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Salads Don’t Have To Be Boring

I love the movie Aliens so I couldn't resist this. An alien made of vegetables..AWE-some! Plus it kinda ties in with this post right? :)

If you want to be healthy and lean, eat salad

I eat a lot of salads. In fact I eat salad everyday, sometimes twice in the same day, and I have to say I really enjoy them. This wasn’t always the case though. Up until a few years ago the idea of eating a salad depressed me. When I thought of salad I pictured some iceberg lettuce, chopped carrot, possible some celery and a can of dry tuna. No wonder I felt depressed.

So what changed my mind?

When I was on holidays in Barcelona, Spain, I was in a restaurant and was served a salad as a starter. It was goat cheese and walnuts with spinach and warmed olive oil. This is going to sound weird but this was the first time I tasted raw spinach or olive oil for that matter. I had steamed spinach once or twice after reading about how good spinach was. It never occurred to me that you could use it in salad (I know, what rock was I living under?). But this experience really opened my mind to the possibilities of salad and other vegetables I hadn’t tried. When I got home from the airport, I went straight out and bought some spinach and a bottle of olive oil and never looked back.

That was three years ago. Since then I have added so much variety to my diet. This helped me to finally cut out sugar for good. I haven’t eaten sugar in two years now. I used to eat such a limited range of foods that when I would try cutting sugar I would get board and hungry and end up falling into old habits. I’ve found that the trick is to focus on what you are going to add into your diet rather than what you are cutting out.

I would say I have a different salad almost everyday now. I usually have some kind of fish, or sometimes chicken. I start by looking at what protein I have and then build the salad around that. I have endless salad variations in my head and with a few ingredients I can make a really tasty salad.

Salads are a great way to get the benefits of raw vegetables into your diet. I think to be healthy you need a variety of vegetables, both raw and cooked. I try to add in as much color as possible to get as many different antioxidants as I can. Spinach, red, green, orange, yellow peppers, red onion, spring onion, avocado to name a few.

Another great thing about salads, homemade ones, is that you can really fill up on them and the calorie content is still low as long asĀ it’s mostly non starchy vegetables. This is good news if you want to be lean. I’m able to maintain low body fat year round by using vegetables to bulk up my meals.

Salad doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless

Below is the recipe for a prawn/shrimp salad. The photo below is actually one I took myself of my lunch, which I made. The ingredients might sound a little odd, but it’s really good. Experiment with the ingredients and adjust it to your taste. This is just one example of the endless combinations I use to make a tasty salad that helps me stay lean. I usually have some quinoa with this too, but it’s just as good on it’s own.

I put a bit of effort into the presentation of my meals. I think better looking food generally tastes better.

Prawn/ Shrimp Salad

Serves 1

12 King prawns/shrimp

2 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1/4 ripe avocado, chopped into cubes

8-10 raspberries, I used frozen raspberries and thaw them in hot water for 2 minutes

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the frozen prawns/shrimp in a large bowl and cover with freshly boiled water, leave for 10 minutes or until completely thawed.

2. While that is happening, cut a ripe avocado in half and then cut one half in half again. Remove the skin and chop into cubes.

3. In a small bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, pepper and mix.

4. Wash and dry the lettuce and place on a plate or in a bowl.

5. Place the frozen raspberries into a small dish and pour hot water over them. Leave for 2 minutes.

6. Now drain the thawed prawns/shrimp.

7. Drain the raspberries. Add the avocado and raspberries to the dressing and mix.

8. Now add the prawns/shrimp to the dressing, mix and pour on top of the lettuce.

Raise fork to mouth…oh wait you don’t need directions for that part. :D

So there you go, a healthy salad that will let you enjoy tasty food and help keep you lean. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

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