I’m a really easy dinner guest. Hit me with a big salad and I’m good. Thing is, this isn’t dinner for most folks. Those folks are boring, and this is a great opportunity to lighten things up. In fact, I think that salad will make you hilarious. Here are a few ideas on that matter:
First Idea: If you don’t think that salad constitutes a proper dinner, then you need bigger salad bowls. I’m talking about the bowl that you use for popcorn, that’s the new salad bowl. Plates? Give me a break, of course plates are too small, and you’re chasing that damn piece of lettuce around as if it has legs.
Second idea: You’re too old fashioned. I’m not a big fan of traditions, or a conservative approach. It’s not inherently wrong, but I think that too often we default to tradition rather than seek opportunities for improvement. Dinner is one of those opportunities. The 7 course meal is a relic of state dinners and pretentious banquets. You need to impress me with what Mrs. Patmore came up with? Puhlease. I care less about which side Carson serves on and more about the conversation. You didn’t get the Downton Abbey references?
The caveat here is for the occasions that may actually require the time to dine. Those are magical moments, but they’re far and few between. I understand that food is deeply tied to our evolution, survival, and social constructs, but what we do together need not govern what we eat.
Third idea: Your salad lacks depth. If you don’t count salads as a meal, I’m betting that your version of a salad is some lettuce, ranch, and croutons. I wouldn’t want to eat that either.
Think of the leafy greens of your choosing as the base for other goodies. This is the epitome of a plant biased diet. Have your mixed greens? Toss in some peppers, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, beans, whatever you want. That’s still the base. Take that beautiful, nutritious bowl of veggies and give it some proper lovin’:
Fourth idea: You feel like your dieting. Since we developed enough that our own lifestyle factors are our biggest health risks, salads have been associated with diets.
Oh, you’re eating a salad? You must be on a diet. I’m sorry.
Seriously? These sad societal connotations that diets are bad, or that we can’t enjoy healthy food are tired and untrue, and a product of a society where that loves to not talk about the fact that 69.2% of adults are overweight or obese. Furthermore the fact that that statistic is not surprising to most people is evidence that we don’t have an education issue, we have a behavior and perception issue.
It may be that we haven’t put much thought into what we’re eating, or that we haven’t been taught to think about what we’re eating. In fact, I’d venture to say that most of the time we’re untaught our natural instincts involving food. Every time Grandma told you to finish what was on your plate because there were starving children somewhere in the world, you learned to ignore those feelings of satiety because, well, a goddamn plate is supposed to be empty, isn’t it?!
Eating a salad isn’t about dieting. Eating a salad is about giving your body the nutrients it needs to feel absolutely awesome. I’ve yet to find anyone who focuses on loads of vegetables over processed foods and doesn’t feel good. Anecdotally, that definitely works for me.
The best nutrition tips in the world aren’t about calories or macronutrient ratios, but about taking a sensible approach to eating towards our goals. What’s the best nutrition tip I can give you? Eat to support your overall goals. I highly doubt that eating more salads will hurt that, and strongly believe that it will help.
Plus, it may even make you laugh.