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Bowl of Salad

On my journey to living a healthy lifestyle, I`ve realized that I`m on a path of constant discovery and tweaking. Many times, I`ve found a tasty but healthy meal, but don’t end up making it on a regular basis. Eventually, I understand that its because it takes too many ingredients, and therefore time, to prepare. After some thought, I then create a simplified version.


For example, I love salads but they can be a pain to prepare given all of the chopping of fruits and vegetables that can be involved. At one point I was chopping and including 8-10 ingredients for a single meal with about 6 seasonings and spices, as well as 6 liquids for dressing!!! It was delicious but not sustainable for my busy lifestyle and schedule. I`d usually drop off after a couple of weeks, resorting to not-so-healthy alternatives because they`re available and faster.


I`ve now whittled it down to just buying chopped field greens from the grocery store that I throw into a large bowl (my salads are usually a meal not an appetizer). I chop some tomatoes AND an apple OR cucumbers, then add a protein—if I`m not doing a vegan period, then it will be grilled or baked salmon OR some sardines from a tin. I`ve recently found some really tasty sardines that are packed in spring water (I try to avoid sardines or other seafood sitting in chemicals or preservatives, usually identifiable because they have long, difficult-to-pronounce names). Occasionally, I will add some chicken to the salad.  When pursuing periods of veganism, I will just have two veggie burger patties on the side, particularly ones that have black beans in them for the protein. Sometimes I`ll add a falafel burger patty to the salad.


 Like many, one of my criteria for healthy eating is ensuring my food and condiments have recognizable, “whole food” ingredients. Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of store-bought dressings, including because I very often end up with painful joints because one or more ingredients don’t agree with me (I have food sensitivities related to rheumatoid arthritis). Now, my dressing may not be what you would consider “simple” but I know what’s in there and that it won’t hurt me.  In terms of complexity, trust me, I’ve come a long way…


2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of honey


½ tsp of garlic powder

5 dashes of paprika

3 dashes of cayenne pepper

I usually eyeball the seasonings, so I suggest you just add for your taste preference.


How do I easily add a creamy element to my salad that is normally achieved by traditional dressings like Caesar, Thousand Island or Poppy Seed??? Well…I add a bit of water to some garlic and onion hummus from the health store (all ingredients are recognizable) and Ta Da! There is my simple, delicious salad!

You can obviously switch up any of those ingredients but the trick is that for day-to-day food prep, keep your ingredient list as short as possible and save the more elaborate dishes for special occasions…or when you’re in the mood and have more time…!


Profile Photo Andrea P. Kelly is a Lawyer and Notary Public at  with practice focus in Estate Planning and Administration, including wills, estates, trusts and powers of attorney. Her battle and victory over rheumatoid arthritis using natural health alternatives was a pivotal, life changing experience. Andrea`s desire to help people find solutions to life`s problems, particularly those suffering from chronic illnesses, was birthed as Whereas she spent the first part of her career helping people to die well, she now wants to help people to live well.