So, how do you eat your salad? I eat about 2 cups of lettuce with two small portions of vegetables. I might put in a dash of sunflower seeds and a dash of cheese, with about 4 ounces of a meat of some kind–turkey, beef, chicken, fish and even egg. I use a low-carb dressing and I usually just stick to balsamic vinaigrette, keeping the amount low. I might add a little avocado.
Here are the things that should NOT be in your salad:
1. High-carb dressing. An example is honey mustard–added sugar. Ranch dressings are low carb (dairy). Check the label and watch out for portion size and measurements.
2. Chips or croutons. TONS of carbs. One tortilla chip has 1g of carbs per chip. A cup of croutons is about 22g of carbs (cups are not that big)
3. Chinese noodles. These are seen in the Chinese Chicken salads–26g per cup.
4. Pasta. A cup of pasta is about 40g of carbs. If it is whole wheat, you subtract about 7g of fiber to get about 34g net carbs.
5. Fruit. You can have fruit, two servings a day, but if you do that AND eat it in your salad, you are sneaking in high sugar and carb items in your salad. Also, those sugar-soaked tiny mandarin oranges have even more carbs and are not even healthy. Plus, they are mostly packaged in China. Need I say more?
6. Rice or Quinoa: High carb. Yes, there is fiber, but still high carb. Have it in moderation and in tiny quantities when you are on maintenance and lost the weight. Sumo wrestlers eat a lot of rice to bulk up….so get it? Quinoa has 102g of carbs in a cup, minus 12g of fiber is 90g of carbs. WOW! Brown rice is 35g of carbs minus 4g of fiber=31g of carbs. White rice has more carbs at 45g minus only 1g of fiber=44g of carbs.
7. Beans. A few beans will not hurt and I am a sucker for chickpeas (garbanzo beans), but you have to limit the portions of this and keep it to a minimum. One cup of garbanzo beans is 38g of carbs. Yes, high fiber (12g of fiber, making the net carbs 26g in a cup). Check carb amounts for your beans of choice. Just Google it.
8. Starchy Vegetables like Corn, Potato, Peas. High in carbs and starchy. Have regular vegetables like brocoli, cauliflower, tomato (technically, a fruit), some carrot is ok, but watch the portion size, as it is a starch). Go crazy and try Brussels sprouts, kale, alfalfa sprouts, etc.
9. Breaded meat and veggies. Stay away from bread as much as possible (and croutons)…has way too many carbs. Eat grilled meat.
10. Don’t eat your salad with a bag of potato chips or Doritos. Again, too many carbs and no real nutrition. If you do this, then you have an addiction to sugar and need to do a sugar detox.
A good salad: