“Dang! That’s a HUGE salad you have there man!”
That’s what the guy at the counter said to me yesterday at Whole foods when I was checking out.
I hear this all the time when I check out at Whole Foods or where ever else I get my salads from.
Truth is I live off of salads about 80% of the time which I’ll tell you why I do here in a second.
First, I tell you what I like to call em’ which are, “Big Ass Salads” or BAS’ for short because that’s exactly what they are.
BIG. ASS. SALADS.
Check out the beauty I had (and ate) just yesterday at lunch…
Now, to be honest with you, salads make up about 80% of my diet.
The reason I live off of these because it’s hard for me to get home during the day so when I’m out, I’ll just hit up Whole Foods or a local supermarket and get their salad bar.
I do this for a few reasons…
#1 – I get to make the salad myself so I know what’s in it (these days you never know what’s in your food)
#2 – Easy way for me to fit in a TON of extra greens
#3 – Salads NEVER get boring (there’s 1000’s of different combos you can use)
#4 – Salads taste extremely good and are SUPER HEALTHY **when you make them right**
I noted “WHEN YOU MAKE THEM RIGHT” for a reason.
The reason for this is because a LOT of people make their salads wrong so instead of eating something they thought would get them lean and mean, they instead do the exact opposite.
Sometimes it can get so bad that you’d be better off getting a Big Mac with fries and a coke to wash it all down VS. having a BAS.
So, to help make sure you’re keeping it “lean and mean”, I’ve listed out some “BAS Mistakes” you’ll want to avoid.
Let’s dig right in shall we…
BAS Mistake #1 Crappy Condiments
Nothing will mess up an EPIC BAS then with a nasty addition of the wrong dressing.
YES, I’m talking about your ranch dressing’s, the 1000 island’s, your italian’s, and all of the other crap dressings you put onto your salad to make it taste better.
As I noted above, I get a LOT of salads and one thing I always see is people taking a perfectly good BAS and turning it into a freaking sugar ladened, fat loaded, artificial ingredient packed, calorie bomb.
That’s exactly what most of your dressings will do.
Just look at the ingredients next time you put some “healthy” dressing on top of your “lean and mean” salad.
Usually the first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup or it’s some sort of nasty ass vegetable oil and if it isn’t one of those, it’s something else you can even pronounce.
My best advice is to ALWAYS look at the ingredients.
And a lot of dressings now come “fat free” and “low calorie” and now “gluten free” which doesn’t mean sh*t.
They’re still junk.
Again, just look at the ingredients.
My next piece of advice is to avoid the regular dressings out there and go with one of these options:
- Fresh Salsa
- Mustard (again – always look at the ingredients)
- Oil and Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt Free Seasonings (Like Mrs. Dash)
- Or just be a badass and eat your salad plain
Seriously, you can get everything perfectly right with a BAS then mess it all up by dousing your salad with the WRONG kind of dressing.
BAS Mistake #2 Adding On Enemy Carbs
Just like with the dressings I talked about above, you can take a perfectly good BAS and flush it down the crapper by throwing on a bunch of processed carbs via the form of croutons or by adding in the sidekick breadstick.
The breadstick is an easy fix…
Just say NO if you’re ever get asked to add one to your salad.
As for the croutons, you know what I’m talking about.
Yes I know these add a nice little “crunch” to your salad, but the processed carbs and sugar you get from these little things can add up quick.
Now, if you were to put on just a few you’d probably be OK, but most people cover their salad in these things which can add a whole bunch of unwanted crap fast to your BAS.
My best piece of advice for you on this is to avoid them at all costs.
You’re trying to get LEAN and MEAN here so adding in some croutons just isn’t going to cut it.
Instead, throw on a SMALL handful of walnuts or almond slivers or even some sunflower seeds.
Way better for you but just make sure NOT to overdo it with the nuts and seeds as the cals can add up quick.
If you don’t want to go that route, I always add in sliced cucumber or radishes to add in that extra crunch.
BAS Mistake # 3 Pre-Made Salad Mixes
Alright, I admit it.
I’ve fallen foe to these “healthy salad mixes” before many of times.
Not any more though.
Well, if you think about it, anything that’s pre-made for you is usually going to have some sort of extra ingredients in it that you don’t want OR the ingredients in it are going to be cheap and artificial, usually to extend the products shelf life.
What you want to do here in this situation is like I’ve been saying… CHECK THE INGREDIENTS.
i for one used to get these pre-made salads from a local grocery store near my gym.
They had your traditional chop salad, caesar, and mixed greens salad.
The veggies weren’t the problem, it was the FAKE processed meats and the cheeses they added into those things.
The chicken breast usually was never actual chicken breast.
The turkey wasn’t pure turkey, but a mixture of rib meat and other crap.
If it was roast beef, it wasn’t healthy roast beef.
9 times out of 10 the meat they provide within these pre-made salads are highly processed and have a ton of sodium, sugar, and extra filler ingredients in them.
And the cheese they provide, well if you want to call it that, usually was NOT real cheese.
I typically say to avoid cheese if you can, but if you must, go with REAL whole fat cheese.
Generally feta, goat, whole fat mozzarella, or any type of full-fat, grass-fed cheeses are your best bets.
Don’t ever settle for the “fat free” stuff as it’s nothing but FAKE food.
And if it’s not the meat and cheese where they get you, it’ll be with the “hidden” extra ingredients like sugar or some other stuff..
Seriously, I was getting this prepackaged salad-mix from a local grocery store for the longest time until I discovered there was SUGAR added in as an additional ingredient.
Best thing to do here is to always, always, ALWAYS look at the ingredients.
Do NOT ever assume.
I for one know it’s super convenient to get these pre-made salads, but just know that when it comes to convenience with food, it’ll always come with some sort of payoff usually with the QUALITY of food you get.
If you can, MAKE YOUR OWN BAS’
Just follow this simple set up…
1 – Start with a BIG bed of mixed greens like kale, spinach, purple cabbage, ect
2 – Next add on your QUALITY protein via REAL chicken breast, turkey breast, steak, ground beef, fish, ect (avoid processed meats)
3A – If this is a normal meal, add in your healthy fat via some nuts, seeds, avocado, healthy cheese or oil – just don’t overdo it here.
3B – If this is a post workout salad – throw on some starchy carbs (NEVER combine FATS with this option – it’s either or) – white rice, sweet potato, white potato, squash, quinoa, ect (no croutons do NOT count)
5 – Top with a HEALTHY condiment if need be – mustard, fresh salsa, oil and vinegar,salt free seasoning, squeeze of lemon, ect
6 – Chow Down!
So there you go.
Time to start adding in more BIG ASS SALADS to your life for better, faster results.
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