We should be eating 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for optimal health. And really we should be eating lots more vegetables than fruit. One way to get enough veggies is to eat a salad every day. Salads provide raw vegetables full of enzymes and nutrients as well as vegetables of many colors. Countless recipes and combinations keep having a salad a day from becoming boring. Here are lots of ideas for having a salad a day to keep the doctor away:
- When eating out, order a side salad if not an entree salad.
- Pack a salad for lunch at work or school.
- For a complete meal, add your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, beans, nuts, tempeh or cheese (feta, blue, mozzarella, cheddar).
- Make several homemade salad dressings to have on hand like ranch, Greek, & balsamic vinaigrette.
- Eat seasonally with your salads. In spring and summer include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, green beans, sugar snap peas, strawberries, fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, & even watermelon. In fall and winter include lots of greens, brocolli, carrots, apples or pears, and nuts. Use the veggies that are available in your particular climate with each season and be adventurous!
- Google recipes or peruse cookbooks for different types of salads like Broccoli, Asian, Greek, Waldorf, Spinach, Wilted, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Marinated Vegetables, Black Bean, and Green Bean Salad to keep things fresh and interesting.
- Add crunch and protein to salads by adding nuts and seeds like toasted pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, even sesame seeds.
- Keep things like canned artichoke hearts, olives (black, green, kalamata), mandarin orange slices, & other non-perishables in the pantry and refrigerator to have on hand for quick salads or to jazz up a simple salad.
- Try growing your own sprouts at home to add interest, variety, & protein to your salads.
Liesa Harte, M.D.
1524 South IH 35, Suite 140
Austin, TX 78704