We’re often so focused on calories and carbs we forget about antioxidants. Antioxidants are the compounds in fruit and vegetables, coffee, tea, and cacao that render those beautiful colors in the skin, flesh and seeds. Without a steady source of antioxidants, your cells are left vulnerable to damage, inflammation goes unchecked and you become a target for heart disease, cancers, autoimmune and degenerative diseases. Ideally, antioxidants are available to our cells provided by a meal or snack we eat every few hours . While I don’t recommend many ‘food rules’, with this one you’ll get 4-5 of the 7-9 servings of fruit and veggies we nutritionists like to you eat each day: have one salad at lunch or dinner daily.
How to make a delicious saladyou’ll look forward to eating? Use our Salad Savvy template to keep nutrients balanced and avoid loading up on less healthy options. Think of texture and taste, see the tips below to streamline preparation, and be creative!
Dressing it up…
Use the cleanest oils: Avocado, olive and grape seed
Keep a variety of vinegar on hand:
- Red wine
- Apple cider
- White balsamic, clear, low in sugar, mild balsamic taste
- Dark balsamic, higher in sugar, use sparingly to add spark of flavor
- Use a mandolin to quickly slice carrots, fennel, cucumber, onion and zucchini. Store in airtight container to use over a few days
- Buy cut up veggies at your local health food store salad bar
- Roast veggies for dinner, save some to toss with a salad tomorrow
- Cook extra chicken, fish or meat for use in salads throughout the week
- Add nuts, seeds, dukkah, chopped herbs to boost flavor
- Add a dash of sesame or walnut oil for extra flavor
- Add grilled peaches, watermelon or pineapple for a tropical touch
- Use equal parts of 2-3 different vinegars, add olive oil, salt and pepper…instant dressing!