Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trying KETO? Make a 2 Minute Salad your biggest meal of the day

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 I wrote a post about Mark Sisson's Big-Ass Salad several years ago and it's just as relevant today as it was then - if not more so.

Now that everyone is jumping on the Keto bandwagon, it's important to remember that vegetables are a big part of the Keto diet.  Dr. Westman, who is considered a major expert, suggests at least two cups of salad and a cup of some other vegetable every day.

For most people, adding more vegetables will not take them out of ketosis as veggies have very few carbs.  Even in the most stringent Keto plan you're allowed 20 grams of carbs and you can eat a lot of vegetables and still stay in those boundaries.

Vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are some of the best things you can eat. For more info check out Mark's post here.

And since when you're KETO or LCHF you want to be moderating your protein, it only makes sense to make your lunch mainly vegetables.  This way you can still have a good dinner and not eat too much protein overall.

Want to see how truly easy it is to make a salad your biggest meal of the day?  Just watch Mark's video and see how he puts one together in under 2 minutes.

Here Mark shows you how to make a chicken salad, but obviously you can use all kinds of other ingredients as well.  The problem most people have is running out of ideas, so here is a list to get you started ....

The base

 Choose from :

- mixed baby greens
- arugula
- baby spinach
- radicchio
- endive
- Boston lettuce
- Romaine lettuce

I usually keep three different options and find that is just right to last me a week. You will probably need to experiment a bit before you find just the right amount that you can eat before it starts going bad. 

And by the way, if you take a few minutes to repack your greens when you first buy them they will last a lot longer. I transfer all of mine into a large bowl, then wipe the moisture of the sides of the container. I line it with a long piece of paper towel, then put the greens back in layers, dividing the layers with more paper towel cut in half.

I usually end up with three layers, then overlap the remaining paper towel and close the container firmly before refrigerating. All this takes maybe three minutes, but using this method I've had my greens last sometimes for up to two weeks. 

Other Veggies to add

Choose from :

- sliced radishes
- cherry tomatoes
- sliced red onion
- sliced cooked beets (If you buy these in a jar it saves the mess of cooking yourself)
- brocco slaw mix
- cabbage and carrot slaw mix
- broccoli and cauliflower pieces
- sliced mushrooms
- sliced zucchini
- sliced avocado

Check out any supermarket or Farmer's market and you'll find tons of options. Keep these in separate small containers in your fridge, and only cut as much as you think you will eat in a couple of days or they will get mushy. I find preparing these twice a week is about right for me. 

The protein

Choose from :
- hard boiled eggs
- ham
- salami
- cold roast chicken
- cold roast beef
- cooked crumbled bacon
- cold cooked fish
- smoked salmon
- cold cooked tuna
- cooked crab, shrimp or lobster
- grated or chunked cheese
- almonds, walnuts or other favourites
- sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Again, have only what you can eat within a few days. It's safer to keep meat and fish frozen and just thaw what you need as you run out. (cheese,hard boiled eggs, and nuts and seeds can be kept a week or longer if properly contained.)  

Want still more ideas?  Here are a few example of easy protein salads ...

Seafood is always a great addition. You can use leftovers from yesterdays dinner, or, to make it really easy, buy a package of cooked shrimp and thaw when you need them.

In the summer when tomatoes are ripe and plentiful, there's nothing better than an Italian Caprese salad.  Just mix some chopped tomato, chopped mozzarella, and a few basil leaves, sprinkle with Italian herbs or just salt and pepper, and top with your favourite vinaigrette.


Make up two or three at the most because they don't keep for more than a week. 

The simplest vinaigrette is made with either lemon, orange or lime juice or some kind of vinegar mixed with extra virgin olive oil.  You can also add garlic and your favourite herbs to taste.  Just put it all into a container and shake.  Refrigerate until you need it then shake again before using.

You can also make a creamy dressing by adding a bit of whipping or sour cream or mayonnaise. I usually make both a vinaigrette and a creamy dressing on the weekend and then alternate during the week.

Mark Sisson has now come out with a mayonnaise that is very popular and rightly so because it's amazing.  It's available as both plain and a spicy version and is a great time saver. Check out his salad dressings as well.

Primal Kitchen - Avocado Oil Mayo, First Ever Avocado Oil-Based Mayonnaise, Paleo Approved and Organic (12 Ounce, 2 Jars)
Primal Kitchen - Vinaigrette Combo Pack, 1 of each
Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo with Avocado Oil (Paleo Approved)

So if you don't have time to make your own or just don't want to be bothered, try these.  They are a great alternative and you can feel safe knowing they're only made from good ingredients.

With a nice variety like this in your fridge eating a "big-ass salad" every day for lunch will be a habit you won't have any difficulty acquiring.  Even if the only protein source you have at the moment is eggs, you can still come up with a tasty salad as you see below - just leave out the corn and add some chopped nuts instead if you want more crunch.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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