I’ll be thirty this year and as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that my ability to eat whatever I want and stay thin is fading. So I’ve been on a bit of a health and fitness journey as of late. That means more intense gym workouts, healthy eating, supplements… the whole thing. Now I’m a burger and pizza fan (don’t even get me started on the deliciousness of french fries), but those don’t add up to a fitter me. However, just because food is “healthy” doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to taste great. Lunch has been one of the hardest times of the day for me. I work in a food-lover’s mecca (I’m talking fried chicken and waffles right outside my door) so sticking to my health goals has been difficult to say the least.
Two things have made staying healthy at lunch easier:
- Prepping: Taking the time to pack a lunch, whether the night before, or getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning to make it happen, has helped me. I end up having food so I’m less likely to eat out. Plus, it’s more affordable and money is great.
- Variety: Having a variety of healthy meals or lunches that I find satisfying has made it so much easier. My lunches mainly consist of protein and veggies. I’m not a huge carb or sugar fan so cutting those out during the day has been relatively easy. I say relatively, because I am human after all and every once in a while even I need something sweet.
My Go-To Salad Recipe
This salad is a staple in our house. We make it for dinner (a larger portion usually) and we have it all the time for lunch. The best part is that you can customize it depending on what type of veggies, flavors you like. Here’s how I usually have it:
- Base: Kale. I love kale but some people don’t so any hearty green would be a good base. You can replace instead with spring greens or spinach.
- Protein: Oftentimes we use rotisserie chicken. It’s not as healthy as grilled chicken, but it’s quick and easy to buy one at a health foods store and have a protein for lunches for the week. Remove the skin because that’s cheating.
- Veggies: I love tomatoes and cucumbers so I could do those all the time. Maybe slice in a carrot. Add some red onion. Diced celery. Whatever you fancy, add it in.
- Crunch: Let’s be real, the best part about salads are the croutons and the dressing. And that’s because they’re not good for us. Instead of croutons, roast up some chickpeas (olive oil and some salt) or roast some sliced almonds. You get the satisfying crunch you need without the extra calories.
- Dressing: So here’s where you’ve got to decide how healthy you want to be. I usually squeeze half of a lemon and sprinkle some pink Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper on top. And that’s it. However, you could mix up a simple dressing to add on top. Do not buy dressing. They’re loaded with fat and so expensive. A favorite alternative dressing: a little olive oil, a little apple cider vinegar, a dash of Turmeric, salt and pepper. So good!
And that’s it… So easy to prep ahead of time and throw together when you’re ready. Whether you’re trying to just eat a little healthier or have your own fitness goals, give this salad recipe a try.