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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