Salads are an essential part of my day. I usually have a huge salad at lunchtime that fills me up and keeps me satisfied until dinner. My secret to constructing the perfect salad is to combine six elements:

  1. The Greens: I put at least 3 cups of greens in my salad – usually a blend of a lot of different leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, romaine for crunch, arugula and chard.
  2. The Veggies: I add all sorts of added veggies to my salads…usually a combination of mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, celery, fresh jalapeno (I love spice!) and whatever else I pick up at the farmer’s market on Sundays.
  3. The Fats: I always put at least 1/2 of an avocado in my salad. I try to eat an avocado a day (it’s the new apple!) because of the healthy fats and fiber. I also like to add cheese – my go to cheese is usually goat cheese, however I’ll mix it up with feta or fresh mozzarella.
  4. The Protein: I like to add lean proteins like chicken or steak, or sometimes diced deli meat like ham or turkey breast, to hit my macros. I usually don’t choose fatty cuts of meat because I get plenty of fat from the avocado, cheese and salad dressing.
  5. The Crunch: I usually top my salad off with bacon bits, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds – just for some added texture, fiber and more good fat!
  6. The Dressing: No lowfat dressings over here! Make sure to read your labels because many salad dressings have added sugar and unhealthy oils. Look for those without added sugar and preferably made with avocado or olive oil (stay away from those made with canola or corn oils).

And there you have it! What do you like in your salads to keep you satisfied and hit your macros? Please share in the comments below!