What is a salad? The best definition I found is:
“a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients”
Why do we want to have a variety of these cold dishes as part of our regular diet? The reason is quite simply because in today’s world, it is a relatively easy way for us to get a variety of vegetables, and sometimes fruits, into our lives. And that’s important because vegetables provide us with vitamins and minerals (to include antioxidants), fiber, and water…..all of which are super important to human health.
In our fast paced, fast food world, we have lost sight of the real meaning of “food”. Food first nourishes. Yes, it should be tasty and satisfying and therefore “nurture” us as well, but let us not lose sight that its first purpose is to nourish….to literally feed our cells to not only keep us alive, but to keep us “healthfully alive”. Many of us look to food purely for enjoyment. While most cultures do build food into events and gatherings, making it a very social activity, those same cultures also have, as their base, real food combinations that actually nourish the body. It is when we get away from the traditional eating and cooking styles of our ancestors that we get away from food that nourishes.
Because getting good nutrition for ourselves and our families is imperative for our health and that of future generations, and because our food supply has become so adulterated (a whole other conversation), keeping salads in our eating plan is a way to eat real, whole foods that nourish us, combined in such a way that they delight the senses (taste, touch, smell) as well. And it is this appeal to a variety of senses that satisfies us.
And now, the good news is that there are many places where one can get a wonderful, fresh salad even if shopping for and preparing it from scratch is not going to happen regularly. Yes, you’re more in control when you make it yourself, but options for creating a healthy salad are growing and will continue to do so if we take advantage of them.
The combinations of healthy veggies and fruits combined with such a variety of possibilities for the dressings makes for the likelihood that most palates can be satisfied by this healthful menu option. The trick is to experiment with a variety of greens, veggies, raw and cooked, toppings (all kinds of different proteins and toppings can be added for satiety and variety) to find the combinations that work for you.
Consider trying different kinds of salads an experiment in your health. One that your body will thank you for!
Come have a good time at my salad workshop. Click here to purchase tickets!