Eating salads goes a long way in protecting your health. In part one of this three part series, I talked about the connection between a diet low in veggies and fruit and the rate of disease. You can access that article here.
The less fresh stuff you eat, the more disease you have. I recommended in that article starting your day with smoothies. Its an easy way to get 3 to 4 servings of fresh produce into your diet. But, three to four servings isn’t enough for optimal health..
Once you’ve successfully made the switch to nutrient dense smoothies for breakfast, it’s time to add a nutrient dense lunch. I think loaded salads are the way to go in the spring and summer. It is important to eat in season. When it is hot, your body needs and craves fresh, high moisture foods. Think about how great watermelon tastes on July 4th. Eating fresh loaded salads further alkalinizes your diet making all bodily systems work better. It supplies your body with key vitamins and minerals to support the hundreds of enzymatic processes your cells conduct every second of the day. Eating a homemade, loaded salad protects your health from bad fats, high salt, and high sugar dressings.
I have a formula for great salads just like I have a formula for smoothies. The formula offers guidelines while allowing flexibility for you to satisfy your tastes. Start with two to three cups of mixed salad greens. Add a cup of diced veggies or fruit. I love cucumbers, avocado, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes. I love berries such as blue berries, strawberries, or black berries as well as pears and apples, too.
Next, add a protein. You can add a couple of sliced boiled eggs, a baked or grilled chicken breast, leftover steak or shrimp fajitas, or a serving of salmon. If you don’t tolerate leftovers, you can always open up a can of wild caught salmon, tuna, or chicken. (Check out my recipes for confetti tuna salad. It’s so yummy and there’s no mayo in sight!) Remember a serving of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand and about the thickness of a deck of cards. If histamines are a problem for you, be sure to avoid cured meats such as pepperoni or summer sausage.
Your salad isn’t finished yet! Next, add on a small handful of nuts or seeds. Be sure to vary them. Try almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or whatever you like.
If you can tolerate cheese, try a sprinkling of flavorful cheese like a smoked gouda, blue cheese, goat cheeses or sheep milk cheeses.
Next, try snipping up some fresh herbs for a punch. Some that I like are fresh Greek oregano, lemon thyme, or basil. Finally, add fresh ground pepper, and fresh ground Pink Himalayan sea salt.
For your dressing, keep it simple. Use the highest quality extra virgin olive oil you can find along with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
I guarantee you’ll be fully satisfied and your body will be singing with joy.
When eating this way, you have lots of choices to satisfy your tastes. And, the benefits! Just watch your blood pressure fall, your weight fall, and not far behind, your cholesterol drops, too. Your joints ache less and your energy increases. Give it a couple of weeks and you’ll be loving your life even more than you are today!