My Salad Days

One of my goals for this week is to have 1/2 cup of leafy greens per day. And pureed in a green drink doesn’t count.

I’ve tried this before, you know. When I was 29 years old, I had a goal to learn to eat salad by the time I was 30. At the time, I was attending a Wednesday evening church service, and there was a dinner beforehand. Two children from the church were making me a salad each Wednesday, and then I’d doctor it up with “good stuff” like bacon, croutons, boiled eggs, meats and plenty of honey mustard dressing. Each Wednesday, I’d eat one more bite that the previous week. I made it to three or four bites, and then I turned thirty, when I proclaimed,”Wait, I’m 30 now. I don’t HAVE to eat salad if I don’t want to!”

The difference in then and now is remarkable. Then, I took a bunch of stuff that I didn’t like and smothered it with tastier but far less healthier toppings. Now, some 15 years later, I’m trying new things and incorporating what I like into the salad. And yes, the salads are small, but I’m learning to like what I’m eating and hope to add to it, both new ingredients and the amount of what I am eating.

It’s a work-in-progress, for sure. The first day or so, I topped lettuce with my quinoa pilaf and heated it a little to soften the crisp. When I mastered that, the next couple of days I got a grilled chicken salad at Chick-Fil-A. The first day, I just wrapped lettuce around the chicken and ate it, but then moved to eating it with a fork like a normal person. Last night, I actually made a little salad consisting of romaine, cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, pomegranate arils and grilled shrimp. Following is what I made on Saturday, as well as proof that I ate it all.


Right now, I like a mix of fruit and vegetables, as well as the addition of a lean meat. As well as raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, on the side, of course. I also like the dark green romaine leaves, in little bited-sized pieces, not the crispy lighter leaves. This week, I hope to try to replace the lean meat with one of my red quinoa burgers or perhaps even some seasoned tofu; tomorrow, though, I’m going to a lunch meeting at Longhorn, and I’m actually excited about trying their Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad.

BTW, nutritionist Traci has been saying all along that she wasn’t going to release me until she and I ate a salad together. I suppose we’re getting a little closer to that day, but until this week, I told her that she’d be stuck with me for life.

In closing, I looked back at the early entries on this blog, and I think this quote froma post titled “What Will I Eat?” sums up the changes I have made in just 10 months, “…And I need to learn to eat some vegetables, which scares me. I generally only like the high-carb veggies, which I suspect will be limited. I know I can make this work, though.”

2 comments to “My Salad Days”
  1. I check off “eating greens” when I have a lettuce leaf on my sandwich. Although better than none at all, I really like your idea of a half cup minimum!

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