I’m not an unhealthy person by any means. I do a combination of strength training, HIIT, and yoga four to five times a week. I always read the ingredients on a food’s nutrition label. I devour fruits and vegetables. It’s pretty safe to say that living healthily is one of my greatest passions. But to be honest, I’ve never really been the biggest fan of salad.
It’s fine, sure, but it’s not my first choice when I’m deciding what to have for dinner. Since I like to challenge myself, I decided that not only would I eat salad for dinner for five days straight, I would also eat it for breakfast and lunch. Am I certifiably insane? More than likely.
Due to the fact that I had just spent a long weekend in Savannah, Georgia “cheating” to my heart’s content (*cough cough* Leopold’s ice cream) I looked forward to this challenge. No more cornbread, fried chicken, peach cobbler, or ice cream: it was salad time.
For full disclosure, I did eat snacks between each meal that were not salad.
For breakfast I usually have oatmeal, a smoothie with VegaOne protein powder, or scrambled eggs and fruit. But this morning? It was spinach topped with peaches, blueberries, pistachios, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar. While I felt strange eating salad at 9:30 am, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted.
I also had a side of fruit salad (#saladfordays) made up of peaches, blueberries, and watermelon. My main concern with this challenge was that I wouldn’t be getting enough protein in the morning, but I guess only time would tell.
Before you interrogate me about why I put black beans on top of a spinach salad, let me give you some background. I had just finished a grueling kickboxing workout and was desperately searching for quinoa to make a quinoa salad along with my spinach salad.
Then I realized I had run out of quinoa, so there went that. Since I was a bit harebrained I just thought, “Hey, why don’t I put those black beans on my salad instead?” Don’t ask me why I thought that was a good idea. Though surprisingly, the salad turned out better than I thought – thank goodness.
My last meal of the day was from Fresh To Order, this fast-casual restaurant that was right near the movie theatre in which I saw Star Trek Beyond (highly recommend). I ordered their Market Salad and it was absolutely delicious. My only complaint was that there were way too many raisins in it. As you might’ve figured out, I’m a bit of a tough critic (that sounds better than “food snob”, right?).
The walnuts on this salad were an awesome addition. Though as much as I liked eating it, I could tell that I would have to change up my salads in order to avoid feeling like this:
Since I didn’t have time to grill up any meat or tofu and was in need of protein, I heated up leftover beans and had them with sweet potato and my salad. I apologize for not putting them on my salad but I was not about to repeat the same disaster I had yesterday.
By dinner I was feeling #blessed because of two things: 1. I had iron willpower and 2. I bought mixed greens. Leftovers of my s’mores chicken and waffles were in the fridge and by the grace of God I managed to resist them. I was incredibly thankful for the mixed greens because if I had to taste another leaf of spinach I would’ve driven my fork through my head. Not certain if my violent thoughts were due to hunger or annoyance.
The only things I could think while I was eating this was “Can I set a world record for most salads eaten in a certain number of days?” and “Has someone actually eaten more than three salads in one day??” If the answer is “yes” to the second question then consider me amazed.
I also found an accurate representation of how I felt when I realized I was only halfway through my salad fest:
When my sister saw me eating this she asked me why I wasn’t eating salad in other forms such as taco salad, chicken salad, egg salad, etc. Then I asked her to say the first word that comes to her mind when she hears the word “salad.”
Her response? “Greens.”
Hence my copious consumption of legitimate salad. My mama didn’t raise a cheater.
If my body is made up of approximately 60 percent water, then the other 40 percent of me must be spinach. I realize that’s not how it works, but I’m just going with it.
Let us just have a quick moment of silence for the 25 (yes, 25) cups of greens I had gone through. May you rest in salad Heaven.
Up above you will see a picture of my dinner. The salad was good, don’t get me wrong, but that night I was feeling particularly sour about having to eat it. Why? Because my best friends came over and proceeded to taunt me with the pizza I had ordered them (pictured below). The saying “you want what you can’t have” perfectly describes how I felt.
I actually cheered when I realized it was the last day of my salad challenge. I missed oatmeal with a fervor and was nearing the end of my mixed greens supply. I was determined to finish on a strong note.
All I have to say is God bless Starbucks. If it weren’t for them I definitely wouldn’t have found a salad to eat because the options at outlet mall food courts are minimal. This salad was tasty but I like their brown rice and veggie version better.
Alert! Alert! This was my final salad! Number 15. Nummer fünfzehn. Número quince. And I could not think of a better note to end on than Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad.
In conclusion, this five day challenge taught me a few things. 1. Peaches and pistachios are an A+ combination, 2. My hesitance to change up my normal eating habits showed the side of me that loves routines, and 3. Eating salad every single day for every meal is utterly boring.
Regarding my health, I don’t think any major changes occurred. I look and weigh relatively the same, but I will say I felt more energized. If you think you want to try this, please do! It’s a foolproof way to get the recommended servings of vegetables per day and it takes out a lot of the guesswork when wondering what to eat. But also remember that going to extremes with a diet is a never a good idea.
Now that the five days is finished I am ridiculously excited to wake up and have oatmeal tomorrow morning. It’s funny how much you miss something when you can’t have it.
I will now only refer to myself as the Salad Queen.