Sunday, January 22, 2012

Salad and Me: The Start of Something Good

I'm not exactly the most nutritious person in the world. I like pasta probably in the same way a crack head likes cocaine and I had to force myself to stop eating goldfish last semester because I was going through a family sized box every two weeks. Heck, if you give me a bag of original style lays, I will eat them at a mind bending rate until my tongue is sore and swollen.

These days I have been trying to trade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for salads at lunch time. Dear God is it difficult. Not only has PB&J been my standard lunch choice for the past 13 years of my life, but I have never once have I ever thought "Hey, you know what sounds really good right now? A salad!"

I already know that giving your body a nice, hearty salad is like giving our puppy Daisy a new toy. It's overjoyed! A new toy for me to tear apart and turn into uncontrolled energy? Hooray!
It's just so darn healthy! Right? So why do I still not want it?
Because it's about as boring as an airplane ride where you forgot to bring a book.

BUT! And don't ever tell my father this (who has held the regional title of 'king of salad-loving' in the state of Colorado for the past 5 years or so) ...I am learning to like salads despite this fact.

Now first off, let me describe my typical salad, because it's not like most salads. The salad I prepare regularly has these 3 key ingredients:
-Fresh, raw spinach
-Cherry tomatoes
-Carrot sticks

Along with these other optional items (depending on what has been on sale at the store):
-Feta cheese
-Green bell peppers
-Chicken (if I have some left over, which is almost never because I never cook chicken)

And that's it. That's right folks. You read it right, I'm not missing anything. NO SALAD DRESSING. I don't do condiments. Just not a condiment kind of person. I don't put ketchup on my fries or burger. I barely even like marinara sauce on my spaghetti (although I'm always 100% for cream sauce...mmm, pass the alfredo please!) I'm a full-on bland-tasting-food-loving person. Get this: I love tofu...even when it is plain!!
Plain for me, all the way, all day!
...So you can understand my plight.

But see, I have found new and exciting ways to appreciate salad for lunch. They are listed here for your perusing pleasure.

1. Time to eat
First off, the biggest benefit by far is that it takes quite a bit of time to eat a salad. It takes forever to stab anything with your fork properly. And then there is all that munching and crunching. It's slow business. So by the time I am done eating, everyone else with me has long finished their food and I don't have to sit and watch/hear them eat and pine for their carb-alicious treats. Like those pop-tarts they got from the vending machine. Damn them and their pop tarts. And if I'm alone, all is well, because I feel like I have eaten more just simply because I have taken so long to eat.

2. Time to prepare
It's so easy to throw together a bunch of vegetables into a tupperware and haul it off to class. I don't need to cook anything the night before or heat anything up in the microwave later. It's just like BA-BAM! SALAD!

3. Spinach!!
Spinach is BALLIN'! I can affix it to the end of my fork in front of me and extend my neck out to tear apart those leaves as if I were a prehistoric dinosaur or a giraffe who is reaching daintily up to a tall tree to enjoy a nice, leafy meal. And then I can look on the inside of the leaf and its just about the greenest thing I've ever seen. All that chlorophyll! Then I feel good and science-y for remembering the word cholorphyll from biology class and maybe hazily recalling a few diagrams of leaves. Look at me, all intellectual eating my salad. Then I go back to eating it because I am one hungry dinosaur. RAWR!

4. Cherry tomatoes
And the way their juices pop in your mouth with an explosion of flavor! They are nature's gushers. 'Nuff said.

5. Carrot sticks
One day when I am in the apocalypse fighting zombies I will be thankful for the several pounds of carrots I ate every week because I can outwit the zombies with my night-vision skills. Besides, that orange tint it will give to my skin might make me look a little less pale.

See? I bet even you want a salad now. With that argument, no one can resist. You completely forget about the way the bread of a sandwich accumulates in your mouth and rolls down your throat so thick and heavily like you are drowning in carboy goodness....oh damn. I totally just ruined that salad magic.
Don't forget! Just remember!!
Longer meals! Quicker preparation! Dinosaurs! Nature gushers! Night vision!

That being said, I'll never order a salad when I go out to eat. Seriously, I'm out of the house. This never happens. You think I am going to ruin all the excitement and order a salad? Hell no! I'm getting the most exciting thing on the menu. (This typically involves something with a lot of cheese for me).

Besides, I will always know that at home, a salad is faithfully waiting for me if I so desire. One that costs about 1/5th the price of the one at this silly restaurant. And if I'm anything, it's cheap!

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