This article is going to surprise you. Salad is not salad it’s an event, an ongoing love affair of mystery messages, meeting places, colors, imagination, and lots of freshness. Salad and Go is a course I’ve taught for years. It means “Eat your salad and go for the eclairs!” But not until you are a certified Salad and Go Member.
In this article, you will learn that salad making is the key to satisfying yourself, and when you’ve become a Salad and Go fan, your food becomes the balance that helps you live and eat healthy without trying.
Isn’t that the goal? To love salad as much as you love chocolate cake, a steak, pasta, seafood, a bowl of cereal, and so on? Well, for this to happen it takes becoming the salad.
That’s right, you must learn what it means to be a salad. Or you’re out. Salad does not make its name with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and dressing, any more than it’s eaten before the meal, or with a fork. The salad at the end of this article is eaten with a spoon.
To eat healthy is not easy if you’re not used to it. Taste and the palate take time to adapt and change over time. To eat healthy on a budget, that’s a struggle as well. Have you ever seen a food show where they are eating something so disgusting that you just couldn’t imagine it? It’s the palate and what that person was raised on. Healthy eating can taste like crap when you start.
That’s why Salad and Go focuses on what taste good to the member first. It’s the secret to success. Start with things you don’t like and you’ll never find that you do like!
So, throw away your salad ideas and imagine anything edible can be turned into one!
Kids are a great example as to how getting to know salad actually works. I can’t tell you how many kids I’ve dealt with over the years who say, “Nope.” no salad for me.
Then I hold a class where we go to the supermarket, learn to purchase fruit and veggies. And to no surprise, kids love learning there is a male and female eggplant! And that we prefer eating the male eggplant as he has fewer seeds! Yep, male eggplants have fewer seeds!
I used to give each young student a different colored chopping board and I discovered the adults like choosing their own too. Play along as an adult and the next thing you know, you’re not that old dude going nowhere. You’re the young dude who’s staying healthy and happy. It all matters. What we say, eat, do, think!
After a hysterical shopping trip, a student learns to clean veggies properly, it affects their taste and storage. We then go into the difference between cutting, chopping, slicing, and brutalizing vegetables, god help me, the right way, with the right knife, and then the kids create that recipe that makes becomes a part of their happy little lives.
It works the same with adults, it’s just more fun with kids. We do what feels good and avoid what feels bad. Kids however, have less on the list that feels bad. The way I get adults to act like kids is with a temporary boost of willpower—that moment of bliss where you forget the pressures of work, life, love “right.”
By the end of the day, most young or older students will have thrown in the towel of resistance. And by the end of the journey will have adapted to eating salads even if it starts with one vegetable. They will be inviting a friend or making their new salad at home.
Again, I emphasize, becoming a salad expert relies on each person going about salads on their terms. Not your salad, not mine, not an American salad, not a salad at a fast-food place. It’s different and individual for each of us.
Here’s a salad put together by a 13-year-old: with sliced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, roasted pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, cherries, drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper. This student now continues a tradition at home celebrating every cherry season. And let me tell you, this student swore he only eat cucumbers. He has created dishes like salad and shrimp, salad and tuna, salad and beans, and so on!
To others, a salad is shredded lettuce with a drizzle of vinaigrette or olive oil, and for another, it’s homemade air baked French fries, chopped tomatoes, and olives. Yes, that’s a salad and a good one.
One of my favorite clients, a 50 years old business mogul, began his salad journey with corn and lettuce. Nothing else. We made corn and lettuce as many ways as possible eventually discovering he loved the addition of cashews, olive oil, and garlic, which makes an amazing soup served cold or hot. Now how does this remain a salad? Salad on his terms was pouring the soup over a bed of julienned romaine lettuce! And it was delicious! Wilted lettuce with a twist.
I am never amazed at the minds of a Salad and Go members. When I say “Go get any ingredient you want and I’ll teach you how to make a salad from it”, it turns into a comic kitchen of seriously great stuff! But the best part is, we are returning to the rudimental skills that our ancestors survived on, we are connecting to the earth and once that happens our health becomes better by default. To eat healthy is a process!
WHAT’S ONE OF THE GREATEST SALADS ON EARTH?
Why, a hamburger of course! According to my son’s salad on his terms. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, whole grains, mushrooms, pickles, olives, bell peppers, avocados, pesto, any kind of peppers, eggplant, cabbage slaw, and you can leave off the bun is you really want to. Or is that called a taco salad?
Yes, I’m posting the Salad and Go Course soon. And I want to thank everyone for supporting me in my startup here at 52-Secrets. It’s the first month and wow it’s going well, outside of the website breaking down due to my learning curves. I’m wearing a few too many hats, but survival is my middle name!
Enough of you have subscribed this first month to give me hope. And you’ve done so with the launch on my Super Habits course alone! Thank you. So, if you’re not on the list and want to know when Salad and Go is up and running, fill in your email and first name in the form at the footer. You can cancel at any time. I’m not offended. But please don’t sign up if you’re not ready for love.
Okay, back to salads.
JOKING ABOUT DIETS
Many people love to joke about diets, what they eat, and why they fail time and time again. I can tell you right now, diets don’t work. Yes, I know you hear it all the time, but what does work?
First what doesn’t work is joking. Let it go. Put all the ideas and failures behind you. Don’t joke. Look it straight in the face and be realistic. If that realism is, “I will never be skinny.” “I will never be the same size I was in college again.” “I will never give up this or that.” Great. It doesn’t matter. You need to pull away from the diet idea and just start working on what’s healthy. Nature will follow. To eat healthy has a strange effect when you build your healthy eating around things you like verses a list of healthy items.
Try this: focusing on one tiny thing at a time. What really matters, being 115 pounds and 5’7″ or living a happy life and never having to get on the scale.
People assume because I’m tall and fit, that I’ve never struggled. Well, I’m here to tell you I’ve had my ups and downs too. I obsessed with achieving the perfect life at one time and I continually failed at it.
You have probably done the same. Tried something over and over throughout the years. Isn’t it amazing how we keep trying the same damn things that lets us down over and over? They keep changing the face of “To Eat Healthy!” when it should just be natural.
I have remained fit because I know how to, because I work at it, because I grow and learn as my body changes. It’s not luck or genetics. I do what my body tells me. Sounds weird? Don’t worry, you’ll get it by the end of the course. It’s freedom.
DOING WHAT OUR BODIES TELL US IS NOT THAT COMPLICATED
Now before I go further. Each of us is different, that’s one reason why diets do not work! Doing what our bodies tell us, is not that complicated. If that’s gluetn free. Do it. If that means vegan or pescatarian, who cares, be happy in what you chose, but learn to do it right.
Have you ever eaten at a vegetarian’s house and there were no vegetables? Or the vegetables are looking angry, and don’t want to eat them. I have. Over and over. A person adopts a belief system or simply wants to eat healthy – but like everything in life, change means learning new things. And becoming a vegetarian without investing in cooking skills can be a disaster, or as I’ve seen in my life, a very poor diet of fake meat and proteins for lack of knowing what to do with vegetables. Try cooking vegetables you don’t understand and they will look angry on a plate!
For me my body says, I can have real milk and cream, eggs, and whole grains of all kinds. It means that yes, those eclairs are real, the mozzarella on the pizza is true to Italy’s finest, and I’m not gluten-free, or dairy-free, so it’s whole grain goodness. It also means I don’t eat white sugar much, as it’s not whole, it’s had too much stuff removed. I’m a honey fan, fruit jams without sugars, and I fully understand that fruit sugars are sugar, but as I’m not a diabetic or in a physical state of despair, I don’t read our count fruit sugars. I just eat.
Do you see the answer to what kind of diet works? The one your body will teach you if you are willing to go through the process. It’s long, it’s not simple, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but once you get there, it’s a life time of kisses and we all know how important that is.
Would you like to eat healthy like this? Where it just taste good? Where you chose it? You can.
In the course, I’ll go over everything in detail that this article touches on lightly. In this article, the goal is to get you interested in a new salad item.
So first, no jokes. Tell yourself the truth, jokes compensate where you feel you’ve failed. And you’ve not failed Salad and Go.
When you walk into a store and see someone purchasing an expensive item that you want, do you ask the person if they robbed a bank to get it, or do you strategize how you will buy it?
Same with food, don’t joke, just strategize one day at a time. No big goals, no diets of no cookies. Here’s a typical snack I eat between my Salad and Go mornings.
How much time does this take to learn the list above? For a chef, it’s years of perfection – but for you, it can be accomplished to a level that changes your life fairly quickly. This article will get you started and then in a few weeks, I’ll have the course up for you.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a fucking salad, how hard can it be. Ask yourself, how many salads do you eat a week? What kinds are they? Are they loaded with dressings? Do you walk away feeling, WOW that was filling, good and I want to do it again? Do your kids say, yeah, bring it on?
If not, you’re in trouble.
YOUR FIRST CUCUMBER AND CHERRY TOMATO SALAD
I won’t go into detail as the article will be 6,000 words, but I can’t speak enough about the health benefits of cucumbers and tomatoes! Wow. They alone can change your life.
Choose your amounts, but usually, two-three small cucumbers to a handful of cherry tomato is suggested, about a tablespoon of olive oil for every 3 cucumbers, and herbs salt and pepper are to taste.
Why cherry tomatoes and why is there a picture of a beefsteak tomato below? The tomato in the picture is from a friend’s garden, but I personally enjoy the cherry tomatoes. I can’t verify the downfall of regular tomatoes, but they have changed over the years. A vegetable gardener will I’m sure, agree, store-bought tomatoes are mealy, flavorless, watery, and just not good enough for this salad regardless of how bright red they appear! Cherries, on the other hand, usually maintain a tomato flavor.
If you don’t like toms, cucs leave them out and create your own. The pepper in the picture below is just to show we have no rules. Use it if you like or ignore it. Other vegetables to use could be lettuce, grated carrots, cabbage, fennel root, or whatever it is you actually like.
- Cherry tomatoes, half a basket about 4 oz. (If you use regular tomatoes, they must be ripe tomatoes, not hard as rocks or green and I have found that the greenhouse varieties are better than most.)
- Persian cucumbers, 3 (Persian, not the big English seeded ones, the little baby ones that make no sense and are expensive as hell.)
- Basil or cilantro, to taste
- Olive oil, 1 tablespoon (Virgin cold-pressed)
- Salt and pepper, to taste (Freshly ground is a bonus point for your membership)
You’ll need a good knife. Japanese vegetable knives are awesome. They have thin blades and cut precisely. But be careful if you own one, they are sharp. If you don’t have one, use whatever knife you typically use for vegetables.
Your job is to prepare two separate salads. One with a serrated butter knife, cut regular tomatoes, regular cucumbers, and herbs. Cut this salad any size you want. Place in a separate bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper. No herbs.
The second salad, use the recipe above and with a sharp blade cut the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers the same size, a dice, that’s about 1/4 inch squared or a little larger. And take your time to julienne the herbs or chop them as finely as you can. Place in a separate bowl.
Part of the deal is taking your time. This is your moment, not anyone else’s.
The picture shows tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and long pepper. It’s to keep your options open, but try the recipe without the peppers for this first experiment.
Here’s a close up of a true dice. If you can’t manage it, don’t worry it’s not essential to success. A good knife lesson makes a world of difference.
Set both salads in front of you. Smell them, and note if they smell differently. Then taste both of them, but pause between tasting and clear your palate with a bite of apple or a green olive.
What did you discover? They were both good? Which did you like better, and what was the real shocker? There are no right or wrong answers here. Many people will choose one or the other salad, but you will find they taste different. You will prefer one of them. Both are good.
Now, if you were to eat this salad once a week for a month at any time of the day, but especially morning time, then twice a week for a month, your stomach would begin to change.
And if you are brave and will try this salad as a breakfast salad with hardboiled eggs and a spoon of yogurt (not fat-free) or cottage cheese, or any slice of cheese, you will find a surprisingly good change in your body. This doesn’t mean you have to give up bacon or pancakes. Just incorporate this into your diet.
Cheers my friends, and happy eating!
P.S. Make something chocolate today too!
- Healthline Wellness Team, 8 Detox Salad Recipes to Kick-Start Healthy Eating
- Healthline, Rachael Link, MS. RD, 7 Health Benefits of Eating Cucumber
- Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN, Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
- MedicalNewsToday Yvette Brazier, What are the health benefits of olive oil?
- Kris Gunnars, BSc, Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs