This is the first of my weekly emails! Every Friday I aim to start your weekend out right with 5 Nutrition Tips.
Today my "5" are 5 tips for Creating a Healthy Salad. Pick one (or more!) foods from each group!
1. Start with a Foundation of Greens. There are so many great greens. Switch it up. Try romaine, arugula, frisee, spinach, kale, dandeion, mesclun greens, spring mix or any mix of green lettuces. Limit iceberg which lacks many nutrients.
2. Add More Vegetables. Every vegetable has it's own nutrient profile. Switch it up so you don't get bored. Look for new varieties at both the grocery store and farmer's market. Besides the every day carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers try: fennel, watercress, hearts of palm, artichokes, sugar snap peas, beets, green onions, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, onions, and/or sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Add Protein. This makes it a meal to help keep you full. Add animal sources: lean meats (lean beef, boneless skinless chicken, turkey), fish (wild salmon, tuna, crab, shrimp), eggs or dairy (feta, goat or mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese). You can also add vegetarian sources: beans (kidney, edamame, garbanzo, pinto, black, navy), lentils, tofu, tempeh or seitan. Limit the high fat cheeses and bacon bits.
4. Add Carbohydrates. This gives you energy! Try healthy grains (quinoa, farro, freekah, brown rice pasta, barley, bulgur, amaranth, brown rice, sweet potatoes), or fruit (berries, melon, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, peaches, figs, pomegranate seeds, dried apricots). Skip the dried fruit laden with sugar and white, refined grains (croutons, tortilla strips, white pasta).
5. Add Healthy Fats. Fat is essential to absorb the nutrients in your veggies. Try a sprinkle of seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin), avocado, oil and vinegar dressing or unsalted nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, pine nuts), tahini, pesto or olives. Make your own healthy salad dressing (1 part oil + 1 part vinegar + herbs (garlic, lemon, dill, parsley, mint, cilantro, mustard, basil).