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How to Turn that Salad into a Meal

By Sara Butler

Salads are often an afterthought. You may have one before your meal comes -- a little wilting lettuce with a small tomato that gets drowned in dressing, you know the drill. Salads can be deceiving because they can pack some major calories onto your meal if you’re not careful. There are ways you can make a salad healthy and make it the star of the meal instead of an afterthought. Here are some tips to help you make the healthiest and most satisfying salads on the planet.

It’s All About the Base

You must begin by choosing a base such a spinach, romaine, kale, lettuce, or arugula. If you want, throw in some cabbage. The important thing to remember is that you want leafy greens here, not iceberg lettuce since it contains little in the nutrition department. Choosing leafy greens assures that you’re adding Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to your meal.

Go For Even More Vegetables

Feel free to pile three to four more vegetables on top of your base, adding as many colors as you can along the way. That’s how you can ensure you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy -- by eating the rainbow!

Add On Protein

To keep your salad satisfying, you should make sure to add on some protein. It doesn’t have to be a plant-based protein to work. Think of adding quinoa or chickpeas to your salad to do the trick. If you do like meat, then grilled shrimp or shrimp will work. Don’t forget hard-boiled eggs or tofu either!

Choose Additional Toppings Wisely

This is the tricky part and also the part where many people tend to go off the rails when it comes to salads. You can inadvertently add a lot of calories and fat to your meal with the addition of cheese, seeds, dried fruits, and croutons. So, simply remember to add them in moderation. Pick two that your salad can’t go on without and limit them to one serving apiece.

The Dreaded Dressing

Salad dressings can be full of fat, calories, and added sugar. They’re where a lot of good salads go bad, so it’s important to make good choices. You can’t go wrong with a classic such as oil and vinegar. Try to limit or stay away from creamy dressings and opt for a vinaigrette instead.

Make your next salad a satisfying meal with these tips!

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

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