September Salads: The Wrap Up

I've been stalling to write this post. I don't know why. It just seems like it's so over due and I got kinda bored with writing about salads. Honestly I thought I might just scrap this wrap up. However it's important that I do this post. I need to learn to follow through better. Plus I need to keep a record of what I learned through the whole process.

SO here I go...

I can't really remember what salads I ate the last few days or so of the challenge ( I know the picture above was from that time & it looks like the most unhealthy salad I ever made). I think there was a chinese chicken salad in there and a few that I whipped up from stuff I had on hand in the fridge or pantry. Anyway that is actually not the important part. What is important is that the day after my challenge was over I didn't eat a salad and I ate well over 2000 calories (I keep track with My Fitness Pal). I didn't think I had eaten that bad but I think the total was around 2250. I also went over on my sugar intake by about 120 grams. YIKES! That's bad. That week I was so sick of eating salads I didn't eat a single one. And... well... I gained two pounds.

*I want to say first and foremost that I did NOT do this to loose weight. I did this to add in more fruits and vegetables and to be all around a little more health conscience. So weight was not really an issue for me. I'm not bummed that I gained a couple pounds. It's just interesting to me.*

So this is what I learned. Of coarse results may not be the same for everyone but this is what happened with me. By replacing one meal a day with a healthy salad (I'll revisit this in a minute) I lost weight (unintentionally). I had way way more energy. I was motivated to exercise more. I did not exceed a 2000 calorie a day diet ever (the amount of calories I should have while breast feeding) and my GI track symptoms decreased.

So what did I do the week after the first week in October? The week I went anti-salad? I started eating salads again. Not every single day. About 3-5 days out of the week. I'm not going to be crazy about it. However the results are there and I know the benefits.

Now what do I mean by "Healthy Salad"? Well not all salads are created equal. I'm not talking a salad smothered in ranch dressing loaded with cheese and topped with bacon. No no no. That would be the wrong way to go. My advise? Stick to the serving sizes. I love poppy seed dressing. Is it the healthiest choice? Probably not. The serving size on the side of the bottle is 2 table spoons. That is a ton of dressing! So I use half that. I love croutons. The serving size I believe is 6 croutons.  That seems reasonable. I don't go over it. When making salads at home I use 1-2 cups of greens. Then I add as many plant based toppings that I want. All other add ins I go by serving size. I never go over. A lot of times I use less. When eating out I order the half size (if they offer it) dressing on the side (they always but way way too much) and if possible half cheese. So if you are thinking about doing a salad challenge yourself those are my tips for you.

Now I will never ever utter the word salad on this blog again. I give you my word. Unless you have any questions. Feel free to ask!

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