Anyone that knows me knows that i’m not a cook. I depend entirely on my husband to make dinner and I’m not good in the kitchen. For years this has limited me to the point that its easier to eat cereal from a box or go out to lunch than make my own food.
But I’ve discovered that we don’t have to know how to cook to succeed in Piling on the Greens. In fact, eating Raw vegetables is the BEST way to consume your veggies because you are not eliminating any vitamins and nutrients with heat.
So here’s what I do with my salads.
I’ve established a few staple ingredients that I put in my salad every time.
- Organic Girl 50/50 greens mix or the super greens mix or the spinach. (I like them all)
- Sliced almonds
DISCLAIMER: Craisins have added SUGAR!!!! I literally sprinkle 5-9 craisins in my salad because I absolutely love the taste that it gives the salad. They are not necessary and if you can find a healthier alternative that tastes good, please comment on this blog. Occasionally I skip them now, but when I started making my salads they were a must.
Besides these basics every day is a new day for my salad. I include ingredients such as:
- mini red, orange and yellow peppers
- sliced carrots
- raw broccoli
- raw red onions
- mushrooms (raw or cooked if we have leftovers from dinner)
- cubed roasted butternut squash (when we make it for dinner I make a separate batch to include in my salads)
- raw pecans (not glazed!!!!!! like those salad toppers ones sold at the store. Buy plain raw pecans)
- sliced apple
- sliced pear
- sliced pineapple
- mandarin oranges
- raw cabbage
- red beets
- sunflower seeds
- grilled chicken
For dressing I use simply:
- Olive oil and Vinegar
- Lemon (which is actually quite delicious and eliminates the need for dressing)
You can pick and choose any of these ingredients and make a delicious salad. Obviously I don’t use all these ingredients all at once and sometimes it really depends what I have left in the fridge, especially towards the end of the week or what we made the night before. But you start getting combinations you like more than others. For example, I love combining the butternut squash with grilled chicken and lemon instead of olive oil and vinegar. And my husband’s favorite salads are the ones with avocados, or the ones with pineapple and sunflower seeds.
Between your smoothie for breakfast and your salad for lunch you are consuming more vegetables and fruits than you probably consumed in a week before. This eliminates the need for fiber supplements and solves constipation issues. It helps lower cholesterol, lower your sugar levels, and clean out your liver. In my husband’s case, it actually took away his acid reflux completely!
NOTE: The avocados and nuts provide the GOOD FATS that we ALL need in our diets…even those trying to lose weight.
- Once again, this is a perfect meal solution for those who are in a rush in the morning because it can be prepared the night before.
- Taking your lunch to work is a lot cheaper than eating out every day, so it offsets the additional cost of buying some items Organic. (And it is way better than ordering a salad from a restaurant which is much more expensive and you really don’t know the quality of what you’re eating)
- If you have a good work group and a kitchen at work, you can all pitch in and buy ingredients and make group salads for each other instead of ordering pizza or chicken kitchen. You can make some extra chicken the night before and bring it for the group the next day, and your co-worker can bring the roasted butternut squash another day.
- BJ’s and Costco are adding a lot of organic bulk items that are great for salads such as the greens, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, apples, pears, etc. I also buy my plain nuts there. Its a good way to buy cheaper and in large quantities for the whole family.
FOR THE KIDS: Kids need to start eating salads from as little as possible. My 1 1/2 year old and 3 year old eat salads all the time. I chop up the greens into tiny tiny pieces and make sure to always put a fruit in there to entice them to eat it. In my experience, what helped my 3 year old the most was to watch me eat it. Kids want to copy their parents, so whenever I ate my salad my son would sit next to me and ask me if he could try it. He was picking off of my plate which didn’t make him feel like he was being force fed. The result was that now I serve him his own plate because i’m sick of him eating all my food! PARENTS WE LEAD BY EXAMPLE!!!! LET’S GIVE OUR CHILDREN GOOD EATING HABITS!
If I can make these smoothies and salads, anyone can. We can not hide behind the excuse that we are not good in the kitchen to avoid eating healthy!!!!!