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Welcome to Alexis Martin's "Get Focused, Get Fit" blog! I hope this helps you set attainable goals and more importantly, REACH your goals! Check back regularly for updates and new helpful hints to stay on track!

Thanks for putting your health first,
Alexis Martin

Friday, January 29, 2010

Salad, healthy or not?

It looks like everyone is getting pretty food savvy, but are you watching what you put into your food preparation as much as the main ingredient?

Let's take salads.  Salads are full of lots of brightly colored veggies, right?  Right, but are you dumping cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, salad dressing, bacon bits, etc. on top?  If the answer is yes, you've just sabotaged your salad!!

Adding all those tasty little treats, your salad has gone from healthy to possibly fatter than a Double Double from IN & OUT!

When making or ordering a salad make sure you leave all those things off!  Your salad should consist of lots of FRESH vegetables, possibly a protein, like chicken or fish and just 2 TBSP or LESS of low-fat or non-fat dressing.  By the way, I don't mean batter fried chicken, either!

The best salad dressing in a bottle is either low-fat spray dressing or Newman's Own Light dressings.  There are lots of brands, just read the label to get the most natural ingredients with the lowest calories.  I like Newman's Own Light because there are a ton of great flavors; I actually think I've tried them all!  My favorites are the Asian or Cranberry Walnut.  When using bottled dressing, make sure you read what a portion size is and MEASURE!

Another great dressing is fresh lemon juice!  Its tart & tangy and adds great flavor to salads.  Also, I love Balsamic Vinegar & Oil, just be careful not to drown your salad in oil, again-MEASURE.

A trick I've learned is I measure out my oil, vinegar or lemon into a large bowl; I add fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano-whatever or I'll add dry seasoning, like Mrs. Dash and squish it all together.  I let it sit while I wash and chop my veggies. Then I add my salad greens and toss the greens with my dressing mixture.  Then I add my extra veggies and toss again and VOILA! You have a restaurant style salad with homemade, low fat dressing!

Another great salad is adding blueberries, raspberries, strawberries & mandarin orange slices on top of greens.  I use a fruit based dressing and toss.  Sometimes I'll add feta or goat cheese & even slivered almonds or walnuts.  Its light, fresh and always the hit at dinner parties!

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