Soup and salad bar – Look for a change

A client recently asked,

“When eating a salad with all fresh ingredients from Whole Foods is there any issue with portion size?”

While salads maintain platinum status among dieters, there are a few things to consider at the salad bar. Hopefully, this response will help others who’ve encountered buffet anxiety.

Regarding plain, raw fibrous vegetables…go to town! You can eat spinach, field greens, romaine, watercress, broccoli, peppers, snow peas, squash, zucchini, sugar snap peas, celery, cucumber, water chestnuts with abandon.

Top w/ some beans, black, red, edamame…sure, indulge, but don’t put an entire can on. Let it complement the grilled chicken or salmon you put on top of the salad. You can have some almonds, sunflower seeds or other crunchy topper. 2tbsp to 1/4 cup is plenty! Look closely and go w/ unsalted whenever possible. Honey roasted peanuts are not the best choice. Unsalted almonds are your clear winner. Read more about the soup and salad bar

The stuff on the salad bar to acutely watch your portion control with is their premade salads – turkey, chicken, tofu, even all veggie-based ones seem to be loaded w/ mayo, heavy cream, salt and oils. Same deal with their soups. Fortunately, WF does label everything with their ingredients. Have some, but don’t let these salads dominate the yummy veggies below.

Finally, you’ll obviously want to watch the amount of dressing that you put on that salad. About half of one of those little plastic ramekins equals 2tbsp and is more than enough for flavor. Unfortunately, WF doesn’t have a low-fat dressing, so get creative. Ever the inventor, I’m a fan of the Thai vinaigrette, and will mix a tbsp with an additional package of low sodium soy sauce and wasabi. You can also start with a tbsp of the balsamic vinaigrette and add extra straight balsamic, as they usually have a bottle there.