Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salad - A Quick Complete Meal

I hear from my clients over and over one of their biggest obstacles to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is the nutrition part. What do you eat? Folks who have partaken of the standard american diet their whole lives are not equipped to eat healthy. So my mission is to give them the "tools" to change their eating healthstyle.

Let's start with salads because usually my first advice to someone transitioning to a healthier healthstyle (after advising the addition of a quality multi-nutrition supplement) is to add a salad everyday. Why? Because a salad can be a complete meal! It's easy, quick and nutritious.

Let's start with the salad dressing. The dressing is where lots of people go wrong! Opt for a dressing without preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, or chemicals like "stabilizers," or "emulsifiers." Read the ingredients before you buy any commercial salad dressing! Choose for health! I like several versions of Annie's salad dressings. Also, you can use fresh-squeezed orange juice or lemon juice as a dressing. Olive oil and vinegar makes a good dressing for your salad. You can even get vinegars which are flavored! Try Honey-Mustard dressing: mix together a little honey and your favorite mustard and a dash of your favorite balsamic vinegar. Or make a cucumber dressing: Blend in your blender 1 1/2 cups nonfat cottage cheese 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped , 1 cucumber, chopped with or without skin, a dash of Salt and pepper to taste.

The Salad

Greens - I steer clear of iceberg lettuce for more nutrient-dense leafy veggies. Try field greens, a little kale, baby spinach, escarole, romaine. Stick with the darker lettuces which offer more vitamins and phytochemicals. Though cabbage isn't green, it's a good choice!

Vegetables - Think colorful! Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, avocado, bell pepper, beets and cucumber. When possible use organic veggies! There are studies which conclude organic foods contain about one-third higher amount of antioxidants than non-organically grown veggies.

Fruit - Raisins, apple slices, blueberries, orange slices, raspberries, blackberries give a salad some zip! Fruit also adds an explosion of health-enriching antioxidants to your salad!

Protein - Your salad can be a complete meal by adding a form of protein to it. Turkey, chicken, tuna, tofu, nuts, cheese, beans and/or eggs. Go easy on the cheese!

Grains - You can add a little bit of pasta to your salad. Stick with the whole wheat or multi-grain variety of pastas.

Here's a great recipe from Dr Ben Kim (

Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad Recipe
Makes about 8 small portions
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half-inch pieces 2 cups green lentils, rinsed and drained 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely minced Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) Small handful torn parsley leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. Give the sweet potatoes a good stir about halfway through.
3. While sweet potatoes are roasting, use a large pot to cook onions, carrots, garlic, and oregano in olive oil over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly tender. Season with black pepper.
4. Add green lentils and four cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then set heat to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are nice and tender.
5. Allow lentils to cool to room temperature. Gently fold lentils and other vegetables in with roasted sweet potatoes.
6. Give sweet potatoes and lentils a good drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and parsley, and enjoy.

Try this healthy and filling salad with a crisp green salad and a slice of a crusty baguette.
Many thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for sharing this recipe. Be sure to check out her newsletter at

Bon Appetit!

As you transition to a healthier healthstyle I would strongly suggest (as recommended in the 2002June issue of JAMA) you supplement your nutrition with a quality multi-nutrition product. Consider VitaOne -Super Nutrition Made Easy

Here's what one of my clients says about VitaOne:
"I have to admit VitaOne is the best vitamins I have ever taken. I have fibromyalgia and possible lupus. These vitamins have helped me so much to feel better. I have more energy, and now can run after my 1-year-old Grandson. I could tell a difference after only one week of taking them. I HIGHLY recommend these brand of vitamins!! Eat healthy, exercise, and take your VitaOne's and you'll be amazed at the difference you'll see. I have even lost 42 lbs, and I contribute part of that to the VitaOne's cause of the increased energy, I coud move again, and get in exercise. Thanks Pam for telling me about these. I think I've been taking these 7 months now...don't remember lol....but so glad I started them :)"

To Your Health!

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