Your Personal Salad Bar In 1, 2, 3…

“Eat your fruits and vegetables.”

“Have more salad.”

“Move your body.”

We hear the facts and try to adopt healthier lifestyles all the year through…but especially at the new year. We just KNOW this is going to be the year that everyone will be sporting a rock hard beach body by summer…but then, January 5th comes along and all of that thinking goes straight to hell. Hey look…chocolate! Why do we do this to ourselves? The body image emotional roller coaster is nothing to play around on, however, we continually ride it year after year.

I gave up making offical resolutions years ago because I got tired of making fake promises to myself. Instead, I try to think of ways to better myself in the coming year. You see, I’m the type of person who wakes up each morning and hopes to improve myself in some way, every day. Maybe it’s by reading a book. It could be from watching a documentary. Possibly a museum visit. Maybe, it’s something as small as rescuing a honeybee from a bowl of water. I can’t really define “improving myself” except for the feeling that I get inside that I am a better person today than I was yesterday. Or maybe I just have some sort of psycho illness…I’m not sure yet.

ANYWAY, I found that wanting to live a healthier lifestyle doesn’t just happen because the clock strikes midnight and all of a sudden it’s a new year. Don’t fool yourself…making a huge change overnight is probably not something you will continue. It’s okay to take baby steps. Instead, make small changes that add up to big ones. For instance, ever since our visit to the Pritikin Center, I have wanted to be able to increase our salad intake. We’ve always been salad people, but not like we should be. Once I realized it was all about convenience, I worked on a solution.

At Pritikin, the lunch meal ALWAYS included a salad bar with over 20 fresh items, some of them changing daily. Not having the same old salad taste everyday kept the meal interesting. I thought, why don’t I do this at home? So I did. I mean…I don’t prepare 20 toppings but seven or eight, changing on a weekly basis, is enough to stay happy. Pritikin was in September and it’s now December and I’ve fortunately been able to make this salad routine a habit. If you think this pratice will work for you, here’s what I recommend:

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Step 1: Get yourself a salad spinner. Ten bucks at Wal-hell. You may be laughing because I think this might have been an infomercial years ago. However, IT WORKS. No matter how much you think you can dry greens after washing them, they are still going to be wet. Salad dressing doesn’t stick to wet leaves. Also, the extra water only increases the rot rate. You’ll be amazed at how much water lettuce holds, even after a 3rd spin. Spinners are also great for garden herbs and berries…it seconds as a pretty good man-made tornado for hot wheels and lego guys.

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Step 2: Buy a salad keeper…again, around ten bucks. I found this one at Marshall’s; it’s made by Progressive. We all know that once you open a bag of lettuce, it will start getting slimey after two days. If you wash, spin and place in a salad keeper, it will stay good for up to TWO WEEKS. I’m not even kidding. It’s the best thing that has happened to salad since…um…ranch dressing? You might have to pick out one or two wilty leaves as the weeks go by but for the most part, it’s going to save you money by preventing waste. Speaking of saving money, buy your greens by the head…you will get more produce for a better price without that plasticy bagged taste. Also, I encourage you to purchase organic produce. Eating salad to become more healthy is sort of self defeating if your ingredients are covered and grown in pesticides/herbacides.

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Step 3: Get yourself a good, compartmentalized, single container. If you try to use a bunch of gladware containers, you’ll eventually give up because they scatter all over your fridge and doing extra dishes is just tiring. This is my preferred container…it’s a Tupperware Serving Center that I bought 10 (?) years ago. It’s $40 on Amazon but you can get them cheaper on eBay. I have WELL gotten my money’s worth over the years. Sundae toppings, taco toppings, deviled eggs, veggie tray, taking it to mom’s to bring home leftovers…so many uses! It now finds itself (along with the salad saver) on the bottom shelf of our fridge. Each week (or when it starts to empty) I fill it with various salad toppings…always trying to make it different with whatever I find on sale or in season. How quick and simple to bring out two containers and make a healthy salad within minutes. No choppping. No mess. The options are endless! Aside from usual salad ingredients, don’t forget goodies like chopped meats, diced boiled eggs, cheeses, beans, corn, nuts, dried fruit, pasta and salsas! *Noted: I think everyone on my Facebook feed now has a container like this. If not, they obviously have me hid.

This idea might not work for everyone, but I hope it works as good for you as it has for us. Enjoy!

4 Responses to Your Personal Salad Bar In 1, 2, 3…
  1. corrin
    December 30, 2013 | 9:05 AM

    I’ve been meaning to buy the serving container for months — it’s on my shopping list but I can never find one in store. Hello Amazon Prime!

    • Toni
      December 30, 2013 | 9:25 AM

      Amazon Prime is my savior in which I have well paid my tithe. I’m certainly not a kitchen junk hoarder, but I have to admit, this container is da bomb. I may have even sorted skittle colors in it once…maybe. I’m not sure. 😀

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