It’s the start of summer and there are so many fruits and veggies in season and on sale! From fresh corn on the cob to the sweetest black berries, there are a variety of healthy foods you can add to your diet this summer.
One of the most inexpensive ways to eat healthier is to eat more salads. Salads are convenient & versatile. They can be large enough to serve as main meals or small enough to serve as a side dish. Salads are a great way to make sure you are fueling your body with the a nice combinations of fruit & veggies. Did we mention the salad combinations are endless?
Here are 7 tips to buying & preparing appetizing salads at-home:
1. Make a plan: No matter if you are shopping for the month or shopping for the week, it’s important to plan out your grocery list. Having a list provides you with a structured mission & keeps you focused.
2. Buy MORE produce: Here is where it gets fun! There is such a wide array of fruits and vegetables to choose from. Making your salad creations are endless. Make sure most of the items in your basket come from the outskirts of the store. If you have more items for your cabinets, you may want to re-evaluate your plan & make sure it aligns with your healthy lifestyle goals.
3. Select Your Greens: Here’s a tip—the darker the green, the more nutrients it contains. Select greens like romaine, spinach, kale, arugula, green leaf or red leaf lettuce, or a combo of mixed greens like a spring mix. For cost savings, you can buy different greens on sale and create your own mix instead of buying prepackaged salads.
4. Select Your Veggies: Add colorful veggies like tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, bean sprouts, beets, etc. By adding more colors, you increase the variety of nutrients you consume in that one meal.
5. Select Your Proteins: Grilled chicken is an easy go-to & an excellent source of protein. Try switching things up with other proteins like turkey, fish, tuna, shrimp & other seafood. Eggs (watch your cholesterol), beans, or tofu are additional options that can be added to your salads.
6. Select Your Goodies: This is where you can top off your salads with a few treats. Add nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruits, avocado slices, bean sprouts, or even a few black olives. A small amount goes a long way.
7. Add Your Dressing: What’s a great salad without a great salad dressing to compliment it? We love our salad dressings but some salad dressings can be high in fat, sugar, &/or sodium. Read those labels!
Oil based vinaigrette dressings with healthy unsaturated fats (olive oil) are also a good option. If you like creamier dressings, you can find dressings made with Greek yogurt.
Be sure to check out your local farmer’s market, large box stores for seasonal fruit, & ethnic markets for produce you won’t find in your regular grocery store.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.