Salad Anyone?

Vegetables are an important part of everyday eating and salads are a delicious way to get your fill.  According to WebMD, here are four healthy reasons to eat a salad everyday:

1. Eat salads for fiber.  Eating a high fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels.

2. Eat salads for the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.  If you frequently eat green salads with vegetables and fruit, you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene and alpha and beta carotene).

3. Eat salads to cut calories and increase satisfaction.  If you eat a salad before your meal, it fills you up and you are less likely to eat a big meal.

4. Eat salads to get smart fats.  Eating a little good fat (like monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals.

The problem with eating a healthy salad is that it quickly becomes unhealthy when you add your dressing.  Most salad dressings contain hydrogenated oils (dangerous trans-fats), lots of sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors.

I’ve provided a few healthy salad dressing recipes from Dr. Ann Kulze’s website.  She is a physician, a best-selling author of books like “Eat Right for Life” and a motivational speaker on health and wellness.

For each of the recipes below, whisk the ingredients in a small cup until well blended.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:  (serves 4-6)
¼ cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar or any vinegar of choice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. Grey Poupon “Harvest Course Ground” mustard (this is key)
A pinch of sugar

Ginger-Orange Dressing: (serves 4-6)
½ cup peanut oil or canola oil
¼ orange concentrate, thawed
2 tbsp. seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger

Honey Lime Dressing:  (serves 4-6)
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 ½ tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)

Salads are always better when you add the little extras, but resist the temptation.  Bacon Bits, cheese, croutons, salami/ham and candied/flavored nuts are all full of calories. Just enjoy the basics – your body will thank you!

About Karen Carew driver...friend...and part time social media maven...Actually I'm quite the novice so bear with me. We're a very busy, involved and active family and we're trying hard to live a healthy family life. But it's not easy. I love to exercise but I hate to cook. I'm not terribly creative, but I'm practical. And I really want to live a healthy life. Here I'll share my stories and lessons learned along the road to better health. And I hope you'll do the same.

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