Make a healthy salad habit

Tossed salad

Call it a New Year’s resolution if you will. I prefer to think in terms of strategies, and my strategy is to make 2013 a year of healthier living. I plan on developing a series of habits (not all at once, mind you) around healthier diet, more exercise and better sleep hygiene. For starters, during January and February I plan to phase in a daily salad for lunch.

Eating salad every day may be one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. Not only that, salads can also be as easy or as fun to make as you choose. Take some vegies, fruits, grains, beans or nuts, add some dressing, toss in a little innovation, and you have a new creation.

My scheme is to start once a week (it happened last Friday) and add one day each week. This Monday was my second day. I was busy with other things so, as you can see, I threw together what was on hand: romaine, a grated half carrot, a yellow tomato, some chopped red onion, a little grated hard cheese, some prepared Caesar dressing and a torn piece of President’s Choice Gluten-Free Sliced White Sandwich Loaf.

By the way, applause goes to Canada’s largest grocery chain for introducing a line of gluten-free products recently available in the main bakery section. This bread is tasty and chewy and apparently makes awesome French toast. Unfortunately they are not the most nutritive products around, and this bread is a case in point. I will be happier to see a whole-grain product that stacks up beside some breads from Glutino and other gluten-free brands.

Back to salad. Greens with vinaigrette every day would provide a quick recipe for tedium and falling off the salad wagon. Fortunately there are infinite variations to satisfy the senses. Here is a salad board I pulled quickly together on Pinterest to fire the fantasy: a few standbys, but mostly ones I have yet to try.

One of my favourites, good for every day or special occasions, is spicy sweet potato and quinoa salad. My friend Miss V has suggested varying the quinoa theme with:

  • kale, garbanzo beans, green onions, tomato, cumin, lemon and cilantro
  • arugula, toasted almonds, black olives and tomato
  • spinach, mango and avocado

Thanks, Miss V!

With plenty of inspiration, it should be fun easing into the salad. By the end of February it will be a daily habit. Hey, now is not too late to start taking an easy step to healthier eating. Besides that, eating more vegetables will help the environment. Why not join me?

And share your favourite salad recipes here. If a link and photo are available, I will also add them to the Pinterest board.

4 thoughts on “Make a healthy salad habit

  1. I eat a salad most days for lunch. Its base is always baby lettuce greens, and then I pretty much just throw whatever leftovers I find in the fridge on it-like beans or grains, cooked veggies, sometimes even pasta. My dressing of choice: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I am particular about my balsamic vinegar-the store brand from Costco–yummm. No matter what the combination, it’s always good.

    1. That’s a great, easy way to do it, Ellen. Your remark about baby greens reminds me that dark greens are always more nutritious. I like the fact that a local hydroponically grown greens are becoming more frequently available at the local farmers’ market through the winter. I love balsamic, too. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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