If I was going to choose one habit that will help you lose weight and feel energetic it is eating "monster" salads. Why "monster"? Because the biggest reason people don't like to have salad for a meal is that it's often not filling. Who wants to eat something only to feel hungry ten minutes later? In order to have just a salad for lunch, you have to make it filling and full of nutrients. Another reason I am a huge fan of salads for lunch is because it supplies your body with much-needed enzymes. Between all the processed foods in the typical diet and all the other physical, emotional, and mental stresses we put on our bodies, it's hard for our bodies to make enough digestive enzymes in order to keep up with all the demands. (This is also why I'm a huge fan of greens juice!)
One more important piece of the puzzle...make your salad yourself. Store bought or restaurant salads are loaded with sugar, salt, and preservatives. They pale in comparison to the health benefits of homemade salads. Set aside time at the beginning of the week to pre-cut your vegetables in order to save time during the week. Lastly, make your own salad dressing. I've included a recipe below, but the important part is to avoid dressings made with canola or other refined oils.
Here's our typical salad that we eat for lunch.
Colander Full of Greens
Expand your horizons beyond iceberg lettuce and romaine. Try throughing in some spinach, arugula, and cabbages.
Eat the Rainbow
Celery and cucumbers are good but work on adding a variety of colors to your salads with fruits and vegetables like bell peppers, radishes, red onion, tomatoes, green onions, cauliflower and broccoli.
Add fresh chopped herbs like cilantro, parsley, mint or basil. They have strong detoxifying qualities and add flavor to your salad.
This is a key ingredient if you are looking to losing weight. Healthy fats are an essential ingredient to healthy hormone function. Basically, if your hormones are off you aren't going to lose weight. Regardless of what you were told in the '80s, avocados, nuts, and cheeses are good for you. Don't be afraid to add an entire avocado to your salad. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of raw nuts or seeds to your salad. Our favorites include pine nuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, sliced almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. A little cheese can go a long way. Just make sure it is first coming from a good source. Spend a little more and buy a high-quality raw cheese from happy cows that are pasture raised. If your local grocery store doesn't carry any then make a trip to Trader Joes or Whole Foods to get good cheeses. If the cheese is pre-shredded or sold in bulk it's probably not from a good source so skip it.