Last year I wrote an ebook about eating meal sized salads. I published that ebook at the height of summer. Definitely salad season. In my salad e-book I share how our family has been eating salads for lunch for quite some time, at first sporadically and then more regularly.
A friend asked me recently if we still eat salads in the winter.
Yep. We do.
This is one area where my food philosophy diverges from the local food movement. Through study and my own personal experience I believe my body needs fresh greens and vegetables, and lots of them, all year round.
I happen to live in a cold winter climate but I need lots of fresh vegetables, even in winter. (We also eat tons of soups, stews and roots. The foundation of our winter supper menu.)
I have made an uneasy peace with buying bags and bags of grocery store (who knows where it's grown) produce in the winter. That is my confession.
But I don't think my friend was asking the question, do you still eat salads in winter, from a "where does your food come from?" philosophy, rather "do salads really satisfy you in the cold weather?"
And the answer to that is yes, they do.
I find this a little hard to believe, even after eating this way for almost two years. That a plant-based salad, not topped with croutons, eggs and cold cuts can be a meal.
But like I say in my book, a meal sized salad is more than lettuce and tomatoes. It’s a salad full of leafy greens, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. It’s a real meal.
The beans, nuts and seeds part is crucial for making a plant-based salad a meal, and not just a side dish. I don't remember the last time I prepared a "side salad" for my family.
I make one pot dinners so salad is never served on the side for supper, except at Christmas and when hosting potlucks. And our lunch salads are the meal. No side salads around here.
For people new to this idea it takes some getting used to, that a salad can satisfy you.
So, I'll share a little secret with you. Our body wants nutrition more than calories.
We eat calories to get this nutrition but what our body really wants is the life building materials found in those calories. If our calories don't deliver those nutrients (most of the calories people eat fall under this category) our body will keep asking for more nutrients which we often mistakenly try to satisfy with more calories.
Overeating and eating the wrong type of foods to meet our body's needs are huge problems that lead to obesity and many diseases. If we want to live with vitality, health and longevity, i.e.: living well into old age, we need to shift the focus of our diet to high nutrient foods.
This is where meal salads with whole food dressings really shine. And it's why they satisfy your hunger. A meal salad with a whole food dressing is meeting your body's actual nutrition needs.
And the whole food dressing part - it's important. Because instead of using a refined oil based dressing - which is high calorie, low nutrition (in terms of nutrient per calorie) you're using whole nuts and seeds which are super loaded with micro nutrients as well as fat and protein.
Here's the other thing about making meal salads once a day - it's easy.
Again, I didn't believe this at first, and I suppose comparing it to slapping together bread and pb&j, it's not. But in terms of thinking and planning your food on a weekly basis - scheduling one meal a day as a salad simplifies your menu planning. It has for me.
Lunch is salad. We use the same ingredients each week and just change the dressings (we still use all the dressings from my ebook as our standards). I never have to wonder, "what's for lunch?" All I have to do is make it and with three sous-chefs we can whip up a good salad, with a homemade dressing, in a half an hour.
I haven't marketed Eat This: Meal Salads & Whole Food Dressings much. I have so much else to write about that "selling" what I've got is not high on the list. (I told you I wasn't much of a business woman.) But I'm trying to do better on this front since the sales of these ebooks support our family. And not for the extras but for you know, groceries. Not to mention I really believe it's a helpful book. That's why I wrote it.
I think my ebook is a great resource to kick start a year of better health. A lot of people try to get a new start on life in the New Year. By now you may already be discouraged about your progress in this regard.
If you are looking for a way to...
- eat healthier now and make real changes to your long term health
- get more veggies in your diet
- lose weight (If you replaced just one meal a day with a plant based salad and a whole food dressing you would help your body in this regard.)
- simplify menu planning and meal prep (At first, chopping veggies might be more work but not having to plan 1/3 of your weekly menu is a definite time saver for sure.)
consider my book Eat This: Meal Salads & Whole Food Dressings.
If you buy it here you'll get 5 easy food books for only $7.40.
I'm fairly certain none of the other books in the bundle offer a plant-based nutrition perspective. But I know the reality is that most people in North America don't eat the way we do, so I think this bundle will appeal to a lot of households, which is why I'm really pleased to be included. And hey, you don't have to be vegan to eat more salads!
Oh, I almost forgot. Next week I'm sharing with newsletter subscribers a veggie dip recipe. It's a recipe we created by adapting one of the dressing recipes from Eat This. I wanted to give you a heads up in case you aren't subscribed to my newsletter yet. In which case, just sign up below.