Omg it’s like, almost summer. Time for salads and smoothies until you can’t see straight but you’re like, super fit and skinny. But heading to the salad bar or opting for the fast food power salad isn’t necessarily the best choice. We all have a tendency to overindulge, add too much shit, or not add enough good stuff. If you’re going the salad route because your beach bod is more reminiscent of a Pillsbury mascot’s than a fitness Instagrammer’s, it may be time to take a hard, investigatory look at what you’re putting in your salad and how you’re sabotaging your bod.
1. Croutons, Wontons, And Tortilla Strips
I know a little handful of toasty, crunchy bread snacks doesn’t seem that bad, but anytime you’re adding on croutons, wontons, tortilla strips, or another deep fried (or even baked) bread snack, you’re adding empty calories. They’re literally just unhealthy carbs in every case, and they greatly up your caloric intake. Just say no to bread (unless it’s pizza).
2. Dried Fruit
Sugar central. Dried fruit can be great when pooping isn’t happening (much love, apricots and prunes), but topping your salad with shit like dried cranberries or raisins is raising the sugar levels. Just a ¼ cup of Craisins has 29 grams of sugar. Way harsh, Tai.
3. Creamy Dressing
No surprise here, but if you’re layering on the ranch, creamy Italian, or really anything that isn’t oil and vinegar, your salad just became hundreds of calories heavier. A lot of creamy dressings use mayo or cream as a base, which, isn’t as healthy as say, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Try making your own with Greek yogurt or just sucking it up and not layering lettuce with blue cheese dressing, you unhealthy fuck.
4. Nuts And Seeds
Yes, adding a handful of walnuts or almonds boosts the healthy fats in your salad, but adding more than ¼ cup of nuts or seeds can sabotage your diet big time. Keep in mind that healthy fat is still fat, and a ½ cup of walnuts is like, 190 goddamn calories. Sunflower seeds? Just ¼ cup has 186 calories. Stay woke, fam.
Like we said, healthy fats are still fats. Adding four to six slices of avocado to a salad may not seem like a lot, but it’s almost half of an avocado, weighing in at about 115 calories. On the flip side, this is one of the healthiest toppings you can get for nachos, so it really just depends on your situation.
6. Iceberg Lettuce
If you eat Iceberg lettuce, you’re trash. I’m not even sorry. Who goes out of their way to get this shit when you have the option of non-contaminated Romaine, beautiful artisan spring mix, kale, spinach, and our bestie, arugula? Garbage people do. This has no flavor, is mostly water, and, yeah, has like no calories, but it sucks in every way. Fuck you, iceberg lettuce. Stop ruining America’s salads.
Yo, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have had to add this, but I did. Yah, you’ll get some extra calcium (strong bones AMIRITE), but half a cup of cheese is like, 250 calories and 20 grams of fat. That’s gonna go right to your thighs, which are already causing some chub rub, aren’t they?
9. Getting The Biggest Bowl
Not a food item, but heading to the salad bar and grabbing the biggest bowl or plate you see and LOADING it with shit isn’t going to help your arteries. Opt for a medium size or even a small bowl or plate, then go for seconds if you’re really THAT hungry.
10. Eating Only Lettuce
If your goal is to be hungry in two and a half hours, grab a bowl and load it with only lettuce and cucumbers, then top it with straight vinegar. That isn’t going to keep you full for very long (and probably tastes very sad). You can add some of the things on this list—like nuts and seeds and avocado—just in moderation. It’ll keep you fuller longer, i.e. you’ll borderline forget about the trash bag of popcorn in your desk or the gummy worms you found on the floor that still look okay.
Images: Giphy (7)
Is it Fall yet? Every time July/August hits we all become destined to repeat how much we miss sweaters and blankets and pumpkin spice lattes and scarves. We also greatly miss things like cheese, carbs, and hearty-ass shit that we can eat and get away with since layers are in. However, during summer, salads with lemon spiked drinks and like, a lot of alcohol are par for the course, so we say make a meal that you’ll actually enjoy eating. While eating a salad can sometimes feel like literal torture, we guarantee that this summer salad does not fall into the usual this-tastes-like-dirt-but-I-need-to-power-through vibe that most salads give off. Plus, it’s packed with so many toppings it’ll feel like you’re being bad without actually being bad and gaining 10 lbs. When we combine arugula with citrus and skrimps, we feel better than everyone else. We adapted this recipe from the NY Times,but made it easier for those of you who fucking suck at cooking or just like, don’t have time to pay attention to food and shit.
· 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
· 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
· Red pepper
· 1 tsp smoked paprika
· 2 tbsps olive oil
· 2 tbsps plus 2 tsps fresh lemon juice
· Salt and pepper
· Mint leaves from one bunch
· Basil leaves
Preheat the broiler in your oven and move the rack as close as possible to the heat on top. Grab a big oven proof skillet and put it on the stove. Turn the heat to looooow. Grab your skrimps and combine them with the garlic, red pepper (honestly, however much you want or don’t want), paprika, salt and pepper to taste, 2 tbsps of the olive oil, and 2 tspsof the lemon juice.
Stir that shit until it’s all combined. Turn the heat on the skillet to high, and when it starts kind of smoking (SCARY), throw in the shrimp. Shake the pan a few times so all the shrimp get some attention, then put the skillet in the oven. The shrimp will be done in about 3-4 minutes, so keep an eye out unless you want some chewy sea-spiked bullshit.
While that shit cooks, chop up about a third of the mint and about half of the basil and set it aside. Tear up the remaining leaves and throw them into a bowl with the arugula where they can get to know each other. Grab another bowl and mix together the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice.
When the shrimps are done, use a slotted spoon to put them on a plate. In a bowl, add whatever juice is at the bottom of the shrimp skillet to the lemon juice and olive oil mixture and stir. Drizzle over the arugula and herb mix and toss. Arrange the shrimp on top and garnish with any leftover herbs.