Greens, greens, good for the heart, the more you eat the more you ...

Baby spinach, torn red and green leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, chopped zucchini, cherry tomatoes, slivers of red-onion, black olives, grated Romano cheese, cracked black pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of roasted sunflower seeds. Add a side of seared salmon, lightly buttered roasted vegetables, and a crusty piece of bread and I’m in heaven.

Some might be inclined to dismiss “rabbit food” as fit only for dieters or hippie vegans, but I disagree. Nothing is as hearty and satisfying as a mountain of salad bursting with the bounty of the earth. It’s high time for meat and potatoes to be put in their proper place, on the side. Salad deserves the seat of honor on the main plate.

There is no other dish that allows you to eat your fill without paying the piper. At the end of an evening meal I prefer not to be rolled out on a wheelbarrow, esophagus scorched with refluxed acids, head aching from salt to rival the Dead Sea. Sure, you will likely “be moved”, but rapid bowel transit is a boon to ones health.

Salads can also be genuinely delicious when the mind and taste numbing combination of dead, lifeless ice-berg lettuce, mealy tomato slice, yellow cheese, and gelatinous “ranch” dressing are exiled from the dietary Garden of Eden. A multitude of lettuces, buttery, crisp, savory, and sweet are now available at your neighborhood grocer. Earthy roots like beets, carrots, and radishes supply an alkaloid twang. Curcubers, a family that can claim a multitude of squash, melons, and cucumbers contribute a refreshing crispness. Rich Umami mushrooms like shitake, maitake, and baby bella’s make for a meaty texture. Preserved vegetables like artichoke hearts, olives, pickled jalapenos, and hearts-of-palm can be used to balance a rich virgin olive oil. Fresher is better and there are no bounds to what you may mix together.

Variety is the spice of life and it is the key to incorporating salad into your daily fare. Eating filet every day would get boring too! Salad is what you make it, so get creative and switch things up. What is in season? What can you buy locally? What have you never tried before? Explore and expand your salad horizons for better health, more energy, and a happy belly.

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. Very delicious! Your description makes me want to eat fresh, savory arugula with shaved romano and a splash of basalmic vinagrette. You're right about salad being so versitile and satisfying.