Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

No two salads are created equal and while we're at it please put healthy ingredients on the bed of lettuce of yours. I get asked all the time how I make my yummy salads. Truth is that I learned from my friend Sandy, who happens to be one of the most beautiful people in the world. You know that couple who looks like super models and their children are gorgeous as well? Well that's her and if that wasn't enough she is as beautiful inside a she is outside. I admire her for so many reasons and love her so much. She hasn't had a perfect life but you would never know it. She is seriously so, so sweet compassionate talented and caring and I just l love her and adore her and her yummy salads so much!!!

Sandy taught me that every amazing salad has a nut, a fruit and a cheese in it.

I will add that you can absolutely destroy a good salad even with those three key Ingredients. Here's 6 things to keep in mind.

1. Iceberg lettuce looks nice in a taco at Taco Bell but it is NOT awesome for your health.

Iceberg lettuce has a nice crunch, but almost no nutritional value beyond being a source of water. Use a variety of darker greens like spinach, leaf lettuce, arugula, dandelion greens, kale, watercress and basil leaves. The darker the leaves the better, they're richer in folate, minerals and phytochemicals.

2. Don't just add anything on top of your salad

Adding fatty toppings don't add any nutritional value, but they do add a lot of calories if you pile them on. One-half cup of croutons has about 100 calories and bacon bits are loaded with fat and artificial ingredients. There are better ways to add crunch to your salad. A tablespoon or two of chopped walnuts, almonds soaked in water over night will give your croutons a run foe their money, raw pine nuts or raw pepita seeds or flax seeds have omega-3 fatty acids for your heart and nervous system, plus they have fiber, which your body needs for a healthy digestive system. Speaking of fiber how about some lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans or quinoa? Yummy

3. Too much "cheese me no likey" (Emperors New Groove)

Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, but pay attention to how much cheese you are using. A serving of cheese is about one and one-half ounces - or about the size of a pair of dice. You can also use vegetarian cheese substitutes made from rice or soy. Try using feta cheese or provolone which is low fat but flavors pack a punch.

4. Let's save the fried chicken for company picnic parties in the summer, shall we?

Adding slices of cooked chicken breast can transform a salad into a full-fledged meal. However, adding three deep-fried chicken strips to a salad will turn a healthy salad into a health-disaster. Deep fried meats add extra fat and lots of calories. Another health-busting idea is to add several slices of processed sandwich meats, which have been associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Try adding baked tofu or crumbled tofu or hard boiled eggs lto your salad to give it extra protein.

5. Your bed of greens is a platform for building healthy veggies, protein and nuts and seeds on its not a boat for your salad dressing river.

Salads are usually topped with a bit of dressing, but since salad dressings are generally high in calories, you need to watch your portion size. A serving of salad dressing is only two tablespoons and most dressings have about 100 to 200 calories per serving. A better idea is to forgo the salad dressing and squeeze some fresh lemon and lime juice on your salad, or use some salsa as a topping. Try my favorite from Trader Joes Chipotle or Ranch low fat dressings that are very low in calories as well. You can also try using puréed strawberries or blueberries with a little but of raspberry vinegar and stevia to sweeten it.

6. Your salad can be as sweet as you are.

Feel free to add cuties, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or sliced pears to your salad these fruits not only make it beautiful with their colors but are very nutritious and packed full of antioxidants as well.

The bottom line is there's no such thing as too many veggies in top of your bed of lettuce so have a hay and and go crazy with adding as many veggies as you want to your salad. Enjoy!

Today's salad:

A head if romaine
Raw pine nuts
Cherry tomatoes
Green bell peppers
Green beans
Feta cheese
Chipotle low fat dressing Trader Joes

1 comment:

  1. Tammy,
    You say too many kind things. Thank you for the lovely compliments my sweet friend. Your salad above is making my mouth water! Great tips!!