Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
1 Aug

The Daily Salad Finally Comes Out to Play

Here’s my lunch today. The noon meal is my main meal every day and it’s almost always a big salad. I eat from a large mixing bowl to keep everything from spilling over (I’ve had this trusty bowl for years). A plate just won’t hold all this great stuff in. In fact, when visitors see my salad, they assume I’ve made enough for several people. Nope. All mine.

my daily salad

Today it was mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, snow peas, avocado, roasted pine nuts and a small portion of organic chicken breast. I dressed it (liberally) with a home-made concoction of virgin olive oil (I refuse to say “EVOO” on principle), balsamic vinegar, mustard and a dab of honey. It takes a whopping 3 minutes to make, because we keep all the ingredients in containers in the fridge, ready to go. I (or my wife) prep enough for several days’ worth of salads so that when lunchtime rolls around, we can literally grab a handful of this, a pinch of that, drizzle the dressing and dig in.

Note that other than the complex carbohydrates in the vegetables, this is essentially a no-carb meal. It’s satisfying – in fact, it’s my favorite meal – because there’s enough food to fill me up and the flavor is incredible every time. The boost of healthy fats and quality protein, along with all that fiber, keeps me full and energized for hours without driving insulin up.

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Mark-I like it. I would bet that most people throw away more vegetables than they eat. We have good intentions at the store and then we come home, hide the vegetables in the “produce drawers” only to throw it away in a few days. I like the idea of cutting up the veggies ahead of time. Maybe we should reorganize our refridgerators as well.

    Crystal wrote on August 1st, 2007
  2. Mark, I agree W/Crystal- What A Great Salad!
    Only recently i started drizzling almond oil on my salad because i never like dressings at all. So i’m now addicted to it!

    Crystal-My fridge is so organized, i have a place for every fruit and veggie. No waste at my house, I eat’em daily. I eat more vegetables than anything else!

    Donna wrote on August 1st, 2007
  3. Hey, that is pretty much my dinner!

    No a fan of peppers, except jalapeños, or pine nuts, though.

    I prefer no to lug around too much extra-curricular mass to work, so my lunch has to be more spartan.

    Oxybeles wrote on August 2nd, 2007
  4. I love a good salad too. However that would be quite a tough task for taking to work. All those good greens, so healthy.

    terry wrote on August 2nd, 2007
  5. I make salads ahead of time (3 days at a time and don’t add in the dressing until you eat it). That way it’s ok for work (use the big tupperwares). Oxy, I am with you – love jalapenos! I love to add spicy stuff to my salads. Goes really well with grilled chicken. Crystal, I think you are right about the veggies being tossed. It’s funny (well, actually, it’s more just sad) that fridges are filled with preserved and processed foods and produce goes in the “special” drawers. Sorta like how Uncle Sam classifies produce as a “specialty” item. Good grief, no wonder we’re a mess!

    Sara wrote on August 2nd, 2007
  6. Nice salad Mark! Looks similar to mine. I too use a serving bowl and people marvel at a) the size and b) my ability to eat it all. A salad that size is likely to contain more vegetables than most people eat in 2 days.

    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes wrote on August 10th, 2007
  7. Mark….Doug K. would not approve of the mushrooms!
    I don’t eat fungus anymore.

    Ingrid wrote on May 18th, 2008
  8. Hey Mark.

    I made this salad. I used all of the ingredients and added some jalapenos. I used raw portabello, and no chicken since I had a grilled breast earlier. I used the ingredients you specified for your dressing.

    It was absolutely delicious and satisfying — thank you very much for this new staple in my diet.

    Btw, this was my very first time eating marinated arthichoke hearts and they’re out of this world!

    Alex Shalman wrote on October 9th, 2008
  9. Alex –

    I’m glad you like it! I know I do. I too like to throw in a few jalapenos every now and again. Easy way to spice things up. If you want to see me in action making this dish check this video post out:

    Mark Sisson wrote on October 9th, 2008
  10. @Mark

    I just watched the video. That refrigerator drawer is great, I’ll make sure my next house comes equipped! You did add a couple of different ingredients to the salad, and to the dressing as well. I guess you consume whatever is handy, which is great.

    I’m going to follow your lead and either make a salad so huge it can last me 2 days, or precut the ingredients separately the way you do – it’s an awesome idea.

    I officially dropped 11.5 lbs in 7 days (was actually 15 under on day 5), and I have a goal of 20 by October 31st. I think your handy salad/dressing recipe will go great with the rest of my mindless exercise routine.

    Alex Shalman wrote on October 9th, 2008
  11. EPIC FAIL – a diabetic is not going to touch that with a ten foot pole. Cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, snow peas, avocado, roasted pine nuts? No way in hell. Gross. Its too exotic, too weird, too yucky tasting, and we don’t know a thing about the vegtable section of the super market. We’ve drunk our lunch out of a soda can for years. I couldn’t even tell you what a pine nut was, or where to find one in a grocery store. You must start off with plain simple vegtables that can be eaten with no preperation at all. Cucumbers are my favorite, you just pick one up and eat it (I get them in spades from the family garden). You can also find uncooked spinach leaves in bags, shredded brocolli in bags, carrots, lettuce, cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage in a bag) etc, all in bags in the grocery store ready to eat and tolerable. Fruits that are readily edible are also where to start. Grapefruit has a low index, as well as a handful of unsalted peanuts. Those things we can deal with and are easy to find. Everything else is strange and freaky to us and foreign, or just not available or findable. Smoothies were a good idea, people who are diabetic like to drink their food, but so far I have not been able to pull off the first one and make it work without it tasting like crap and making a mess. So I stick to fiber drink mix.

    CHOPPERGIRL wrote on July 2nd, 2009
  12. Yeah, you push that plate in front of someone who’s been living off of Dr. Pepper, and they are going to push it back at you with a big ‘yuk!’. Diabetics can’t cook, not even a salad, nor could they stomach that… that’s why they are diabetics… they’ve been living off of conveinence foods, because our nationalized education system ripped them away from the farm and home where they use to learn those essential skills, and taught them a bunch of non-essential to survival junk like college prepatory English Literature and Calculus, and never Basic Nutrition and Cooking 101. It was all part of the big scam to make people dependent on grocery stores and packaged food, by in one or two generations robbing these self survival skills out of the masses Orwellian style. And then they could sell and feed them anything they want, and make them dependent to work for them, not self sufficient working on their own farm. Start with taste neutral vegtables you can eat raw and immediatly with no preperation at all. Vegtables with too much taste, we can not handle, its too overpowering, our taste buds have been dulled. Leave out the oil, you will never find olive oil in a diabetics house. Where is that, behind the sweet tea and the Coca Cola? I think not. Plus keep in mind they are not use to so much chewing of that many vegtables in that much quantity. You really have to eat a heck of a lot of vegtables to get the same carbs as a can of soda when requires no chewing at all and comes threw a straw, so its a big switch. Financially as well, because vegtables are not cheap. Many people who are diabetic, my self included for the longest time, simply can’t afford good food. Its more expensive. In the long run, yes, its cheaper, because you feel great and better, where as junk food makes you sick and nonfunctional, but off the shelf, these vegtables perish and have a short shelf life, are confusing to operate, are usually non edible unless they are cooked somehow, and cost more than a 3 liter bottle of generic soda for 99 cents, or 10 pounds of white rice for 10 bucks, or a box of spagetti noodles for $2.50

    CHOPPERGIRL wrote on July 2nd, 2009
  13. @Choppergirl – Because I didn’t see any smiley faces, or JK, and your tone definitely doesn’t reflect it, I cannot assume that you’re kidding, only that you’re an alien.

    People are not as helpless as they seem, and much more capable than you’re giving them credit for. You just made diabetics seem like retarded livestock, which is not the case.

    Plus, this salad is absolutely delicious, and I’m fairly sure that anyone’s tastebuds could enjoy it, and even a child can figure out how to make it.

    Alex Shalman wrote on July 2nd, 2009
  14. Choppergirl sounds just like my boyfriend, who is 42, and has a child’s palette. He doesn’t have diabetes yet, but he will someday. When we first got together, I didn’t want to make 2 meals everyday, so I ate like he did. I gained 40 pounds pretty quickly. I make 2 meals now. He likes the poison: soda, sugar & pasta. He also complains about the “chewiness” of real food:(

    Debra wrote on April 13th, 2010
  15. Debra: treat boyfriend like an alcoholic. Tell him it’s you or garbage food. Otherwise, start taking nursing lessons, you will soon need to know how to administer intensive care to your man.

    Sally wrote on May 14th, 2011
  16. @Debra- I have been lurking on this website for weeks now and but I’m not much of a commenter- yours is the first post I saw that made me feel like I HAD to respond!

    I feel your pain about having a boyfriend who doesn’t share all of your healthy lifestyle goals, but come on. You make him a separate meal because at 42 he still won’t eat real food? Insane.

    Better to treat him as his childish behavior seems to warrant and wait for him to do what a child (or Grok) would do- when he gets hungry enough, he’ll eat it. You might now be able to control what he eats in the rest of the day, but if you are preparing perhaps the evening meal then you can at least control that.

    He will get used to it, really. Men are a lot more flexible than some of them would likely have you believe. The complaining might suck at first but it beats changing the dressings on a gangrenous diabetic foot ulcer for your blind partner.

    Jenica wrote on February 19th, 2012
    • @Debra

      I had a similar experience but I NEVER make two evening meals. I cook what I cook he eats it or he has to get it himself…..tough love I call it. I may add a starchy carb just for him but that’s as far as I go. If he wants his “extras” he has to go out and buy it because I deliberately shop without him and I won’t stock it. I do buy his bread and potatoes because they are not a problem for me.

      We each prepare our own breakfast and lunches or if he is busy he eats what I make but I say NO if he asks if he can make me something because it generally involves bread of some kind. I will have the salad filling and top it up with protein.

      I am on my way to regaining the figure that is hiding under this “carb cushion” even though he still loves it. I am at the high end of the normal BMI but it doesn’t feel good to me. I just saw a photo of me from two or three Christmases ago and thought “There I AM”…

      Jo-Anne wrote on March 1st, 2012
  17. I can live on this food! :)

    Mandy wrote on December 3rd, 2013

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