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How to make a delicious & healthy salad in 5 minutes

salad bowl

Salads are among the best meals for metabolic health: if you do them right, they are extremely tasty, but also provide you with a bunch of fiber, protein and healthy fats in one bowl. 

If you don’t make your own though, watch out for significant amounts of sugar and carbohydrates from ingredients like salad dressings, croutons, and grains. Plus, if you use ready made salad dressings, they’re usually full of those rancid vegetable oils, fillers and preservatives. 

The following five tips will help you build a salad that’s quick to make, tasty and also keep your blood sugar levels balanced after the meal (meaning you don’t have to reach for a sugary snack or other pick-me up a couple of hours later)

I always tell clients to imagine being in a sandwich shop where you choose your ingredients: start with your base, add a choice of protein, some colourful sides, toppings and a dressing or just avocado can also do the trick if you don’t find what you want. 

  1. Start with a nutrient-rich base (this will be your lettuce): I like to mix different types for most nutrients and flavor: arugula, watercress, radicchio, oak leaf lettuce, romaine hearts or baby sprout mixes. I usually have 3 different types, wash them ahead and keep them in containers in my fridge so I just have to take them out as needed. Typically, the darker the green, the more nutrients it contains. Each green has a different nutritional profile, so the more variety, the more nutrients you’ll consume.

  2. Add your protein: aim for (min) 100-150g of fish, chicken, or any meat you enjoy. Eggs are a great addition too. You could also use feta or mozzarella cheese of course if you support dairy, but these also come with a high amount of saturated fat and are usually not as filling as fish or meat. 

  3. Add other sources of fiber: edamame beans are a great source of fiber and protein and can be prepared in 2 mins (just boil frozen edamame for 2 mins in water and that’s it), I also love to add shredded carrots, beets, grilled antipasti like eggplant or bell peppers or artichoke, you can also add some lentils, or other beans of course.  Some of these can just come from a tin or they can be prepared ahead like grilling eggplant and bell peppers in the oven. There’s no limitation to your creativity.  Fruit is also great like adding grapefruit or berries for a bit of sweetness and pungy flavor. You can add anything you like and the more colorful, the better! No need for croutons, crispy noodles, and other salad finishers that  tend to be full of glucose-spiking refined carbs and unhealthy fats.

  4. Add toppings and healthy fats: avocado, nuts and seeds, kimchi, sauerkraut, spring onion… and the dressing can just be a bit of olive oil and vinegar or a splash of lemon juice with salt n pepper  - no need to produce anything very fancy!

Easy right?

I hope this inspires you to make some beautiful salads this summer!


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