Let’s talk salad. I eat a lot of salad. I love salad. I love the tastes, the crunch, the variety, and I will admit that I love that I can eat a lot of it for a few calories. I am not far enough along on my journey to a healthy relationship with food that I don’t still desire to feel like I’m eating a lot, feeling full.
Most days for lunch, I have a salad. Not everyday, but most days. It’s easy, convenient and lovely in the Summer. I start with a base of lots of lettuce – usually romaine. I add a couple tablespoons of salad dressing – I make my own or I buy one without hundreds of calories. Then I will add some other vegetables – celery, bell pepper, tomato and green onion are some of my favorites. Sometimes I’ll add canned or bottled other things as well – hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, beets. Finally, I add my favorite thing – protein! Meat! I love meat. I use canned tuna and chicken, leftover meat from dinner, chicken breast strips, lunch meat, ham. It’s all good.
This is what a usual salad looks like along with the calories.
So, the other day, we were at Walmart at lunch time and I wanted a quick, convenient lunch. I let the boys pick out some Lunchables – bleh! They enjoyed it. I decided to get a packaged salad – I was kind of excited about it – different flavors, all calories counted for me. So I started looking. There were three ranges – small, medium and large. Pretty much three flavors in each size – cobb, chef and southwest. I looked at each of them and eventually chose the smallest. It only had 190 calories which is much less than I usually have at lunch. It tasted pretty good, mostly due to the creamy, Ranch dressing I imagine. I do miss creamy dressings – cannot justify those calories. Anyway, the medium size was barely bigger than the small size and had 50 more calories. Here’s the kicker, the large size which looked to me to mostly just be more lettuce and a bit more toppings was 540 calories! I am not going to spend that many calories on a store-bought salad. Arg. I have no idea what jacked up the calories so much – dressing? a bit of creamy dressing?
From now on, unless I’m desperate, I will stick with my own salads.