Posts Tagged ‘salads’

10:43 am - Posted by Gregg

Did you hear the one about the dieter who complained about salads? Oh, wait… That’s me! Seriously though, as health-minded people trying to either get rid of the excess pounds or keep them off permanently, we know that salads are one of our go-to meals of choice. But too often we find ourselves staring at a plastic bowl full of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes and a few slivers of carrot. Add to that a dressing that’s neither inspired or flavorful.

But that’s old school salad speak!

Today, there are all sorts of healthy salad options. And surprise! They can taste good, too. Despite years of hating my “salad meals,” today I find myself actually looking forward to my veggie creations. And you can, too. The trick is to think outside the plastic bowl. (In fact, dump that plastic bowl once and for all and prepare your meal using nice dishes that would make Martha Stewart envious. After all, if you’re not worth a little extra effort in regard to serving style, who is?!)

As dieters, we are usually the culprits that have made our salads boring (AKA tasteless). That’s because we’ve been taught that healthy ingredients such as slivered pecans, sliced avocado or even a little extra virgin olive oil are “No-nos.” The trick is to use these very healthy ingredients in moderation — and in tandem with other ingredients. Even with add-ons it’s all about portion control, people. So get creative. But make sure you have a measuring cup handy. And for heavens sake, make sure you change out your options. Try some fennel in your salad today and some sliced apple in your salad tomorrow. It’s all about variety. And the chart below is something you can print out and keep handy (or simply refer to here) for the next time you’re playing salad chef.

You can use the chart below to choose different ingredients from the different categories. Make sure you choose several different options. Then mix them all together and be prepared for your palet to thank you (and your scale to react inkind). Need even more inspiration? Check out Williams-Sonoma’s 30 Days of Salads, where you’ll find several different ideas (and recipes) that will inspire and, perhaps, even reignite your love of all things salad. And for readers who aren’t familiar with one of my favorites, you might want to consider something I call the Best Lunch Salad Ever. (Happy munching!)

Photo Source: Williams-Sonoma

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January 5, 2012

Radical Radicchio

10:36 am - Posted by Gregg

Looking for a food to add to your daily or weekly intake that can add as many healthy benefits as it does flavors and texture? Look no further than the nearest fresh vegetable section of your local market. A published study reports that radicchio boasts an antioxidant content that rivals blueberries and spinach – making it a “must add” to your next salad!

In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Italian researchers documented radicchio’s “antioxidant score” of 3,537 per 100 grams (roughly 2 cups of raw, shredded radicchio — about the same amount you’d enjoy in a single salad portion).

Antioxidant activity is usually measured via an ORAC (“Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity “) score. This documents the ability of foods to neutralize harmful oxygen free radicals that are linked to causing damage to our bodies. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the most common free radical in humans is reactive oxygen molecules that cause cell damage to DNA and can possibly lead to coronary heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Scientists and researchers have found that antioxidants (such as vitamins E and C, and polyphenols), which are produced naturally in foods, potentially neutralize some of these free radicals, thereby possibly decreasing the amount of damage they can cause. (For more information, click to the links below.)

The beginning of a new year offers a terrific time to recommit to a healthy diet – not just to lose excess weight and look great, but also to feel great and be great (on the inside). Try adding radicchio to your salads for crunch, color and health! (And feel free to share your radicchio serving ideas here.)

For a healthy Grilled Radicchio from the Mayo Clinic:
Click Here

For more recipe ideas that use radicchio as a main ingredient:
Click Here

For more information about the definition of antioxidants:
Click Here

For more information on the potential worth of antioxidants:
Click Here

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