Coaches Blog

  • Maria Netherland

You Eat Salad When?!?!

You eat salad when??? The answer is really “whenever.” Now that spring is here, I’m turning even more to vegetables and fruits - anything fresh and vine-ripened!


I tend to eat salad at least once a day... and more if I particularly like the combination of flavors. You might be wrinkling your nose at the thought of eating a salad at all, but there are major health benefits.


Let’s talk about how to build an awesome salad!


The base: dark, leafy greens. These include kale, spinach, microgreens, endive, arugula, mustard greens, turnip greens and cabbage.


Next layer: cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, collard greens, and bok choy.


Protein is required: chicken (great neutral choice), beef, tofu, egg.


Then add: fruits. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, or pears.


Then just a bit of complex carbohydrates - quinoa, beans, or butternut squash.


Then: a healthy fat. Avocado, nuts, seeds or olives.


You have the option to use a dressing like oil/vinegar or your favorite bottled dressing. You could also top off the salad with a couple of eggs - they do double duty as both protein and a fat.


Here are some of my favorite salad combos for every meal of the day (yes, even breakfast)!


BREAKFAST SALAD:

  • Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Cook one slice of bacon, crispy. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan.

  • Saute a couple of tablespoons of leeks until soft. Remove from the pan.

  • Add kale that has the center rib removed and has been torn into bite size pieces.

  • Saute, turning with tongs frequently until the kale is warmed through.

  • Add the leeks back into the pan and toss together. Place in a bowl.

  • Cook two eggs over-medium and place on top of the salad. \

  • Add salt and pepper, to taste.

  • NOTE: You can add more bacon, chicken, beef, or egg whites to make this more protein-dense.


LUNCH SALAD:

  • Layer mustard greens and baby spinach in the bottom of a bowl.

  • Add roasted broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.

  • Add thinly sliced flank steak or grilled chicken.

  • Top with oil and vinegar.


DINNER SALAD:

  • Add spinach and arugula to a bowl.

  • Add diced pears, blueberries and toasted almonds.

  • Add a little quinoa, just enough for texture.

  • Top with Brianna’s French Vinaigrette.

  • Serve alongside the protein of your choice.


CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES/BACON SALAD:

  • Roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips and carrots.

  • 1 slice crumbled bacon.

  • Your choice of dressing (go easy - a tablespoon is plenty).

  • Toss vegetables until coated with your favorite dressing.


There are a zillion combinations for salads and everyone has their favorite! Happy eating!

Maria Netherland is a Northwest Florida-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Endurance and Youth & Juniors Certified Coach as well as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist. Coach Maria loves working for athletes of all abilities, military athletes, and new triathletes as they pursue their goals. Maria is a veteran of the US Army and a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate. She can be reached at maria@teammpi.com.

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