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Salad Makeover: 4 Hacks for your Salad



My favorite salad bag . . .


Side note: I heart salad bags. Those things are awesome! Great time savers and portion controllers. I love anything that makes eating healthier more convenient.


So, my favorite salad bag has the calories listed as 110 without dressing and double with it. Double!


And that’s only for one third of the bag.


No way do I eat one third of a bag of lettuce—to me one bag is a single serving size.


So if I ate the bag the way it comes (lettuces, dried fruit, sunflower seeds and dressing) it would be 220 x 3 = 660 calories.




If I’m going to have 660 calories for lunch it will not be a salad!!


Just for illustrative purposes, an indulgent lunch could be:


  • 4 ounces of filet mignon (160),
  • Half a baked potato with 2 tablespoons of sour cream (115)
  • A cup of green beans with a pat of butter (75)
  • One cup of mixed berries with a dollop of whipped cream (100)
  • And a 5 ounce glass of wine (120)


With all that I would still be way under the salad calories (570 vs 660).


Since I generally don’t have a glass of wine and filet for lunch, I had to figure out a way to have my salad for far fewer than 660 calories.


And this is how I did it:


  • 3 cups of salad greens (100)
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds (30 calories an ounce and I use about 2.5 ounces = 75).
  • Green Goddess dressing from the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s (20 calories for 2 tablespoons)


So my salad is (100 + 75 + 20) 195 calories.


I add some chicken (150 calories) and my huge, delicious, protein-rich lunch salad is 345 calories.


That’s more than a 300-calorie savings over the salad bag that had no satisfying protein in it for staying power.


Much better.


You may be down with the fresh fruit swap, but you’re saying, “no way” to 2 tablespoons of dressing. Well I have a hack just for you!


My game-changing trick for using only 2 tablespoons of dressing is:


Toss your salad.


I mean, get the whole thing into a big bowl, use tongs and toss.


For a good 60 seconds.


I mean non-stop for one whole minute.


It works!


You can use 2 tablespoons of any dressing (which is the serving size of most) and coat every last lettuce leaf.


You get the flavor from the dressing with out the goopy-ness of too much.


Now if you are a dressing-lover, it may take some time but you can slowly transition to less and less dressing as long as you toss it thoroughly.


And saving over 250 calories a day in dressing alone can translate into losing 2 pounds a month.


 So keep these tweaks in mind the next time you make a salad:


  1. Fresh fruit instead of dried fruit and seeds—pomegranate seeds, cut up grapes, tangerine sections, or cubed apples all work to sweeten your salad and add crunch with far fewer calories.


  1. Lean meat instead of cheese.


  1. Lower calorie dressing—and less of it.


  1. Toss your salad—for at least 60 whole seconds.


Bon appetit!




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