A lot of you are probably in the same boat as I am fighting off the holiday bulge. With so many sweets and other delicacies floating around the house and office and parties being held by family and friends, overeating can become an issue for even the most disciplined man.
A general rule I try to follow is eating well at least 80% of the time. I find that if I can manage this, my weight stays pretty manageable. Lately, I’ve taken to accomplishing this by eating more salads.
Now let me be real with you for a minute. I’m not a big salad guy. I avoid salad dressings because they are a bunch of empty calories and typically filled with soybean oil(no bueno for your testosterone levels), but then I face the issue of the salad being dry and rather bland tasting. To top that off, salads tend to be rather light and don’t keep me full for very long either.
So I set about creating a delicious salad that didn’t need dressing, was quick and easy to make (and clean up afterwards, was nutritious, and would keep me full so I’m not running to the snack machine thirty minutes after lunch. After some careful thought and a trip to the grocery store, I created a quick recipe for my lunches that surprisingly met all these criteria! Below, I’m going to show you said recipe and alternatives to meet your own preferences.
Fats & Protein
Men need a healthy dose of saturated fats in order for their body to create testosterone. On top of that, fat is incredibly satiating and improves the flavor of meals. I added a few sources of fats, both saturated and unsaturated to my salad to meet this macronutrient:
- Crumbled Feta Cheese – This cheese has a rather briny flavor that really gives the salad a kick. I typically would top my salad with a bit less than a quarter cup.
- Almonds – I went with salted and roasted almonds, but there’s plenty of different almonds you can go with. You can go with plain almonds or try something a little more exotic like wasabi flavored almonds.
- Eggs – Eggs are incredibly nutrient dense and also have a decent amount of protein to boot. No good salad is complete with a couple of hard boiled eggs added in.
- Your Meat of Choice – For my salads, I added a serving of grilled pork, but you can add whatever protein source you wanted. Seared steak, chicken, tuna, whatever suits your preferences.
Additional options: Avocados are a great source of health fats and nutrients that you can add to your salad. Also, if you absolutely MUST have some kind of dressing, you can’t go wrong with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. I found that my salad was so delicious that this wasn’t necessary.
Now that we got the heavier parts of the salad covered, we need, well…a salad!
To keep the carbs pretty low and nutrient profile high, I made the base of my salad a mix of spinach and baby kale. On top of that I added some shredded carrots and mushrooms.
You can also add other vegetables like diced onions, celery, tomatoes, etc., but I didn’t want to be messing with a ton of different ingredients so I kept it simple.
Once all the vegetables were put on the plate, the fats and proteins were added on top. Voila, your salad is ready for consumption!
While I haven’t taken the time to measure the calories and macro breakdown of this quick and easy lunch, I am reasonably sure it is under 600 calories. You can easily change the makeup of the salad to meet your own needs.
What I did notice once I began eating these salads for my lunches is that my energy leveled out pretty quickly, by the second day. I no longer experienced the dreaded afternoon crash and I wasn’t starving by the time I got home, both big wins in my book. I also noticed my stomach began to shrink pretty quickly without sacrificing any strength thanks to the copious amounts of fats and protein.
If you’re short on time during your lunch break at work, simply take a grocery bag with all the ingredients and leave them in the work fridge like I do. That way, all I have to do is grab a plate, whip up a quick salad and I’m good to go. The only cooking you’ll have to do is hard-boiling the eggs and cooking whatever meat you’re using beforehand. This should only take you 15-20 minutes in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon.
What other items can you think of to add to a salad fit for a king? Leave your suggestions in the comments below and keep on fighting the battle of the bulge this Christmas season!