The healthy-eating secret you’ve never heard of
Settled into the restaurant booth, my friends were talking around me as I feigned attention. Really I was hosting a frequent and familiar debate with myself:
Salad or…anything else?
Like so many moments before, I found myself envying “the salad eaters,” those mystical creatures who seemed to enjoy chewing on cold lettuce and veggies. My mother was one of these people, forever choosing the most colorful salad on the menu every time we went out. She made the decision seem so effortless–so easy.
It was as if she preferred the healthy choice.
I, on the other hand, eyed salad bars with skeptical mistrust. I found lettuce to be…watery. I was consistently bored halfway through a salad, and then immediately starving once it was finally consumed.
But like a good girl who understood the basics of healthy eating, I diligently ate my salads with discipline the way a person flosses or takes the stairs instead of the elevator. I’d resigned myself to a lifetime of forced salad-eating in the name of health, figuring that my future self would thank me.
But then a surprise…
I’m not sure how it happened exactly, though I know it wasn’t one specific event but rather a series of changes over a period of time. But at some point I realized that without even trying, I’d become a mystical “salad eater.”
Only it wasn’t the kind of salad I was used to.
And so now we come to the reason you’re still reading this article. Here’s the part where I share the secret to eating healthy that you’ve never heard of.
The secret is Hot Salad.
As it turns out, I love salad. I love green leafy veggies heaped onto plates with colorful and crunchy counterparts. I love them so much that eating them everyday isn’t a chore at all; I actually prefer it.
The difference, surprisingly, is all about the temperature.
Specifically, I like what happens to veggies when they’re roasted, grilled, and steamed. And if it’s leafy, I universally prefer it to be the kind that can take a little heat. Like kale, for instance. And spinach. And cabbage.
Here’s where the “hot” part of the hot salad deviates from regular salad: when my coworkers, for instance, are pulling out their homemade salads for lunch, I pull out mine as well. Except instead of immediately jumping in with a fork and dressing, I head to the microwave and heat my salad for about 2 minutes.
This extra step creates some kind of happy alchemy whereby my greens soften, my flavorful toppings meld together, and my salad transforms into something more like a hearty, comfy casserole than like a…salad.
You can see why this would be appealing.
Two years after accidentally discovering this trick, I’m still eating hot salad almost every day of the year. The exceptions are days when a crisp, cold salad sounds wonderful. Like in July. (Note: this salad is still never built exclusively on iceberg, romaine, or spring mix. I. Just. Can’t.)
And the best part: I don’t have to work at eating healthy. It’s natural. It’s easy.
Curious to learn more? Good, because there’s actually a satisfying little formula for hot salad and I’m sharing it right HERE.