Did you know America wastes more ketchup than the rest of the world consumes? Just think about this insane thought. I remember reading this over 5 years ago and it never quite left me.
For the first time in human existence, we have more food than we know what to do with. We waste it! No longer do we hear of starving countries or starving street kids. Food has now become a given.
And in the shadow, of this abundance of food, a pandemic is taking over the world! No, I am not talking about the Kardashians. What I am talking about is a phenomenon were most societies in the world are “Overfed and undernourished”.
You see, not all foods are created equal. Some foods are more nutritious than others. By nutrition, I mean a focus on Vitamins, Minerals and fiber.
Vitamins and minerals act as catalysts for your bodily functions. Supporting immunity, metabolism, growth, and digestion. Without them, our body operates below its capacity. We are unable to maintain our natural processes.
In today’s diet-obsessed age we only focus on Carbs, Fats, and Proteins. These form what are called macronutrients. All food is a mixture of these macronutrients.
What we should also focus on are our micronutrients. These are our vitamins and Minerals.
So when we plan our meals, we should think beyond how tasty something is or how filling something is. We need to look at how nutritionally dense the dish is. A plate of idli or rice cakes, for example, is definitely filling but does almost nothing with regards to the nutrition you get from it.
One of the best ways to aid your daily dose of nutrition is to make a large bowl of salad a compulsory meal everyday.
Often salads are the things you push to the side to get to the main meal! You know what I mean, that silly twig of lettuce and a few sliced cucumber and tomatoes. But here I mean replace at least half a meal with a salad.
There are three main reasons a salad is essential for all of us
It is packed with leaves and vegetables that are full of vitamins and minerals. Essential for the body to thrive.
Packed with fiber to help keep your mornings regular. A good bowel movement sets us up for a good day. Fiber also helps in making you feel full and satiated.
The fats from the salad dressing are amazing. They help form our brain, our nervous system, and our cell membranes. Olive oil is packed with Omega 3.
Every day I will have a salad ready for me at home or I will order one in from specialist salad stores like Bombay Salad Co.
The salad that I make at home has the following ingredients. Take note and use the same ones, I have narrowed down on these after a lot of research.
The leaves I use are rocket or arugula, spinach, fennel. You can add kale if you are a fan, but always lightly steam it first. Never use iceberg lettuce, it is mass-produced and has almost no nutrient value. To add bulk to the salad I add some finely chopped cabbage sometimes as well.
Next, I add grated carrots, grated beetroots, and sliced radish or mooli. All are super root veggies.
Broccoli is steamed and added to the salad.
Then the nuts, almonds, and walnuts only! No peanuts or cashew.
The seeds I use are flax, toasted sesame and if it is a dinner salad I add poppy seeds. Poppy seeds help with sleep and are legal so, yay!
So these ingredients form the base. These ingredients are in line with almost every diet or eating modality, Vegan, paleo, keto, low carb.
Now to this salad, you add your protein components if you are a non-vegetarian. A few boiled eggs chopped up. Or some roasted chicken shredded on the top. You can put some.
The dressing is made using olive oil as the base. I add dried herbs like oregano, thyme, basil. Then I keep changing the acid for variety, I switch between apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and tahini. But never ever ever use store-bought dressing.
Store-bought salad dressings are a hidden source of sugar. Many also use some rubbish oils like canola to keep costs down.
Salads can be prepped days in advance as well. So you can make enough salad for 3 days and put it in the fridge. Just remember to add the dressing only at the time of eating it.
So your simple habit to get the nutrients needed from your food is to start with eating a salad a day. Either order in from a trusted restaurant. Or buy the ingredients and prepare the salad yourself.