Eating a Salad Every Day Has Many Life-Changing Benefits
December 14, 2021 7:30 AM EST | 6 min read
Can eating one salad a day help you achieve your health goals?
We’ve all heard the statistics: most people who diet fail.
They give up.
The weight comes back.
There are many theories, but one has to do with the power of habit.
As Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Research has shown that sticking to a diet is more important than the diet you choose.
The problem is this: most diets are too strict or limiting, and people give up before a habit can be formed.
So why not make it simple?
Why not choose something easy, delicious, fun, and filling?
Eat one salad a day
This doesn’t mean a sad, store-bought, grab-and-go, eat-at-your-desk salad.
And it certainly doesn’t mean diet-fanatical, want-to-get-skinny, #bikiniprep starvation salads.
Your one salad a day should be satisfying, colorful, energizing, and packed with nutrients and flavor.
This combination of raw and cooked ingredients can easily be made home and enjoyed all week.
There are no other rules, so enjoy that wine and chocolate (you’re welcome).
So why is eating one salad a day a transformational habit?
SALADS PROMOTE HEALTH
Can you think of a more nutritious, vitamin-packed way to fuel and respect your body?
All that nutrient goodness packs a powerful energy punch for which your body will thank you.
SALADS ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT
Chopping veggies, washing leaves, cooking proteins, and deciding on tasty combinations allow you to touch, see, smell, and ponder your food.
Let’s see a heat-n-eat pizza provide that mindful experience (no offense, pizza).
SALADS SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY
Contrary to popular belief, salads can save you time and money when approached in an organized way.
A bit of batch-cooking will provide you with a week’s worth of meals ready to grab and go.
SALADS CALL FOR MINDFULNESS
Mindful eating can be created by just the nature of the crunch, the spearing of leaves with forks, and the collecting of little bits of tasty topping.
Salads aren’t the kind of food you can eat distractedly.
They call for attention and, therefore mindfulness, which is a good thing.
SALADS SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS
Eating fresh, unprocessed food encourages shopping locally and seasonally.
That’s good for you, your community, and the environment.
Focusing on the quality and source of your food can help simplify your life and support local farmers and artisans.
So how can I make eating one salad a day a real, lasting habit?
You’ll never know how amazingly delicious salads can be until you try a few recipes.
If you need recipes, a quick Google search should do the trick.
There are even entire sites devoted to salad recipes, like Loveleaf Co.
Once you get going, you’ll be hooked.
Progress is made in tiny, incremental shifts.
So start small.
Start by eating one simple, easy-to-throw-together salad daily, whether for dinner, lunch, or even breakfast.
Not ready to eat salad for a full meal?
Add a side salad to your weeknight dinners.
You’ll be surprised how quickly healthy, nutrient-dense foods crowd out less healthy options.
Another strategy is to think of a favorite meal and make it into a salad.
Ditch the bun and put it on some spring mix.
Add complimentary burger veggies, like sauteed onions, pickles, tomatoes, and some shredded cheddar cheese.
The point isn’t to be perfect.
The goal is to eat more nutrient-dense food in a maintainable way that you enjoy.
Progress, not perfection.
PLAN TO SUCCEED
A little meal planning goes a long way.
Plan your salads for the week on Sundays (or whenever you do your grocery shopping).
Over the weekend, you can batch-cook items like protein, dressing, grains, and roasted veggies.
Then just throw them over some greens for an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week.
If you want to bring your salad to work, pack it ahead of time.
This trick for packing salads will keep your lettuce crisp for days.
Protein transforms a salad from a sad side dish into a nutritional power meal.
Adding satisfying and filling protein to your lunchtime greens will tackle your afternoon work overload #likeaboss.
While chicken has always been salad’s favorite partner in crime, there is a smorgasbord of other delicious proteins you can rock the afternoon with.
Whether you’re eating paleo or plant-based, there’s a protein source for you.
Mix and match sources until you hit your hangry-no-more amount.
MAKE IT DELICIOUS (EVEN WITHOUT A RECIPE)
Follow this simple formula:
Base (2 handfuls of greens) + Veggies (½ – 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables) + Something Starchy (½ cup cooked rice, beans, roasted sweet potato, etc.) + Protein (palm-sized serving) + Something Fancy (crunchy nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cheese) + Dressing (¼ cup of your favorite).
Toss all ingredients with dressing, and voilà!
KEEP IT STOCKED
A well-stocked kitchen is a key to creating a wide variety of flavorful, Instagram-worthy salads any day of the week.
Recipes and on-the-fly salad creations become more doable and delicious when your pantry is packed (and the PJ bottoms and slippers can stay on).
Just mix your favorite staples with fresh greens – or follow the formula above – and get crunching.
MAKE IT FUN
You don’t have to do it alone!
There is power in eating with other people.
Enjoy salads with your friends, family, and partners.
Make a date-night salad with arugula, pear, and steak paired with honey mustard dressing.
Don’t forget the red wine!
Try a brunch salad with friends; something like a huevos rancheros salad with a side of mimosas.
How about a Pad Thai or a Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl?
The possibilities are endless.
FOLLOW A PROGRAM
Have someone else do the planning for you.
Love leaf Co.
offers a free week of easy, filling salad recipes, including a shopping list and tips, through a program called the 7-Day Salad Reset.
Kick-start this healthy habit by joining today.