As you all know, I love a great salad! An integral part of my Beauty Detox System is having a huge salad at the start of every meal, because salads are superfoods packed with nutrition, essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber.
Still, not all salads are created equal. Just because it’s called a salad doesn’t mean it’s healthy. People’s definitions of salads have greatly expanded to now include all kinds of thing. It all depends on the ingredients you put in them. Just for fun, I spent a little while browsing salad recipes and discovered so many unhealthy doozies. The worst, I think, was the Snickers salad, which is made with cream cheese, Cool Whip, powdered sugar, apples, and Snickers bars. Another salad I recall from school potlucks still seems to be around, as well. It contains canned fruit cocktail and Cool Whip.
It’s obvious with the two salads I listed above that they aren’t really healthy, and I doubt including the word salad in the name of the dish is going to actually influence people into believing they are eating a healthful food. Some salad ingredients, however, may be a little subtler and more difficult to spot. Let’s look at common salad ingredients that make a salad unhealthy and discuss ways to increase nutrition. At a salad bar, you can easily make these swaps, and when eating at a restaurant, you can ask the waiter to make these modifications to accommodate you.
While most salads start out with fresh fruit or vegetables, they can quickly get out of control with some of these unhealthy add ins.
Croutons are a processed food. They are usually made from wheat bread, which contains gluten, as well as refined oils. Many also contain artificial colors and flavors, as well as salt, high-fructose corn syrup, and dairy products.
Try this instead: Looking for some nice crunch in your salad? Try a few tablespoons of raw almonds or crumple some gluten-free crackers or kale chips over your salad.
Commercial mayonnaise contains eggs, oil (often soybean, a polyunsaturated vegetable oil), salt, vinegar, artificial flavors, and usually some type of sweetener such as high-fructose corn-syrup. According to the Center for Food Safety, 91 percent of the soybeans in the United States are genetically modified. Genetically modified crops may pose real threats to human health – see my previous blog on the topic. Mayo is pure, gloppy fat that makes your body look the same. Not what we want!
Salads such as coleslaw and potato salad often use mayonnaise as a dressing, and many other salad dressings (ranch, bleu cheese, thousand island) are mayonnaise-based.
Try this instead: Use a little extra virgin olive, some raw apple cider vinegar, and chopped fresh herbs to top your salad. Instead of coleslaw, enjoy my healthy probiotic and enzyme salad!
If you’re looking for a creamy salad topping, try using avocado, lemon juice, water, and herbs in the blender or food processor, or make a simple raw tahini-lemon dressing.
Cheese is high in saturated fat, salt, and calories. Most cheese is made from dairy products, as well. One of the main problems with cow’s milk and products made from it is the main protein found in dairy: casein. Casein is notoriously difficult for humans to digest, and many people have sensitivities to the sugars in milk and cheese.
Try this instead: If you’re making the transition away from dairy, you may try swapping the cow’s milk products with a small amount (just an ounce) of goat cheese. You can also get a great cheesy flavor from sprinkling a little nutritional yeast on your salad, with the added bonus of pumping up your vitamin B12 intake.
4. Meat – bacon, ham, etc.
Meat adds fat and calories to salads. Likewise, processed meats like bacon and ham meats add chemicals, sugar, and salt. Adding bacon bits to a salad is one of the quickest ways to make that salad unhealthy. And the meat adds a heaviness to an otherwise light meal.
Try this instead: If you’d like a salty, umami flavor you get from bacon, try adding sautéed shiitake mushrooms to your salad instead, or sprinkle it with dulse flakes. If you want your salad to be bulkier, try adding seeds or a nut pate to it. You can even ask the waiter if they can top your salad with a veggie burger- no bun needed.
5. Cool Whip – Whipped Cream (fruit salads)
Cool Whip is a highly processed artificial food made from ingredients such as hydrogenated oil, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and other chemicals. Whipped cream is made from cow’s milk dairy (see discussion above). Neither are healthy and both have plenty of saturated fat and calories, turning a fruit salad into a high-fat nightmare.
Try this instead: Squeeze a little lemon on your fruit. If you really want something creamy, you can make whipped cream from full-fat coconut milk. Here’s how:
Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
- Place full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
- Drain off the liquid.
- Scoop the coconut cream solids into a chilled bowl.
- Using a chilled whisk or egg beater, whip until the coconut cream is light and fluffy.
Healthy and Delicious Salad Ingredients
So how do you make a healthy salad? Start with fresh, organic produce. Add any of the following ingredients for a healthful, delicious salad.
- Romaine lettuce
- Butter lettuce
- Bibb lettuce
- Microgreens and sprouts
- Bok choy
- Broccoli rabe
- Pea sprouts
- Sea vegetables
Chopped and Whole Veggies
- Bell peppers
- Squash blossoms
- Pea pods
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Artichoke hearts
- Nutritional yeast
- Chia (make sure to hydrate it first into a gel)
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Raw almonds
- Raw caraway seeds
- Fresh herbs
- Minced garlic
- Minced shallot
- Raw apple cider vinegar + lemon juice + nutritional yeast
- Organic lime juice
- Homemade salsa or pico di gallo
- Avocado mashed through the salad with lemon juice and herbs
i read your book over a month ago and it’s changed my life! i also tell everyone i know about it. i’ve made a ton of changes since reading it- taking probiotics, magnesium supplement, eating chia seeds, fruit on an empty stomach, eating probiotic & enzyme salad, having a green salad before lunch and dinner, giving up green tea for rooibos tea, and the list goes on! a few questions:
1) my magnesium is from the company twin labs. on the label it just says “magnesium” but on the nutrition label it says that it’s in the form of magnesium oxide. is that the right kind of to take?
2) in your article above, why do you say to soak the chia seeds to make a gel before adding it to the salad? i’ve been just sprinkling the seeds directly on the salad w/o soaking
3) i’ve weaned my 3 year old off of cow milk but she hates coconut milk and almond milk. we’ve still been encouraging her to drink almond milk but she doesn’t drink very much (maybe 1 or 1 1/2 cups a day). is that okay? i’m concerned that she might not be getting enough calcium. i try to make sure that she eats very healthily but still.
4) do you recommend a multivitamin for children?
you’re awesome! between dr. furhman and you, i’ve made so many positive changes in the life of my family. thank you!
Just be aware of “baby” carrots though! They’re dipped in chlorine to make them look fresh
Anyways, great article. Nuts/seeds, lemon and celery/dried tomato blended together makes a really tasty cheesy flavor.
Greetings in health Kimberly!
1. Congratulations on your smoothie bar I read you recently opened. I hope it goes ‘smoothly’ and am hoping to communicate with you about franchising (?). It’s been an idea I have. I’m on the east coast and am hoping I can connect with you about it.
2. What about all I’m reading about endotoxins? Is soaking nuts, seeds and oats, and is cooking quinoa enough to lessen any possible negative effects of these toxins which I understand cause leaky gut, etc.??
Thanks so much, in advance, for your time and response. And I hope you enjoy restful holiday season as well as a happy and successful New Year!
Great salad idea, thank you!
Thanks for posting this Kimberly! It’s really amazing how a huge plate of salad with lettuce and fixings can look colorful and healthy but trick you! Another tricky thing I’ve discovered to look for in salads is lettuce (such as iceburg) that may fill you up, but doesn’t have nearly as much nutritional value as kale or spinach or darker greens do. Why waste time filling yourself up with lettuce that isn’t doing you much good?
Thanks for the article. It never ceases to amaze me the garbage people put in their salads. As a vegan, and a follower of the Beauty Detox Solution (for the most part) it is pretty easy for me to follow these “guidelines.” However, I find myself taking close to an hour to assemble one salad…then it takes quite a while to chew through.
I have looked through your guidelines in the book and “unlimited” is really not all that helpful. Can you help me understand what you mean by a large salad? Maybe a comparison to athletic equipment or something would be helpful.
Can you also post an article about food preservation? If I could cut up my veggies for like 3 days at a time, that would be helpful. It’s just that whenever I do that, I usually end up throwing them away because they do not look very appetizing after a day or so. When I have tried freezing things like the veggie turmeric quinoa, it had a rather odd texture and an even stranger flavor. Maybe some dehydrator recipes?
For those of us with very busy jobs (like 10+ hours a day) it is really hard to find the time to prepare all of this food. I think it would be far easier to adopt this healthier lifestyle if it were a little less time consuming.
Notwithstanding, your book has absolutely changed my life. I feel like I am in total control of my weight and health (for the most part) and it is so liberating after having battled with my weight for the past 10 years. Thank you so much for all you do and God Bless and Merry Christmas! xoxo ~ Dana
great great great
Excellent and comprehensive article…..
Hi Kimberly.I recently read that a neurosurgeon has spoken out against eating nutritional yeast as he says it is a neuro “excitotoxin”.I gather it is bad for the neurons in our brains among other things.I dont know anything about this myself and would REALLY appreciate it if you could check into this new research and let us know whether you still recommend consumption of nutritional yeast. If you say its OK., I will resume using it in my salad dressings . l rely on your lifestyle advice and now have a vitamix,drink green smoothies and do yoga now. I obviously respect your opinion.
Hi, Kim! I was wondering if nutritional yeast is okay to eat on a candida diet. I’ve noticed some people saying it’s okay, whereas other people say to avoid it altogether. Any info is appreciated! 🙂
me encanto las alternativas que diste para el crouton, mayonesa, y la crema. tus ensaladas como siempre
extraordinarias. Quq bueno tener tu pagina en espanol, Gracias
Always love salad suggestions and these are excellent.
I wanted to comment that I finally watched your video on how to make the Probiotic Enzyme Salad. I hadn’t watched it before bc I thought it seemed to be way too complicated and daunting. So instead I opted to purchase it at the store. But I must say the price has gone up substantially over the past couple of years. I can’t wait to try making this at home myself now. It looks fairly simple. I’ll be making the pink salad as I love purple cabbage. One question though: do you rinse off the cabbage bf you shred it? I’m trying to figure out if I need to rinse off with purified water as we just have tap at the kitchen sink? (Also, if anyone else has any thoughts on the water issue, I’d love to hear and how your probiotic enzyme salads have turned out!) Super excited to try! Think I need to get back to eating these daily.
People often add too much salt in their recipes without realizing it until it’s too late, but do not worry. There is a way to fix this! Add two peeled and chopped raw potatoes to the dish, and then allow it to simmer for around 15 minutes. The potatoes help absorb the extra salt. For a dish that is tomato-based, just put a few more tomatoes in and let them cook until they’re tender. These will dilute the extra salt.”:
Look into our very own blog page too
Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your site in web explorer, could test this… IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big section of folks will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem.
So wonderful! I really like the earthy & classic tones with the wedding! I’m so stealing the succulent idea. Attractive bride, handsome hubby & bridal party. Remarkable pictures as constantly Tammy!
Love the ideas and the “Avonaisse” Dressing/Dip Recipe!!!! Plus all the other ideas to!
Yes! Finally someone writes about guillotined.