Salads are a great way to help lose weight, and more importantly stay healthy.  They can be relatively low calorie, and help you take in more servings of veggies.  The big problem people have with salads is that they’re boring.  Here are 5 ways to spruce up you salads!
  1. Add fruit to salad greens. Consider adding fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, or grapes. You can even toss in some dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, and golden raisins.
  2. Cheese often goes well with fruit. Mixing in blue, feta, or goat cheese is a great way to add tons of flavor and some protein too.  However, be mindful of the cheese you add.  Remember, low-fat cheeses are your best option.  Speaking of protein, you can easily turn any salad into a main meal with the addition of shrimp, chicken, sliced steak, or even tofu.
  3. Avocados, olives, and toasted nuts add a whole new taste dimension, not to mention some heart-healthy oils. Cooked whole grains such as hard wheat berries, quinoa, and bulgur add fiber. Beans or chickpeas add protein and fiber.
  4. Choose from a variety of tasty greens: some are sweeter, like Boston, green and red leaf, red oak, and romaine, while others have a nutty or bitter taste, like endive, radicchio, arugula, watercress, and spinach. Mix the tastes and textures and even throw in a few herbs like dill or cilantro so that each bite surprises your taste buds.
  5. Pull your salad together with dressing. Choose a ginger dressing for Thai chicken over a mix of crisp romaine and watercress. Try lime-cilantro vinaigrette for that steak, black bean, and avocado salad. You can make your own healthy vinaigrettes by infusing vinegars with some of your favorite herbs…and you can turn high-fat creamy dressings into healthier vinaigrettes. You’ll have a salad you’ll be proud to serve to your guests!
Any way you decide to super-charge you salad is fine… just be sure not to turn your healthy salad into a 1200 calorie high-fat  monster while trying to add flavor.  The pitfalls to avoid (as mentioned above) are:
  1. Adding high-fat cheeses.  Always go for low-fat or even fat-free cheeses.  Also, avoid adding too much cheese.  There should be more greens than dairy in there.
  2. Using  high calorie/high fat dressing.  Avoid the creamy dressings, or dressing that may have a lot of sugar.  Always go for a vinaigrette or even just vinegar if possible.
Bon Apetite!

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