hunger levels after you fill up on a smart salad. For some people they are great. If salads don’t leave you satisfied, then acknowledge you aren’t a salad person and go for a healthy wrap or sandwich instead.