Do You Even Salad?

By: Janine Serio


What is satisfying, chock full of vitamins and minerals, and helps you “Strive for 9?”


I have always been a salad guru but I went through a period of time where I was just NOT SATISFIED. I was bored with it. I was under the impression that I had to “strictly” eat lettuce, vegetables, and top with dry chicken breast in order for it to be healthy. No croutons, no cheese, no dressing, no fatty cuts of meat. Umm, no fun!? Needless to say, this left me hungry and moody, and I found myself reaching for “all the snaxx” shortly after. 

Within the past year, I have reintroduced salads back into my “diet.” It was two-fold; I was struggling with getting in enough vegetables and I was determined to make “this” WORK” (ala satisfaction). Don’t get me wrong, up until this point, I would still have them a handful of times per week but I would always want to find other ways to get my veggie-protein fix.  

So, what did I do? Enter in ALL the healthy fats, dressings (homemade & clean, when possible of course), and proteins that I liked. The goal was to implement, monitor my hunger, energy, & cravings, and see how it affected my overall physique. I would adjust accordingly if I felt it still wasn’t enough or if I felt it was “too much.”

What I found out was pretty cool; actually pretty awesome! I regained my love for salads, felt tighter and leaner than ever before, and my satisfaction factor was through the roof. Guess what, no more snacking! In fact, I even came to the conclusion that my body thrives on healthy fat, protein, and veggies…and I am not talking baby portions either. Here are a few of my favorite go-to’s:
 Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken
Cobb Salad – Sans Blue Cheese (add Feta, of course)
*Fun Fact: This is the famous McCarthy Salad from the Beverly Hill’s Polo Lounge

Mixed Greens with Ahi Tuna & Wasabi Vinaigrette (nice touch with the eggs too

 Greek Salad with SALMON (my jam)

Beyond the greens and vegetables that I seek out (think romaine, spinach, cucumbers, mushrooms, on occasion, shredded carrots, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, steamed broccoli & cauliflower, etc.), here are some of the ways I “amp” up the protein, healthy fat, and satisfaction factor in my salads:

~8 oz. of grilled chicken, salmon, ahi tuna, or filet mignon; not opposed to turkey, pork, or other types of fish (I welcome the change) but these are my “usual’s.”

Feta Cheese



Pumpkin Seeds


Applewood Smoked Bacon

If I am looking to add a little more starchy carbohydrates, I will add a little corn, quinoa, or some butternut squash.

As for dressing, I tend to gravitate towards vinaigrettes but a homemade “ranch” is always a nice change up!

In the big picture, these are “little rocks.” Mind you, I am not advocating that having copious amounts of bacon, cheese, ranch dressing, etc., are super healthy; BUT they are healthy enough, for me, to stay satisfied, stay on point with my nutrition, and never feel deprived. This works for me. Yes, I can have some avocado, bacon, and cheese – with a side of dressing – on my salad and stay lean. For others, this may not be the case. Do your own investigating; see what works and what may not. Write your own nutrition rules!

Honestly, it’s been kind of fun concocting new salad “recipes.” Before I forget, I need to give a little lovin’ to a favorite of mine… 

When I am dining in, I use my handy, dandy “OXO Salad Chopper” to get my “chopped salad on.” Gotta’ give a shout-out to this kitchen gadget that I could not live without! This tool is AHH-MAZING; I highly recommend purchasing. Loads of greens and vegetables become more palatable and easier to consume when chopped all nice and purdy! 🙂 I mean, seriously! Who wants to be eating big, leafy romaine stalks anyway?


So, whether you are dining in or dining out, I ask again…


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