Suddenly … Salads

I written a lot about early retirement feeling like a second childhood.  Living in ‘kidulthood’ – without the obligations of work – means enjoying childish activities with the resources and smarts of a grown-up.

One area that it is important for me to grow up is in my eating habits.  Though I worked for a food company for 24 years, I haven’t been getting my fruits & veggies in sufficient amounts.  I would estimate that I average 20 meals out in a month (lunches & dinners) and maybe I ordered just ONE salad all of last year.

The heart attack in December has me focused on everything healthy, so my 2020 goal is to eat at least two big entree salads a week.  We’re already 6 full weeks into the new year and I’m 6-for-6 on my goal.  That’s 12x how many salads I ate all last year and puts me on pace for 104 in 2020.  Given I’ll probably eat 730 lunches & dinners this year, that will represent about 15% of my meals and 43% of my meals out.

Since those meals are largely replacing unhealthy hamburgers, sandwiches, or fried foods – all of which generally come with fries or chips – that means that I am getting a huge upgrade on my total diet. The calorie difference for those 104 meals could result in 10-15 pounds lost over the course of the year.

 I’ve already found about 4 tasty ‘go-to’ salads at restaurants that are genuinely good for you – not the heavy-dressing salads topped with fried chicken or served in a fried taco shell.

How do you ensure you get enough fruits & vegetables in your daily diet when you don’t particularly care for too many fruits & vegetables?

Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com; Cafe Zupas & Piada

5 thoughts on “Suddenly … Salads

  1. I’ve followed this program on and off for the past few years with success. It’s a weight loss/life style change program associated with eating “water first, veggies most”. I’ve found a lot of recipes that incorporate vegetables but don’t make it feel like you’re eating a salad all the time (BBQ cauiflower, chicken over cauliflower rice, zoodles pasta). I also try to get stir fry at work, Kowalski’s whenever I can (keeping an eye on the sodium)

    https://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/us/b/nutrition-programs/2bmindset

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I guess the ’water first’ is to fill you partly up. I’ll look at the website. Maybe I can count stir fry as a ‘warm salad’ as long as there is not too much oil in it. One of my issues with salads is that I don’t like cold foods too much.

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  2. I like seasonal eating. So salads are only from the spring to early fall (we live in the northwest), unless they are more like bean and potato salads. In the winter and late fall I eat more stir fries and soups. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years now, and it gets easier to want the healthy choice as you eat better. One of the benefits of local, seasonal eating is that the food tastes better when it isn’t overly processed or shipped from a long distance. I find that I no longer eat a tomato out of season for example… they have poor texture and no flavor.

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    1. Mixing in soups & stir fries sounds like a great idea! I need to check out the local farmer’s market when they start in the spring …

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