Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thrifty dieting tips - salads

First of all, go to the thrift store and get yourself two or three cute salads plates.

Now, I don't mean to eat just salads on - I mean eat everything on them - every meal.

Pick out some fun designs that make you happy and choose real salad plates that are no more than 8in in diameter.

Now, before you say: "Hey, Ms ThriftyDietMom, I already have a set of perfectly good dinner plates!", bear with me.  There's method in my madness.

Most standard modern dinner plates are ridiculously huge.  Were the plates you mum had in your childhood 10 or 12 inches in diameter?  Probably not.  The ones in restaurants can be insane!

Buy some 8in salad plates.  Get 'em in hearts or flowers or skulls or Star Wars or something that makes you smile.

Now, let's say you eat what I just had for dinner: salmon steak and salad.

Salad tip #1: water down your dressing.  I get the regular WalMart GV ranch (110 calories and 2 grams carbs) and as soon as I get home I tip about 1/4 out into a container and fill the bottle back up with water. So 1/4 water, 3/4 dressing (or so.  Don't kill yourself over this.  It just cuts the calories down a bit).

I promise you, once you get used to your dressing not having so much body that it rivals Brad Pitt in Troy and barely pours, you won't notice a thing.  The taste is identical. Srsly.

Salad tip #2: measure everything.  Actually get out your measuring spoons and measure 2tbs.  If you're adding meat or cheese or bacon bits or whatever, actually measure them.  The phrase "oh, that's about a tablespoon" has derailed many a diet.

Salad tip #3: here's where our 'diet plates' come in. Eat every meal on your new, small plates.  Force yourself to eat only what fits on your diet plate. No fair carrying things in the other hand (not counting your beverage and cutlery, lol).  Remember that your salmon (or whatever) has to fit on this plate, too, so go easy on the lettuce.  If you make a bed of lettuce like you're standing at the salad bar in the Ryan's then you will feel compelled to load up said wodge of greenery with enough toppings to cover it, right?

No.  Just break off a chunk about as big as your closed fist. If you're actually at a salad bar then only use half the plate.  Or go over to the dessert bar (which you'll not be visiting anyway, right?) and grab a wee dessert plate.

Salad tip#4: cut your lettuce.  With a knife. This tip is from one of my fave diet books Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World by Lisa Lillien - it's fun, funny and practical.  ANYway, when you cut your lettuce instead of breaking it into chunks, the dressing can actually get onto all the lettuce and you use less and taste more.

Salad tip#5: choose the 2 or 3 toppings that you really love.  Don't do the Ryan's thing.  If you want to add carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, ham, turkey, olives, and mushrooms (and who doesn't?!), take a deep breath and pick your three faves this time.  Next time pick 3 different ones.

There they are!  Have fun and go eat some salads! Do any of you have any good, thrifty, easy, salad diet tips you'd like to share?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:33 am   3 comments


At 2:34 pm, Anonymous moonduster said...

My tip: Cut your lettuce with a plastic knife. It won't go brown as fast as it will when you cut it with a metal knife.

At 5:10 am, Anonymous MrsEvilGenius said...

Hey, that's cool! Do you know I never knew that? I'll bet you can get one of those lovely serrated plastic 'lettuce knives' at the dollar store.

At 2:50 pm, Anonymous Allison said...

I always have dressing on the side and dip my fork in it. I end up using about 1/3 of the dressing, and don't feel bad if I order a fattening type of dressing.


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