Salads and I have a pretty shady history. In fact, salads give me a little PTSD. They make me think of diets and all the trauma associated with dieting. The idea that if I only eat “good” food, I’ll look better and be a new and improved version of me. Spoiler alert – I’m always the same me, and no amount of salads or promising diets will change that.
So salads and I needed healing time. We took a break from each other. I focused on food for brain health and began retraining my mind on how I think about food and what motivates me to eat healthy. After listening to a podcast about phytonutrients in different colored vegetables, I knew it was time to re-enter the world of salads.
Here is my intention when I make a salad – I want as many different colors and healthy fats as possible. I want to bring out the flavor of each veggie that I throw in. Instead of drowning the leafy greens and vegetables with a bottled dressing made with soybean or canola oil (both of which are highly processed and inflammatory), I make up my own dressing with avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard. It is so much tastier and the healthy fat fills me up, instead of leaving me hungry for a processed carb, which is what those grocery store dressings do.
“Not Your Average Salad”
- Dark leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc.)
- Veggies of your choice: cucumbers, carrots, beets, avocado, cabbage, sauerkraut, zucchini, bell peppers or tomatoes (unless you suspect a nightshade sensitivity), broccoli, cauliflower – get creative!
- Fun toppings: ground flax seed, nuts, seeds, cilantro, rosemary, beans (if you don’t have a sensitivity)
- 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar of choice (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, etc)
- 2-3 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Optional seasonings (garlic, paprika, ginger, get creative!)
- Whisk together or shake in a sealed container OR just layer on top of the salad like I do!
Tips for Success – If you work away from home, prepping all ingredients on Sunday will save you a world of trouble throughout the week.
- Make a big batch of dressing in a mason jar to keep stored at work.
- Pre-package the salad in individual containers or in mason jars for easy, on the go access.
- Throw chicken in a crock pot or cook grass fed beef in a pan to add to the salad.
- Soft boiled eggs are also great additions to this salad.