By Casey Lorraine Thomas.
Normally when someone thinks of a salad as a meal it contains bacon, fried croutons and a creamy sauce made with a half carton of pasteurised cream laced with sugar.
And don’t forget the hunks of white bread on the side nor the supersized fillet of chicken or beef on top.
When it comes to “boring old” raw vegetable salads, most of the clients I work with feel less than inspired at the idea of having these every day. I don’t blame them. Those don’t inspire me, either!
That’s why I don’t eat boring salads – ever. My salads are incredible. They are extremely tasty and I look forward to enjoying another colourful concoction every single day.
Even more uninspiring to my clients is the idea of being hungry all day because their salads don’t satisfy their appetite.
That’s where I interject and guide my clients on how they can create salads that truly satisfy their hunger and don’t leave them wanting a sugary snack an hour later. That is the opposite of what I teach!
Today I want to share with you some very easy ways to make your salads more hearty, satisfying and delicious than you thought a clean salad (i.e. not cream and bacon filled!) could be.
1. Hearty portions = hunger satisfied
Most of the time when clients tell me their salads aren’t filling them up I find that they just aren’t eating a big enough quantity.
Eating a meal of salad isn’t anything like eating a chicken curry on white rice. You don’t need to worry about portion sizes of raw vegetables like you do with chicken and white rice.
The nutritional profile of a salad is also totally different and far superior so by eating more (without stuffing yourself) you are only adding more nutrition to your body, not detracting from it like you would be overeating acid-forming foods like chicken and white rice.
All of this combined means you can eat a much larger quantity of salad than curry and rice, and should do so to satisfy your appetite.
Don’t use the same bowl size for a dense meal as you would a salad. Of course you’ll not be full from that. Load up a giant bowl or plate – a family-sized bowl if you’re like me – then take your time and chew away to your heart’s content.
2. Add-ins make your salad satisfying
Instead of just having high water content raw vegetables in your salad, add heartiness and density to your salads with healthy, high quality add-ins. Some options are:
- Include a variety of fibrous raw vegetables, not just lettuce and tomato. Include spiralised zucchini, chopped raw beetroot, carrot and sweet potato, and any other vegetable you like. Your salad doesn’t have to be just leaves, but include those too for the benefit from the greens!
- Cooked vegetables – I love to mix steamed spinach or steamed carrot, parsnip, cauliflower and broccoli through my salads. I also adore adding baked vegetables for a root vegetable salad. Yum!
- Avocado – I usually use a whole avocado in my salads. Don’t be shy on your avocado quantity if you are eating clean food all day. This healthy fat is amazing for filling you up plus giving you incredible nutrition. It’s great for healthy skin, hair and nails and so easily digested. Avocados are actually 70% water!
- Cooked whole grains like millet, quinoa and brown rice.
- Cooked high-quality pasta like buckwheat or spelt pasta.
- Sprouted grains.
- Soaked nuts and/or seeds.
- Well rinsed or cooked beans, ideally pre-soaked (if you are looking to lose weight or have digestive troubles, these may not be ideal for you).
- High-quality animal products (if you are going to eat these, make sure they are as humanely sourced as possible): organic eggs, raw or pasteurised goat’s and sheep’s cheeses, wild fish.
- Filling and delicious dressings. A great dressing makes an average salad immediately phenomenal.
- Speaking of which, add dips to your salad! Move over dressings and hello filling, creamy dips made with clean ingredients.
3. Include enough healthy fats in your salad
I touched on this above when I suggested adding avocados and nuts and seeds to your salads for satiety, and I’m saying it here again. Include enough healthy fats in your salad to make it a more filling meal. You don’t want to overdo it with a whole bag of nuts on a few salad leaves of course, but a healthy serving over a big, water-rich raw vegetable salad takes your salad to the next level.
When you have a range of vegetables of different flavours and textures in your salad, plus some denser, more filling ingredients, your salad goes from a side dish that leaves you starving to a meal that satisfies.
Casey Lorraine Thomas, certified detox, health and life coach, shows you how to get radiant health and energy, lose weight and heal naturally so that you can live the life you want in a body you love. Casey is based in Perth, Australia and conducts phone consultations nationally. Visit her website at www.Vimergy.com.