Showing posts with label #salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #salads. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lettuce & A Recipe

Varieties of lettuce at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
How many of you really like lettuce? Do you long for the leafy green color of crunchy texture? What about the taste? What does it taste like?

I don't like or dislike it. I can truthfully say I've never craved lettuce. The taste is so mild as to be non existent. Yet, lettuce adds an important element to healthy eating.

Watching our weight would sure be difficult without lettuce. Lettuce is the basis for most salads. It fills us up, and adds needed fiber.

Last summer, while visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Aurora, Colorado, we took a day trip to Vail that included a tour of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. I highly recommend the trip. There, I learned some new things about lettuce.

In 1920 ranchers in Gore Creek Mountain Valley near Vail discovered that lettuce grew better above 7000 feet elevation. For years, that area produced most of our lettuce. Interesting.

Varieties of Lettuce:

1. Iceberg - the most common
2. Bibb Lettuce - extra small
3. Boston - loose leaves
4. Green leaf - no head, more perishable
5. Red Leaf
6. Romaine - the most nutritious

The greener the leaves, the more vitamins and minerals in the lettuce.

The entrance to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Average nutritional make-up of lettuce:
1 cup
calories                     5
carbohydrates           1 g
fat                             0.05

No, I don't really like lettuce, but it's a food addict's best friend.

Here's a recipe you might want to try:

Summer Lunch Salad
3 cups red leaf lettuce
1 cup spinach
4 T. red peppers
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1 peach cut-up
2 Splenda or Trivia packets
1 T. peanuts
2 T. fat free ranch dressing
1 t. olive oil
to complete the above salad, add 3 oz. grilled chicken, 4 oz. lobster bites, 3 oz. lean ham, or 2 chopped up boiled egg.
***Trivia tip about lettuce
Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family. When you travel through eastern Colorado, the sunflower fields are gorgeous.
Thank you, God, for lettuce.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Are Salads a Cure-All for Weight Loss?

Compulsive overeaters can often be found at buffets, large salad bars, and restaurants with all-you-can-eat special features. The reason is simple. Our appetites grow the more we eat (Hint: your appetite decreases when you eat less for a length of time).

While the loaded buffets and all-you-can-eat plates are understandable, for a girl who didn't eat vegetables much, eating at a salad bar made me feel righteous.
I noticed that most of us lingering around the salad bars were overweight. Scary! Why was that? I set out on an investigation.

Are salads a cure-all for weight loss?

Cure-all?  No.

A big help?  Most definitely.

Okay, maybe I need a list of dos and don'ts for eating at salad bars.

DO find as many plain, raw vegetables as you can. Strive for 5-6 different kinds.
Make your plate colorful.

If available, choose something red such as red pepper or radishes.

Choose yellow such as shredded carrots or crookneck squash.

Choose white such as onions or bean sprouts.

Choose 2 green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, or watercress.

DO choose low fat dressings if possible. If none are there, take your own or put it in a separate bowl or dish, so that you can brush each forkful of salad in the dressing. That way you don't use as much. (A tip? creamy dressings such as ranch or blue cheese or higher in calories and clear dressings such as Italian.)

DON'T allow a server to dip the dressing. Do it yourself.

DON'T add croutons, pasta, or already-prepared salads such as potato salad, pasta salad, or chicken salad.

DO choose lean proteins for your salad such as 4 oz. grilled chicken, 4 oz. tuna (not mixed in a tuna salad), 1 boiled egg, 1/2 cup chopped ham, or 1/2 cup plain pinto beans, chickpeas, or black-eyed peas, or measure 2 tablespoons shredded cheese.

DO measure out about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds if they have them.

DON'T choose bacon or candied nuts.

DO add to your salad any fresh fruit on the bar such as grapes, apples, or cantaloupe.

DON'T be afraid to ask for fresher lettuce, grilled chicken to be cooked for you, or anything you might want that you don't see. The restaurants want you to be pleased, so you'll return.

Salads help me a lot. I think they will you, too. Here's some benefits:

    1. They contain lots of fiber. Fiber is proven to help weight loss.
    2. Salad fills you up, so you don't want more food.
    3. They can pack a wallop of needed vitamins and minerals in one bowl.
CHOOSE THE SALAD but remember the dos and dont's.

What's your experience with salad?

Has it helped or hurt you?