Fri, July 19

How Is Your Salad?

So, I am starting from the bad news today: a salad, YOUR salad, could have more calories and fat than a serving of fried chicken. Sad, but true! Most of us believe that we are making a smart and nutritious choice by going for a salad, but end up sabotaging our weight loss goals.

Surely, salads are great to meet your recommended daily amounts of veggies, fruits, fiber, vitamins and other yummy nutrients. If made correctly and seasoned in the right way (with lemon juice or, as I do it myself, with balsamic vinegar, some spices and herbs and a tiny bit of olive oil - not much, just to facilitate absorption of all nutrients in there), they can be a healthy bomb (in a positive meaning of this word). The most healthy herbs include: dried red pepper, nutmeg, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, sage, peppermint and garlic. So, go for them! However, if wrong things are tossed and wrong dressings are added, well, we get a health disaster! Did you know that a plastic pouch containing salad dressing you get at any fast food restaurant can set you back by about 90 non-nutritious calories? They also tend to contain saturated fat, which your heart wants to avoid. Really, believe your own heart, it does want to avoid that!...

Next time around, remember about the following:

Veggies and leafy greens should be the base of your salad. The darker the leaves, the more nutrients they tend to hide inside! Choose as many vegetables as you can: baby spinach, spinach, mixed greens, lettuce (again, the darker the better: Romaine or mustard leaves), cauliflower, broccoli, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans, yellow or green zucchini, carrots, radish, sprouts, cabbage, beets, kale, grapes, cranberries, tangerines, apples... At mere 25 calories per serving, vegetables and leafy greens are loaded with fiber, folic acid, minerals, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. So go for them, too! In general, the top healthiest foods include some which you might want in your salads: broccoli, lemon, potatoes, salmon, walnuts, avocados, spinach, beans and garlic.

As for the fruit part, fruits tend to be loaded with fiber, but tend to have higher levels of sugar in them, so don't go overboard! And - it has nothing to do with the salads, but just to let you know - any real fruit is better than the same fruit in form of a juice!

Good sources of proteins for a healthy salad, which will fill you up in a healthy way, include eggs or just the egg whites, grilled salmon, turkey or chicken, shrimp, water-packed tuna, or some low-fat cottage cheese, lentils, tofu, chickpeas, black beans, garbanzo beans, or a handful of nuts. I always try to convince everyone around to "go nuts"! They are great for many reasons, not only in terms of their protein content. Protein serving should be at around three ounces.

Forget about anything fried, crispy and about cream-based sauces for your salad. Did you know that some "extras", such as bacon or pepperoni, add up to 600 calories per portion of salad?! Scary! But do not despair: you might want to add ¼ to ½ of avocado for its good fats, as well as small (but SMALL!...) amounts of Parmesan or feta cheese.

About my own cupboard, and, sort of, coming back to the topic of the nuts: Every single day, I eat some walnuts, Brazilian nuts, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, chia, and almonds. Not too much, but just. I keep all of them in glass jars (use glass or stainless steel containers, avoid plastic jars). And, despite this "go-nuts!" approach, if you look at me, I don't look like a walking advertisement for any fatty foods outlet! ~~~~;-)

Our nutrition is 80% of our success at weight loss, muscle building, fat loss, toning of the muscles - the rest is in exercising and moving around and a small bit lies in the genetics. To develop a well-rounded, challenging exercise program just for you, for tons of motivation and commitment to your plan, e-mail the favorite trainer out here, i.e. me! ;-)

For an exercise program to be challenging it must always be changing. That's why the workouts I design for you are never ever the same. I do take pride in making sure there are no two identical training sessions, so your body keeps guessing and cannot adapt to the status quo, become lazy and stop responding to the stimuli you might offer it at the gym. Together, we can do it! Call me at (928) 451-5656 or e-mail me at Also, visit my web site at, where I invite you to sign for the Free Be Fit Fit newsletter, going our every Monday. Members of our Community really love it and I daily get compliments about its design, contents, encouraging tips and words, ideas of healthy foods and great trainings. Stay Fit!