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build the perfect salad(s) [Jan. 19th, 2013|11:44 am]
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[mocking0jay]
I'm really wanting to lose some weight and nothing I was trying last year was maintainable for me. I know the biggest part of the battle is my state of mind. But I thought something that would be easy is salads. I've already cut out sodas, fast food and fried foods but am not noticing a difference yet (my boyfriend has lost around 6 lbs already...damn men!!)

So if you had to eat salads straight for at least a week (not just lettuce-based) what would you choose? Bonus points for inexpense.

And what would you eat for breakfast? I'm not sure if I want to do fruit salads, blts and a piece of fruit or what. I'm not an egg fan so that's not great for me for breakfast.

And extra bonus points if some ingredients are workable into non-salad diets for my boyfriend. I'm thinking lots of grilled chicken.

Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: mocking0jay
2013-01-19 05:56 pm (UTC)

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That's why I considered blt's for breakfast. And ill probably have croutons on salads sometimes. But just not like biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, etc. And I want to at least do mostly salads and after I get in the groovve of getting used to eating more healthfully again do like brown rice with a stir-fry (which will mostly be steamed veggies) and stuff like that.

I just know I love salads and this would be easy for me to transition to. And it would be the same go-to type meal every day so meal planning would be easier, because that's part of my unhealthy eating problem too is the stress when I'm tired of not wanting to cook/not knowing what to cook.
[User Picture]From: vodkabeforenoon
2013-01-19 05:55 pm (UTC)

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Portion control is a big part of the battle.You can eat healthy and still gain weight or just maintain.

Sometimes all I do is eat salad because I love salad. I like mixed greens and spinach versus iceberg lettuce. Tuna, some sort of beans, Banana peppers, balsamic vinegar and a little Italian dressing. Plus purple onion and shredded carrots. That is what I usually eat for lunches and it always keeps me full till my next meal/snack. The protein is a key ingredient and tuna lite is decent protein but low in calorie.

I get lazy with breakfast so I like protein shakes with a cup of fruit, half a banana, a scoop of soy protein and some carrot juice. IF you want to do just fruit try eating it with a couple spoons of plain Greek yogurt. If you incorporate protein in all your meals you find that the habits will last than if you try to eat just produce.

Edited at 2013-01-19 05:56 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: mocking0jay
2013-01-19 06:01 pm (UTC)

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I'm definitely going to be eating protein too. The salds will include chicken, shrimp, etc. I have lost weight eating salads before.

And portion control is a lot of my problem. Plus carbs.
I don't have a blender for shakes. =/

I don't care for greek yogurt but did you mention that kind just because of the protein count? Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't even think about tuna and I love tuna.
[User Picture]From: vodkabeforenoon
2013-01-19 06:16 pm (UTC)

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I suggested the Greek yogurt because its high in protein and will keep you satisfied longer. You can also choose yogurt. But I do strongly suggest for long term success to include a significant amount of protein in all your meals/snacks.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2013-01-19 05:56 pm (UTC)

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Salads are pretty lame 24/7 for me but generally i enjoy my salads pretty plain (lettuce with meat) or with things like spiced pecans, goat cheese, roasted beats, roasted root veg, etc. I see a lot of people do taco style salad with black beans and corn and salsa here too. When i need to feel a bit better about my body, i do soups. I make them from scratch and i can make a billion flavors and theyre filling!!! there are tons of great 'diet' soups...that arent really diet.

I really enjoy oatmeals (with nuts, fruits, etc) or granolas with yogurt for breakfast.
[User Picture]From: mocking0jay
2013-01-19 06:05 pm (UTC)

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My problem with soups would be portions. And crackers. I eat canned veggie soups and might do those for lunch at work some.
Taco salads sound good. And I didn't think of oatmeal.
[User Picture]From: sblmnldrknss
2013-01-19 06:20 pm (UTC)

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Cook a big batch of soup, then freeze in individual portions. Only pull one portion out at the time. It would be difficult to eat beyond that portion.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2013-01-19 08:36 pm (UTC)

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Canned veggie soups are soooo boring and kind of bad for you generally (usually the sodium, etc) just cook a big batch, portion by measuring and freezing in either containers or baggies, and eat that!!!! I especially love blended veg with broth (ie: butter nut squash soup thats creamy and totally blended), it has a mouth feel like theres cream/milk in it but its really just broth blended well!!
[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2013-01-19 08:47 pm (UTC)

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Freezing homemade soups in portion-sized ziplock bags is one of my favorite food tricks! And they don't take up much space in the freezer that way.
[User Picture]From: wexdance
2013-01-19 06:08 pm (UTC)

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For salads I pretty much just throw together whatever's in the fridge; different kinds of lettuce, spinache, tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers, corn, carrots, red onions... I like to add pine nuts or something instead of croutons, and use balsamic vinegar for dressing.

Otherwise, diced avocadoes + tomatoes is delicious and very good for you. I also love a good caprese (tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese which I don't think is too bad if you don't overdo it), or a simple greek salad (I put iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red bell peppers, red onions, feta cheese and black olives in mine). Salad niçoise is yummy too but if you choose this please make an effort to buy sustainable tuna :)!
[User Picture]From: anthylorrel
2013-01-19 06:08 pm (UTC)

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I have a great low calorie meal I make that ISN'T salad. Basically, take 2lbs of chicken, a small jar of salsa, one medium yellow onion, and 2 bell peppers (one red and one green). Chop the chicken in to bite sizes pieces and place in a bowl. Slice the onion finely, and cut the peppers in to thin strips. Add the salsa, and a little bit of salt and pepper (won't need much) and mix well. Let this sit in your fridge for a couple of hours (I usually do 8 hours).

Preheat your large skillet to get it REALLY hot. Add a tbsp of oil to it and then add in the contents of the bowl. There will be a lot of sizzling. Stir every few minutes until the extra liquid is cooked down, and the peppers and onions are softened and slightly caramelized.

I like to eat this over some plain rice, but you could make it into a wrap if you want.
[User Picture]From: anthylorrel
2013-01-19 06:10 pm (UTC)

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Forgot to mention that this is chicken BREASTS.
[User Picture]From: velum_cado
2013-01-19 06:08 pm (UTC)

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You can pretty much eat anything and lose weight. It's all about burning more calories than you're eating. Some stuff I like in salads are: spinach, onion, broccoli, peppers, capers, olives, lentils, mushrooms, salmon, avocado, hard boiled egg... You can get pretty creative with them.

For breakfast, I like things like fruit, yogurt, granola bars, refrigerator oatmeal, and breakfast cookies. I tend to be at uni or placement when I eat breakfast, so I like things that travel well.
[User Picture]From: plasmic_slime
2013-01-19 06:31 pm (UTC)

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This is ALL OVER the UK at the moment and seems to work.
I havent read this specific article but you should get the idea
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/9781533/The-52-diet-lets-me-have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too.html
[User Picture]From: mr_sadhead
2013-01-19 06:32 pm (UTC)

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I can eat simple Caeser salads happily all the time.
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[User Picture]From: schexyschteve
2013-01-19 06:43 pm (UTC)

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Try chicken salad, with mashed avocado taking the place of mayonnaise. Sprinkle in some lemon juice, green onions, salt and pepper, and it's delicious.
[User Picture]From: crazy_alexy
2013-01-19 06:50 pm (UTC)

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A good key is to not rely on just the lettuce for your veg. Add peppers, mushrooms, carrots, whatever. Fruit too - fresh or dried - is a great addition, or even sesame seeds. You can add meat to it too. Variety is the best way to not get sick of salad quickly. Don't think of salad as boring, think of ways you can make a mixture of flavors.

And remember, there are a lot of varieties of lettuces too! http://localfoods.about.com/od/spring/tp/LettuceVarieties.htm
[User Picture]From: chaostrophy
2013-01-19 06:52 pm (UTC)

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Chicken, fish, lentils, steamed or baked veggies.
I like spring mix salads with corn, rinsed and drained black beans, pine nuts, imitation crab diced or shredded, some olives and a Tbsp of feta or bleu cheese crumbles. Even though you're having salad, don't gain all those calories back with a heavy dressing.
[User Picture]From: due27south
2013-01-19 07:45 pm (UTC)

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Well Idk how healthy it is or anything but my favorite salad is with avocado, tomatoes, and peppercorn dressing. The dressing probably kills it, eh?

Otherwise I love cutting up onion, cucumbers, and tomatoes and toss with a little bit of olive oil and then add salt/pepper for seasoning. So goooood.
[User Picture]From: vodkabeforenoon
2013-01-19 07:56 pm (UTC)

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Some fat is actually really good to absorb vitamins and minerals. I think if you put too much dressing is what would kill it. But you should be able to have your favorite dressing in moderation.
[User Picture]From: snooji
2013-01-19 07:54 pm (UTC)

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I'd be doomed and couldn't maintain my own diet with just salads! We're opposite. ;) Are we talking typical lettuce diets only though? The other day I recently made a shrimp, avocado, and mango salad. Top it with lime juice and oh so good.
[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2013-01-19 08:48 pm (UTC)

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Nuts and chickpeas are two of my favorite things to put on salads, because I need protein or I feel like I'm starving!
[User Picture]From: awfulbliss
2013-01-19 08:51 pm (UTC)

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This is a salad I make at home that is made at a restaurant I go to:

Romaine or mixed greens (frisee, iceberg, whatever), grapes, apples, gorgonzola, spiced pecans and a vinaigrette made of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. I add dijon and sometimes shallots to the dressing. It's really good. It's one of the few salads I can eat where I don't feel I need something on the side like a piece of bread or whatever.
[User Picture]From: cordelia_sue
2013-01-19 09:22 pm (UTC)

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Massaged kale makes a great, nutritious salad base. Chop or tear kale into bite sized pieces, drizzle it lightly with olive oil, then massage it with your hands for about three minutes. That will break down the cellulose and turn the kale tender and a bit sweet. Add a splash of acid (I like balsamic vinegar), a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and a nice finishing salt, and you're good to go as is, or you can add toppings.

I like quinoa salad a lot. I make a southwestern style one with corn, beans, chipotle, avocado, salsa, black olives, etc. Good stuff.

I'd have grains or soup for breakfast. Or a big plate of roasted veggies or something. I prefer non-traditional, savory breakfasts. I'm having soup for breakfast this morning.
[User Picture]From: zombiefruit
2013-01-19 09:37 pm (UTC)

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I would say don't eat salads 24/7 or even "most of the time" if eating salads is awful for you. Change your lifestyle in a way that's sustainable; otherwise you'll diet, then go back to eating crap and gain all the weight back. I'd say make changes you could handle living with.

In terms of salads, I really like the way it affects the texture when I have avocado in there, and adding a seed mix can help you get some nutrients that are otherwise difficult to get. Make sure you change it up a little. Also, my husband shaves courgettes (zucchinis) and it makes them delicious. They're raw when he does it. I HATE courgettes unless they're raw and in my salad.
[User Picture]From: greeneyedsadie
2013-01-19 11:34 pm (UTC)

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You can't just diet. That isn't sustainable and it won't work in the long term. Making yourself eat salads every day is just going to force you to gorge on bad food later. As of today I've lost 118 pounds, and I did it by cutting out junk food almost entirely, I hardly eat processed food anymore (flour/pasta/dairy exceptions), and I try to eat between 1200 and 1400 calories a day. I exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes each time. I've been working on it for 4 years now, and I used to be 400 pounds. I was 400 pounds for 7 years. Until October, I was over 300 pounds for 14 years.

It takes a total change in eating habits. Cook all your own food - don't buy food that has been made for you - know what you are eating in every bite of food. Eventually your body will acclimate itself to your eating patterns and it isn't as hard to keep up.

ETA: I still eat in restaurants maybe once a week, you can't avoid it entirely. But it doesn't make a big difference to your diet and health if you limit yourself.

Edited at 2013-01-19 11:36 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: mocking0jay
2013-01-20 01:45 pm (UTC)

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Firstly congratulations!!!

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I'm only 5 ft tall so I should only weigh around 100 lbs...I was already around 80 at age 8 so no telling wheen I last weighed 100. My heighest weight was 212 and I think at that point I was becoming diabetic.
I started losing weight back in 2009. I gained/lost/gained/lost again, never getting back to my heighest weight. And last summer I got down to 150. And it was SO HARD to maintain. I felt so awesome. I was exercising, drinking tons of water, eating healthy, watching portions, etc.
But I couldn't lose anymore. Then in june after graduating college, getting a different (still minimum wage job) and a lot of other changes, I was just stressed out and overwhelmed. I started to gain.
Then in september I got pregnant. Gained a little more. Lost the pregnancy in december, gained a little more.

I've lost a few of those last pounds but am currently just disgusted with my body. I can't fit into any of my clothes I got over the summer, and had thrown away all my big clothes. So it's been scrubs and yoga pants and tshirts everyday.

I can't even live on your calorie intake. Like I have to limit myself so much bedause I guess my body is just designed to need really, really few calories.

I read an article called "You are what your mother ate" or something, about how gestational nutrition sets your body up for the caloric expectancies of your future. Basically, if you get few calories in utero your body becomes designed to need fewer through your life. There was a lot more to the article, but I feel like this might be part of why I need so few calories. The over eating has to do with emotions. But I was fullterm and weighed less than 5 lbs at birth. My mom used to not have food to eat and weighed less after pregnancy than before. Not blaming, but it helps to understand that maybe I am just designed to need super low amounts of calories.

But its hard to train my brain to follow that idea.
I'm not just trying to diet. But I felt like starting off with salads might be a good way to kind of cleanse my body of all the extra junk I still haven't gotten out of it and get a fresh start to my weight loss.
[User Picture]From: failstoexist
2013-01-19 11:58 pm (UTC)

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This week I'm planning on many lunches of salad with spinach, red onions, dried cranberries, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, and some grilled chicken. I bought grilled chicken strips in a frozen package (Purdue brand) that you can thaw and heat up in a few minutes, or just toss in the fridge to thaw if you like them cold. They're delicious and easy to pack for lunch with salad without having to cook anything.

I also like spinach/romaine with some strawberries and/or mango, whatever veggies you like, and some protein. A little bit of fruit gives you some sweetness that's nice. I also use lemon or lime juice instead of salad dressing, which makes my salads extremely low calorie.
From: 234_am
2013-01-20 01:51 am (UTC)

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Now I'm looking forward to Dandelion greens in the summers.
All this salad talk!
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2013-01-20 07:21 am (UTC)

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While it is important to eat fewer fat-laden and sugar-dense foods, overemphasizing the inclusion or exclusion of particular items is doomed to failure because it is unmaintainable.

The key is to modify your diet reasonably, control portions, eat until you are satisfied, rather than full, and increase your activity.</p>

What it comes down to is that you don't diet, you embark on a lifestyle change. This is what Weight Watchers does, and it has been shown to be the most successful and lasting program for weight loss.

[User Picture]From: hipslikehell
2013-01-20 09:19 am (UTC)

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i can't believe no one has mentioned a smoothie for breakfast! i have one almost every morning- fresh fruit, and i throw a handful or two of spinach in there with some protein powder to make them extra healthy. :)