When it comes to eating salad people ask me all of the time, how can you eat salad everyday? My answer is always the same. I don’t eat the exact same salad everyday. I am constantly switching up the ingredients, the type of lettuce, and making new homemade dressings to keep things interesting. Plus the best part about utilizing lots of different ingredients is that you are getting lots of different nutrients. You can also use whatever is in season or at the best price at the market that week too to help keep your budget in check.
Salad are a great vehicle for increasing your vegetable intake. And with many health professionals now recommending that we get up to 10 servings or 2 pounds of vegetables everyday, we need all of the salads we can get. Don’t worry this doesn’t mean that you are going to turn into a rabbit and have to walk around gnawing on carrot sticks all day long. Getting your recommended intake of nutritious veggies is easier than you may think. My typical lunch salad usually consists of about half of my daily needs.
I discovered this Smart Planet Home Collapsible Eco Salad Bowl and just love it! One problem I find with some typical on the go salad bowls is that they are just not big enough to hold my massive lunch. I mean I want an entree salad not a side salad. This kit is the perfect size for me and with lots of compartments to hold additional toppings, dressings, or snacks. When I was done eating I could simply collapse the bowl and store it in my purse. Smart Planet Home is generously giving away one Collapsible Eco Salad Bowl to a lucky reader. Enter to Win at the bottom of the page.
I recommend including cooked and raw vegetables in salads when you can. There are benefits to both! I also suggest including a clean salad dressing made with a healthy fat such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, or avocado oil to help your body utilize the fat soluble vitamins found in all of those beautiful foods.
Here are my tips to building the perfect salad:
Start with your lettuce and remember the greener the better. Don’t just get stuck on one type but mix it up often: watercress, arugula, romaine, green leaf, kale, spinach, collards, or chard. 2-4 cups of greens is a good goal to strive for in your bowl. Even herbs can be a great option to add to your salads. Parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint are loaded with nutrients too!
Layer on the veggies! Add at least 1-2 more cup of additional vegetables. They can be cooked or raw. I love cucumbers, sprouts, shredded carrots, steamed beets, grilled cauliflower or roasted sweet potatoes. The possibilities are endless here, choose your favorites.
Include a healthy fat weather it be from avocado, nuts, seeds, or the salad dressing (preferably homemade) to make sure you stay full and get the nutrients you need.
Protein can come from any source you enjoy. Roasted chicken, grilled steak, hard boiled eggs, beans, tempeh, hemp seeds, hummus, quinoa (if you tolerate grains), or the occasional sprouted organic tofu.
Optional add-ins that I love are shredded dulse or nori (seaweed) which is a great source of iodine. I try to add some to my salad at least a couple of times per week.
I have included a round-up of 24 salad ideas to help inspire you to eat more vegetables. I would love to hear your favorite salad combinations in the comments below! We all could use some great ideas.
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Disclaimer| This recipe post was sponsored by the amazing team of Smart Planet Home. I was compensated in the form of product, but all opinions remain my own! I wouldn’t share products or brands I don’t believe in.