Spring is here and so is that time of the year when almost everyone wants to look better and eat healthier. This is exactly the time to eat a salad... but not the kind of salad where you throw your leftovers on top of a pile of lettuce, or a salad that is literally just lettuce, croutons and dressing (because Becky invited you to the beach and you need to prepare).

If you're going to eat healthy, you need to enjoy it and make a salad that you'll want to eat, and here's how. 

Getting the Basics

cheese, salad
Rachel Dugard

You'll need just one serving each of: leafy greens, a protein, a nut, some fruit, cheese and salad dressing. Pick your favorite of each of these ingredients (or what you think would go well together) and mix them in a bowl. That's it.

This gives you the basics to making your best salad. All of these foods create a nice balance of taste and nutrients. There's a lot of room for variety here, so there's no way you'll get bored. You can change things up by having dried fruits or using arugula as the base. If you're feeling really simple, use olive oil and some spices as a dressing

Here are just a few combinations for inspiration: 

1. Don't go bacon my heart: Spring mix, turkey bacon, walnuts, raisins, Parmesan and pomegranate vinaigrette. 

2. Egg-cellent salad we have here: Arugula, a hard-boiled egg, pecans, tomato, mozzarella and Italian dressing.

3. Why so blue: Mixed greens, chicken, cashews, dried cranberries, blue cheese and honey mustard dressing. 

4. Summer's favorite salad: Lettuce, chicken, pecans, strawberries, feta cheese and poppy seed dressing

5. Something's fishy: Spinach, salmon, almonds, dried cranberries or oranges, cheddar cheese and lemon dressing. 

6. Oh, hot damn: Lettuce, chicken, walnuts, mangos, cheddar cheese and hot sauce.

Pick what you like and follow this guide, then you'll have a great salad!