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!