Snacker Hack – Sexy Salads

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My favorite veggies

It might surprise you that I’ve never been a big fan of salad. Unless it’s doused in cheese and toppings and some kind of creamy dressing. Yum!

To me, lettuce is the most useless food – it’s basically all water, no taste. But, salad is one of the easiest ways to hit those daily veggie goals. So I started experimenting with different bases and healthier toppings to create the ultimate sexy salad. Below are some tips to go from drab to fab:

Try something new

One day I needed something quick and easy for lunch, so I grabbed one of those Dole Chopped Salad Kits – it had a mix of carrots and kale and cabbage, so I figured I’d give it a go. It was delicious! Now I make all of my salads with cabbage – and some arugula – because they both have a nice peppery flavor – and are more palatable than just plain lettuce.

Stick with veggies you like

It also might surprise you that I don’t love ALL veggies. I thought I hated peppers until recently – turns out I just don’t like the green ones because they’re on the bitter side. But orange, yellow, and red? Yes, please! If you aren’t a huge veggie lover, stick with the one or two you do like so it doesn’t feel like torture to eat your lunch. Sweeter veggies like cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and baby carrots are safe choices.

Don’t forget to accessorize

There are a ton of options to give you some crunch, a touch of sweetness, or that wild pop of flavor you crave. A few of my favorites are avocado, craisins, sunflower seeds, frizzled onions, bacon bits, and clementine sections. Simple salads are so boring…and overrated.

Add some protein

A salad without some kind of protein is really just bunny food – you’ll be hungry within the hour. Add some substance in the form of hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, chicken, tofu – you name it. This will help keep you full and add variety to your meals. Especially if you’re eating a lot of salads during the week. I recently started using a can of chunk light, low sodium tuna. It takes literally 5 seconds to open the can and adds 24 grams of protein.

Find a good dressing

A lot of store-bought dressings are filled with crap, like added sugars in the form of corn syrup. Yuck. Choose something flavorful that won’t break the sugar and calorie bank. If you MUST have your Thousand Island, try diluting it with a little lime juice (trust me on this one) first. You can also switch up your dressings to change the whole “feel” of your salad.

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Literally my lunch each work day for the past few weeks – I’m sold on cabbage salad!

So, if you’re like me and you’re not sold on “traditional” salad with boring leaves and such, you might want to give some of these ideas a try.

One more thing…

You know how you always have to add more dressing because some parts are just too dry? Usually, it’s because we try to use one serving of dressing on a monster salad made for an entire family! Even healthy foods should be eaten in moderation.

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I portion out everything using my Portion Fix containers from Beachbody. They make life a lot easier.

Here’s my equation for a perfectly dressed salad:

  • 1 cup base veggies (cabbage, arugula, endive, etc.)
  • 1 cup fun veggies (cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup protein (chicken, chopped egg, tuna, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup accessories (avocado, craisins, nuts, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons dressing

Voila – The perfect salad!

Count containers, not calories

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If counting calories drives you nuts, you’re not alone. As hard as I try to log my food on my Fitbit – or even in a journal – I just can’t keep up with it.

That’s why I love Beachbody’s Portion Fix Containers. They make it effortless to plan and keep track of meals, so you can enjoy your food without having to do the math.

The Containers

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Photo courtesy of Beachbody, LLC

The Plans

The plans stretch from A-F depending on your caloric needs, which are determined by a simple formula. Once you find your plan, you won’t have to do any calorie counting. If it’s on the list of approved items and fits in your container (with the lid closed) – you can eat it!

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Breakfast (or a snack) made easy!

It sounds basic because it is. I can’t tell you how much time this simple system has saved me. Most of the Beachbody programs use these containers, but even if you’re not into fitness, you can still use them to eat the right amounts and better your health.

I’ve always been Plan A for all the programs, but in week 3 of 80 Day Obsession, I noticed I was frequently hungry in the afternoon and evening. I decided to bump myself to Plan B and feel so much better. I’m allowed 4 veggies, 4 proteins, 3 fruits, 3 carbs, 1 healthy fat, 1 oil/seeds, and four teaspoons. That ends up being a shit ton of food – enough to sustain me through the 400+ calorie burns I’ve been experiencing with 80 Day.

The Cookbook

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The Fixate cookbook is a fabulous edition Beachbody’s line of products. It was created by Autumn Calabrese – Beachbody super trainer, with a mile long list of credentials. I love it because each recipe already has the container counts listed. The only way it would get easier is if she came to your house and cooked all your meals! Hey, I wouldn’t mind that. Would you?

If you want more great recipes, you can also check out the Fixate cooking show, where Autumn and her brother Bobby team up to deliver all the healthy goodness.

The bottom line: If I were to recommend only one product from Beachbody’s nutrition line, this would be it. Affordable. Useful. Effective. What more can you ask for?

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Photo courtesy of Beachbody, LLC

Click here for a video breakdown of the the entire container system.