Continuing my Meatless 4 Lent Guest Post series is Janice Stanger, author of The Perfect Formula Diet, which is book about eating whole foods. Yay whole foods! 🙂

Check under the article for more details on Janice.

Anywho, if you’re not sure what to eat tonight for dinner and you’re thinking salad, check out these tips on making salad the right way.

Take it away Janice!

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Seven Tips for Making Salad Right

If you are observing Lent by giving up meat on Fridays, you may be eating more salad just for the next few weeks. Or perhaps this choice is always a diet staple for you. In either case, you’ll greatly benefit from learning to do your salad the right way.

Salads have a great image, so it’s easy to fall into the habit of assuming that anything on a bed of lettuce is healthy. Constructing a salad that is healthy, satisfying, and appetizing all at the same time requires some thought, though. Here are seven tips you can use now or any time of the year.

   1. Greens are the basis of your salad, so have lots of choices to keep from getting bored. Generally, the darker green the leaf, the more dense the nutrients in each bite. For maximum vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances), choose dark green lettuce, such as romaine. You don’t need to limit yourself to lettuce, through. Try spinach, kale, baby bok choy, collard greens, and other leafy wonders to mix and match.

   2. Strive for colorful salads with a variety of vegetables, either raw or cooked. Each color in the vegetable represents a different family of phytochemicals. Your health will benefit from the superstar team you gain when mixing the colors.

   3. Your salad must satisfy your appetite, or you will likely regard it as no more than a necessary evil to be avoided whenever French fries are also on the menu. Your body has sensors for both nutrients and energy in your food. Vegetables do great on the nutrient front, but don’t have enough calories to keep you going for long. Therefore, if you are very hungry or your salad is the center of your meal, you need more kinds of foods in it. The most satiating foods are beans, potatoes, and whole grains, all dense with fiber to fill your stomach and enough calories to turn off your appetite (without making you fat). Add these to your salad in abundance.

   4. Salad is most nutritious and satisfying when it is fresh. Assemble your salad close to the time you will eat it, and use ingredients that would still taste great if you ate it by itself. Wilted lettuce is out. On the other hand, salad is a great way to use up leftovers, as long as they are still in good shape. If you don’t have time to cook beans, open a can and rinse the beans in a strainer to get off most of the salt.

   5. Use a variety of herbs and spices – not all at the same time, of course. Herbs and spices are your best source of phytochemicals, and their fragrance and taste make every meal a treat. Try fresh parley, cilantro, chives, garlic, ginger, rosemary, basil, or whatever is available to you. Dried herbs and spices are also awesome. These flavors make food with little or no salt taste great, so cut back on your sodium as well.

   6. An oily or overly salty dressing is the downfall of most salads. Most of the stuff in a bottle or that you get in a restaurant is not made with your health in mind – or weight loss either. Your tastes take about three weeks to get reeducated once you change your eating choices. At first, a salad lightly dressed with vinegar and herbs, or a silken tofu or tahini-based dressing, may taste strange if you are used to olive oil and lots of salt. But if you make the healthier choice for three weeks, you will grow to love it

   7. Pair your salad with other healthy dietary choices. The healthiest salad in the world, if eaten with animal foods or junk foods, will do little good in the overall scheme of things to improve your health or weight. In other words, keep chicken, fish, and cheese off your carefully planned salad. Use dairy-free milks instead of estrogen-laden cow’s milk in your coffee or other cooking. Eat whole grain bread instead of white. Salad is not a magic bullet. You will benefit to the extent your eating choices as a whole support your vigorous health and lean weight.

Have fun with your salads. As these tips become second nature for you, healthy eating will become easier every day – with results to match.

http://perfectformuladiet.com

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About Janice Stanger, Ph.D.

Janice Stanger is an author, educator, and health industry expert. Her mission in writing The Perfect Formula Diet is to help people and the planet at the same time through a whole foods diet. Janice did not always eat this healthy. For much of her adult life she was overweight and suffered from conditions including daily headaches, frequent sinusitis and respiratory infections, depression, mysterious aches and pains, and crippling fatigue.

Janice was motivated to research plant-based nutrition by the examples of her two daughters, who stopped eating meat at ages 11 and 13. She spent 14 years critically analyzing scientific findings until perfecting the whole foods discoveries she wants to share with you now.

While working as a consultant to employers on their health benefits, Janice has observed one health insurance industry gimmick after another, including managed care, fail to control costs and keep people healthy. In her continuing work in the health insurance industry, she sees every day the devastation that obesity and illness brings to both individuals and companies struggling to stay in business and provide benefits.

Janice has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Aging from University of California, San Francisco – one of the country’s leading health sciences campuses. She also has an M.B.A from University of California, Berkeley.

Janice’s site is http://perfectformuladiet.com

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Thank you so much Janice so your informative salad article! Those are some great tips!

Check out other fabulous Meatless 4 Lent Guest posts by clicking here