Well, I did it! I finished my salad-a-day challenge! Tomorrow I'll post a few of my favorite salads and their ingredients, but first I'd like to reflect on what I've learned throughout this experience. Surprisingly it's a little more involved than just figuring out what my favorite salad greens are.*
*I prefer spinach. H likes iceberg.
Without further ado, here are five things I figured out that might help you should you attempt to eat a salad every day for a month. May you hold your fork high and may your salad dressing be plentiful!
I started off wanting to eat a Caesar salad one day, a summer salad the next, a Waldorf salad the next, you get the picture. The first trip to the grocery store I almost went unhinged. Buying all the different ingredients for all these different salads can be expensive. Say it with me: ouch. And even if you're Ms. Money Bags, there is a matter of timing and how much you can buy and eat before it will rot right before your eyes (and before you even have a chance to make that Waldorf salad). When in doubt, use KISS logic.
So here's a realistic grocery list:
- your favorite vegetables and fruits*
- your favorite cheese*
- your go-to meat*
- nuts and seeds
- a few cans of beans of your liking
- one pre-made bottle of salad dressing
- vinegar, olive oil, garlic (to make a base vinaigrette at home)
Use what you have.
Oh, you forgot to buy _____? Oh well. Make the salad without it. It'll be OK.
It's between shopping days and you're down to lettuce, canned tuna, pickles and flaxseed? That sounds like a delicious salad! That pickle juice will make a helluva dressing mixed with olive oil and garlic. In other words, improvise. Some of my most creative salads came from sparse cabinets.
It can get tedious.
Are you prepared for this? You are committing to eating leafy greens every day for a month. There might be a day (or 10) that this does not sound appetizing. Maybe you would much rather have fish tacos (guilty) or a piece of toast and an egg (guilty again). Maybe you don't even want to eat at all. You'd rather go hungry than stick your nose in the fridge and compile a salad. I've been there. Just push through; you'll be happy you did.
When all else fails, deconstruct a meal and add some lettuce.
OK, so you want that fish taco. Throw down some lettuce and add your fish taco ingredients on top (crumble the shell on top as garnish). Yum! Likewise, I made a few egg-in-the-hole salads (exactly what it sounds like). Also, yum.
It's the perfect summer dinner.
Not too heavy but still filling. Plus you don't have to stand over a hot stove. Hallelujah!
Still with me? Still interested? Here are some inspirations to get started: My Pinterest board and this advice on how to build a 400-calorie salad.