Would you like some salad leaves with your dressing?
I love how restaurants will often offer a variety of salads on their menu and automatically how individuals think, "well - it's salad... of course it's healthy."
And then it shows up to the table, dunked in a heavy ranch or thousand-island dressing, loaded with bacon bits (but they have "bits" in the name - that means they are small - right?), toppled with ham, fried chicken, cheese... even too many olives, sauteed veggies or starchy vegetables.
Now, one excuse to not enjoying salad as a busy professional? Well... I have to pack my lunch... ergo, I can only stick pizza in a ziplock bag, make a pb&j sandwich or stick a microwave meal in the freezer.
If something is truly important to you, guess what... you will make a change.
Easy solution is simply to simply portion out your salad leaves in tupperware the night before. You may even throw chopped veggies into the salad in this case. Guess what... leave the dressing on the side, then simply drizzle upon consumption.
Beware of fat-free or low-fat. Does this mean immediately throw into the garbage if labeled low-fat? No. Some low-fat dressings are made in a healthy fashion (often yogurt based). However, other variations are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt and other unhealthy sugar-substitutes. Be careful and read the label. Easy solution? Stick with a high-calebar extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice/balsamic vinegar combination. Olive oil is one of the most healthy fats that your body can absorb.
Now. The darker the color leaves, the more beneficial for your body: gravitate towards kale, spinach, romaine hearts. Iceberg - as crunchy and refreshing as it may seem - is close to consuming ice. Hardly any nutrient value. I know, sad-story.
Am I advocating eating raw kale leaves? Absolutely not. When consumed solo - kale is bitter and unpalatable. Kale, like humans, was not designed to be alone. In order to "break down" the bitterness of humans, simply cut and discard the stalk, then chop into bite-sized pieces. "Massage" the kale with olive oil and lemon juice, then allow to "marinate" for at least two-hours... I will even allow mine to rest overnight.
What happens during this period? The acid in the lemon juice actually "breaks down" the kale - then the leaves absorb the olive oil and become tender... pleasing to the palate.
Stop and think about it. That stubborn kale - when gently massaged and what seems to be "broken down..." - is undergoing a process and radical transformation of becoming even better than it once was...
Even flowers must first grow through dirt before reaching their ultimate beauty.
Back to the kale - once marinated, be creative. Mix with quinoa, toasted nuts (cashews, almonds, pine, hazelnuts, etc), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), plethora of raw veggies (artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, tomatoes, beets, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots), healthy fats (avocado), even proteins - grilled chicken, tuna (ahi or from a can), hard-boiled eggs, etc.
Why do most individuals struggle with their weight? Portion control. We have come to expect - when dining out - portions that I suitable for two-or-more. Now, if you are looking to gain weight, maintain healthy decisions, but simply consume more. If maintaing current weight - just listen to your body. If you're full and satisfied, then stop. No one ever said that there was a mandatory "clean plate club" and chances are (unless you're going to leave the current location the following day) you can always come back to it/order more the following day.
Balance, variety and moderation.
I know, easier said than done. But ultimately, in order to make a difference, you must first be healthy and able to care for yourself.
"If we could look into each other's hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance and care." - Marvin J. Ashton
Love y'all dearly!