Sinful Salads

Over the weekend, I had an eye-opening experience.  I went to Sweetgreen and I opted to make my own salad creation…at free will.  By “free will,” I mean that I added goat cheese, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts to the mix, 3 salad ingredients that could stand alone in their greatness

This delicious salad, mixed with some chicken, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, and balsamic vinaigrette, was the best treat that I enjoyed all weekend.  Though my weekend eats included a fried crab cake sandwich and multiple cookie sundaes, the custom-made salad stood above all the rest in terms of flavor, satisfaction, and satiety.

Such a statement might incur one to think I’ve lost my marbles, but I have my reasoning, so hear me out…

As a constant dieter, I’ve often fallen into the trap of choosing the lowest-calorie options to put in my salad.  It’s supposed to be a salad, anyways.  When I was on Weight Watchers, I realized that a salad can easily have as many points as a burger when you count the nuts, cheese, and dressing.  I can still remember choosing to make a salad during my Freshman year of college that contained only 5 points, but was topped with some putrid low-fat dressing and all veggies.

That salad sucked.

Part of mending my relationship with food is accepting these “big-ticket” items (candied walnuts, avocado, raisins, dried cranberries, goat cheese) and realizing that they’re both healthy and nutritious.  Trying to avoid avocado just seems ridiculous.  After all, if I had gone into Sweetgreen at age 12, I would’ve praised myself for eating a salad as a meal, and probably justified that with an even bigger dessert.

Bottom line: Salads are good for you, and places like Sweetgreen are made to make salads more enjoyable, not to torture us with temptation and guilt.  Next time you are in a custom salad line, don’t hold back.  Get that goat cheese, as it will probably keep you full longer anyways!

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Mag’s obsession with MAGS

By the title of this post, you might think I am obsessed with myself.  But I’m not, I’m obsessed with MAGAZINES.  Even though many people think that print is dead, and companies have created advertisements like this one in order to encourage magazine reading, no one needs to encourage me to buy 7-8 different magz monthly.  The feel of a glossy, unread magazine in my hands is indescribable.  If I leave it in my bag all day, saving it for the gym, I fight the urge to page through and sneak a peek.  However, I read so many that I don’t think I retain much of the tips that I read, and many of them are really useful!  I’ve had an idea for a while now to write a blog post highlighting some of the most important tips that I plan on using, so I’m going to begin today with the September edition of Women’s Health

1. Hummus is the new peanut butter: It is packed with fiber and protein to keep you full and energized.

Even though hummus might not be as decadent, sweet, and sinful as peanut butter, I liked this comparison because of the emphasis on the nutrients.  Both peanut butter and hummus can be praised for their rib-sticking qualities (protein and fiber)–hummus with a few less calories and fat.  This analogy reminds me that hummus is not just a dip for crudites and pita chips, but a great spread on a sandwich to make the satiety last a little longer

2. Research finds that the most enjoyable bites we have are the first and the last, so if you really can’t pass up that decadent dessert-limit yourself to 3 bites and you will be satisfied

How many times have you looked at a cookie or cupcake and said “I’ll just have one bite,” only to end up eating the whole thing in one bite?  For me, lots of times.  I will definitely be practicing this tip with cake, ice cream, candy, and the like

3. Light beer is better than wine for weight loss! 

This fact is probably my favorite, for all the times I’ve watched skinny girls at the bar ordering cranberry and vodka-shooting me nasty looks for having a Miller Lite in hand.  Beer is better than wine for weight loss because the portion is controlled-most light bottles have between 90-130 calories, while a heavy hand of a bartender can leave you with more wine or liquor calories than you planned for.  Though it’s full of carbs, my new point should cover that worry…

4. Noodles are good for you. 

The low-carb craze is something I have never bought into: as long as your calories burned are greater than your calories eaten, you’re going to lose weight. Bottom line.  I love it when health magazines promote pasta, because it’s delicious and nutritious 🙂  And a plus that I discovered-soba noodles made of pure buckwheat flour are gluten free!

These are a few of the tips that I found most useful after paging through Women’s Health, and I hope you do too!