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A Salad Isn't Just Lettuce Anymore

By Donna Kostiew

The other day a friend of mine was telling me how she had just eaten the most satisfying meal in a long time and that she took it as her body’s way of saying that she needed to start eating better. The meal she was talking about? A salad. And I completely understood where she was coming from because I have had the same experience after eating a magnificently made dinner of crisp greens and toppings.

I love to eat all kinds of salads and am always satisfied after eating one, but I do know that many people often wonder how to turn a salad into a full meal that is truly filling.

Building that Perfect Salad into a Meal

The trick is to make sure you start with a filling base and then add enough protein, vegetables/fruit, and carbohydrates so it grows into a perfectly balanced meal.

  • First things, first – Choose heartier greens for the base of your salad, such as spinach, spring mix, Romaine, or kale. Loaded with flavor, these will keep you feeling fuller for longer and are filled with nutrients and fiber.
  • Load up on veggies – Pile on the veggies! With so many to choose from, the possibilities are endless and your salads will never get boring. Low in calories and super-fibrous, they are a great choice to fill your stomach.
  • Add the fillers - To make your salad even more satisfying, add some serious fillers to it. These include rice, couscous, quinoa, and beans. Not only do they bring their own unique nutritional values to the meal, but they are known to keep you feeling full for much longer than without.
  • Power up with protein - A great way to include protein in your diet is to simply add some grilled chicken, steak, or roasted turkey to your salad. You can also add hard-boiled eggs and fish (if you want to get your omega-3’s in as well).
  • Include some healthy fats – Balance your salad with some healthy fats by topping it with an avocado or by tossing some nuts and seeds on it before you start to dig in. These are all powerhouse, nutrient-filled options that will send your salad to the highest level of health and deliciousness.

Salads are an easy, inexpensive, and healthy meal and are a perfect choice for people who are trying to eat nutritiously and watch their weight. Make sure that you are adding in the right ingredients so that you are creating a balanced, filling meal that will keep you out of your pantry’s snacks later in the evening.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Culver City, Calif.

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