Yeah, salad isn't a choice of food for me, though I eat it from time to time... like this particular plate of food I had during a buffet dinner while traveling in Cebu City nearly two years ago (but that's not the last time I ate salad, I did eat a few servings since then). I know the importance of eating salads and I know the benefits that comes from eating it, but I admit preparing and eating salads isn't something that came to mind when I first embarked on a fitness/weight loss journey.
Like what I have expressed yesterday, even if I eat salads, it was something that didn't come natural. So, why the heck did I take on the journey to eat salads?
Well, when I was in La Union last January, my cousin and her groom hosted a lunch to dinner party at their place and served simple salad (lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers) with thousand island dressing. It was good, and while nibbling on the carrot slices, it dawned on me that I haven't really incorporated salads on my diet and thought it's not yet late to try it.
Going to the Sidcor Weekend Market one time felt like entering the gates of salad heaven with enormous produce available for sale. We did buy some salad greens, some cucumbers, and a bottle of Caesar Salad dressing, but out of the five times brother prepared salad, I only ate once. I have too many childish reasons - one of the servings didn't have carrots, the other one were all lettuce.... and yes, that only meant my heart wasn't really into it, just yet...
..until my blogger friend Madz of Pig-Out Sessions posted this on her blog. She is one of my weight-loss inspirations (I just admired how strict she was with her diet and exercise), and seeing this plate of salad just made me want to go back and try eating salads again.
While at the launch of Everyday Creations with Chef Greg Villalon and Mega Creations Premium Sardines, my friend Vance prepared this salad as part of her lunch (obviously, I didn't prepare one for myself) and offered me a bite. I declined her invitation, but when she prepared her second plate (which she added parmesan cheese and a random vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing) and offered me another bite, I decided to taste it, and oh my geez, it was delicious!
Last Saturday, my sister mentioned of going for a detox this week. Since it is the Holy Week and part of "experiencing Jesus Christ's sufferings" was to give up one or two things us Catholics are very used to. When my father was still alive, we were asked to give up computer and Internet, but when he died, mom wasn't so strict about it anymore. This year, I took the initiative to experience this, and while I can't give up computer and Internet (as my job is Internet dependent), I decided to partially give up rice (meaning I will only eat rice during lunch), and letting go of meats (chicken, pork, beef). Part of the experience is to incorporate salad into my diet, too.
When I took on this challenge, I told myself I will only eat salad for dinner, but because the salad greens won't survive the whole week in the fridge, I decided to eat salad for lunch, too. Yesterday, I just had a very simple salad - lettuce, cucumbers, and grated cheese (just 1 tablespoon) with Caesar salad dressing and for dinner, I had this Kani Salad (pictured above). I actually forgot to put in carrots, but adding mango into my salad was quite a revelation.
For today's lunch, I had another round of salad - lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes (seeds removed), salad dressing, and mashed half of salted egg. I only added 2 tablespoons of Caesar salad dressing (so far this is my favorite dressing) because I read somewhere that sometimes, it is the dressing that makes the salad not-so-healthy or something like that... and I only added half of the salted egg because the dressing already has eggs in it. Although eating salads seem healthier, I gotta watch the calories, too.
I am surprised that I am not rebelling against the salad yet. Actually, I am very happy that I have taken the initiative to try liking salads, because I am enjoying eating them. Some random reasons why Salads make me happy:
- It surprisingly makes me full even before I finish my plate of salad.
- I sustains me until the next meal - no cravings for in-between meal snacks.
- I don't know, but it does make my breath feel fresh. I guess eating fresh, raw ingredients was the reason for that.
- My digestive system is thankful. :) Well, when I started this journey, my body had a very bad reaction to fibrous food, which was why I let go eating whole wheat bread and oatmeal. My digestion is very okay ever since the diet adjustment, but because I ate more meat, processed food, and I eat out more often since last year, somehow... eating salads shook up my digestive system.
- It makes me want to go through all our culinary magazines just to find different salad recipes.