EATING SALAD EVERYDAY (My Love/Hate Relationship With Salad)

I’ve always hated salads with a passion. The cold sloppy-tasting grass makes me angry to consider eating at all, let alone every day. Little did I know, most people (including me) don’t know what a great-tasting salad tastes like.

I was in for some schooling.

How could people choose a salad when there’s so many amazing things on the menu.

Fast forward to early 2016 in Bali Indonesia.

I’m in Ubud, arguably the best place in the world for healthy eating.

I look around at people choosing to eat salad and genuinely enjoying it. I appreciated their penchant for healthy eating but couldn’t fathom how to do it myself.

I never learnt healthy eating habits growing up so as an adult, the moment my wallet grew fatter, so did my waistline.

Nowadays as a nomad living anywhere in the world, one of the first things I understood is that every place eventually gets to you. Ubud was no exception. Watching everyone else eat well and not feeling motivated to eat healthy myself started getting to me.

If I couldn’t love eating healthy here, then I’ll never be able to learn.

But there was a problem. I had done the yo-yo ‘killing myself’ dieting before and I was never going to do that again.

I wanted to figure out how to love the food I was eating.

I refuse to do it just because it’s good for me. I’d never keep it up that way. Food is an irreplaceable part of my life and I could not eat anything long-term that I did not enjoy.

And so I thought I’d make a deal with myself that the next meal I would order would be a salad.

The Everyday Salad That Schooled Me (aka The Gateway Salad)

No part of me was excited about ordering a salad but I wanted to see what great salad even looked like. I actually had no idea. I fully expected to hate it.

When it finally came, this is what it looked like (from Watercress in Ubud):

warmsaladwatercress

To my surprise, it actually looked decent. And tasted good. It was warm. I didn’t hate it. It hit the ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ spot I expect good meals to hit.

It was nothing like the salads I had ever known.

Hmm…

I walked away feeling schooled. I had made a good decision with food and I didn’t have to sacrifice taste for it.

How interesting…

I went home and waited for the normal bloated feeling I get after most meals. It didn’t come.

That felt even better.

My Deal With Myself To Try To Lose Weight With Salad

Then I made myself another deal just to see what happens. Just one meal a day, I would try eating salad.

 

All other meals I could eat whatever I wanted. I refused to miss out on anything but I would add salad to my diet.

 

Sounded easy enough.

 

I looked at other places in Ubud, Balu for good salads and boy was I surprised! All of them tasted freakin’ good!

 

bestwarmsalads

 

A couple of days of trying this out, my body started craving salad. I started getting excited about my salad meals just as much as my other meals. 

 

It was such a weird feeling.

 

Very soon I naturally started gravitating towards the salads for other meals as well. I avoided my craving tendencies for bad food because I could always eat badly if I wanted to – without guilt.

 

Most of my meals became salad by accident.

Not Killing Myself On Eating Salad Every Meal

Best of all it didn’t take much effort and it didn’t make me sad. I wasn’t eating salad and fantasising it was something else.
It really felt great to love eating well.

 

The most important thing for me is that I didn’t hate what I was eating. I’m done with yo-yo dieting and hating every second of it. No more.

 

If I want something else healthy, I’ll go out and get soup. If I want to eat badly, I will.

 

I’ll never be a full-time salad-ite because I love other food too much. I’ll never pick salad over my Dad’s curry for example. It hits a spot of being home that salad never will.

 

Not to mention a traditional carbonara without cream (rare to find) or brownies/macaroons or a decent BBQr ribs or an amazing burrito. The list goes on…

 

deenandeatingcake

 

But I figure as long as I tip the scales of eating well most of the time, it’ll add up to me being healthy without killing myself.

As a loose idea, I figure 5 days a week I eat salad and weekends I eat whatever I like. This way I get enough variation and I still enjoy what I’m doing.

Being More Aware Of My Body After Eating Salad For Only A Month

I’m now more aware of what my body likes and what it doesn’t. Any bad foods I eat starts to feel like my stomach is irritated.
I now stay away from most wheat products because of this.

 

Before eating well, if I was lying down on my bed and I press hard on my stomach around my belly button, I would feel pain. I thought this was normal until I noticed after eating well I didn’t have the pain anymore.

 

I also don’t have bloating as heavily as I once did. When I researched this, I found out that I had intestinal inflammation that made it difficult for my bowel movements to be regular and for healthy gut function.

 

Now that I eat salad almost every day, my poo is surprisingly green which points to a lot of green vegetables in my diet. My bowel movements are also very regular.

 

My mood has changed also by becoming much more stable as well as making my period is a lot less painful.

Eating Good Salad – Everyday Salad Recipes

Since I’ve moved away from Bali, I’ve realised how rare good salad is. This has motivated me to cook at home (something I’ve had no interest in before).

Here are some recipes I’ve thrown together to try. I’ll add more recipes here as I experiment more.

Dee’s Original Warm Salad
deeswarmsalad
(for one)
Time: 15 minutes [Using Time Saver Below: 5 minutes]

Ingredients:
Handful of washed lettuce
Coconut oil (any other type of cooking oil will do)
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell peppers chopped
1/2 tomato chopped
3 eggs
Salt, pepper, lemon (to taste)

  1. Line your salad at the bottom of your eating bowl
  2.  Heat up oil in pan on stove
  3. Throw in onion, bell peppers, tomato with salt and pepper
  4. Once cooked, add it on top of the salad in your bowl
  5. Using the same pan, throw cook 3 eggs with some salt and pepper
  6. Add it on top of the bowl. Top with lemon.

I eat this for lunch every day.

Time Saver: I pre-cook the onion, bell peppers, tomato with salt and pepper altogether at the beginning of the week to cut down my cooking time to 5 minutes during the week. I store it in a plastic container in the fridge and it lasts up to 7 days.

Dee’s Haloumi Pumpkin Salad
This salad is my attempt to recreate my favourite salad from Kismet in Bali, Indonesia. I did a great job I think.

pumpkinhaloumisalad
(for one)
Time: 25 minutes [Using Time Saver Below: 7 minutes]

Ingredients:
Handful of washed lettuce
Coconut oil (any other type of cooking oil will do)
1/2 large red onions
3 strips of haloumi cheese
A handful of pumpkin
1/2 avocado
Salt, pepper, lemon (to taste)

  1. Fill large pan with water, throw in pumpkin in big chunks and bring to boil until pumpkin is soft.
  2. Line your salad at the bottom of your eating bowl.
  3. Heat up oil in pan on stove.
  4. Throw in onions, salt and pepper. Cook until soft, then add on top of salad in bowl.
  5. Throw in strips of haloumi on pan. Just enough to brown lightly. Throw on in bowl.
  6. Add a bit of oil and throw in handful of boiled pumpkin. Cook until a little brown.
  7. Throw 1/2 avocado on top and drizzle a little lemon.

Time Saver: I pre-cook the onion and boil the pumpkin at the beginning of the week to cut down my cooking time to 7 minutes during the week. I store it in a plastic container in the fridge and it lasts up to 7 days.

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