“Be Prepared” is not only the motto for the Boy Scouts of America but should be the motto of anyone trying to lose weight and eat healthy. Making smart food decisions during the day are much easier when you are armed with healthy food.
One of the biggest places where bad decisions are made is the workplace. People tend to have candies and treats on their desk, and the break room is stocked with take-out food, birthday cakes, and doughnuts – not to mention the biggest culprit of impulse eating… the vending machine!
If you want to stay on track and meet your goals, set yourself up for success. Staying full throughout the day with nutritious food makes you much less likely to feel hungry and make a bad choice, especially in the late afternoon. An easy way to ensure you are feeling full is to eat a salad every day with lunch. Preparing Mason jar salads in advance not only cuts down on midweek prep but they stay fresh, and the components stay separated to retain their goodness. Since the jars were originally made for canning, their lids are airtight and far superior to reusable plastic containers. There is nothing worse than fishing your salad out of your bag only to discover it is soggy and wilted. Follow our tips below for a surefire way to eat clean during the week!
Make sure you follow this order when building your Mason jar salad.
1. Put in any dressing (low carb, of course) first on the bottom.
2. Add hearty vegetables to provide a barrier between the dressing and lighter components. Some examples are tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli.
3. Next, add less dense vegetables such as mushrooms or sprouts. Anything that you don’t want to get saturated from the dressing will work here. If you like fruit in your salad, try a quarter cup of blueberries or strawberries.
4. The protein layer is next. Chopped or shredded chicken, tuna, or ground turkey work great. Be creative!
5. Finally, add your greens. Spinach, kale, arugula, and mixed greens will all work, but feel free to use whatever you like. Beet and Swiss chard leaves are a great addition to your salad.
6. When you are ready to eat, just dump out the salad into a bowl and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks:
– Prep your Mason jar salads on a Sunday. They will stay fresh all week.
– If you use dressing at all, it should be used sparingly. Try healthy alternatives such as olive oil and red wine vinegar or homemade avocado dressing (blend an avocado with Greek yogurt, lemon, and garlic to your taste preference and seal in an airtight container).
– Don’t forget take a bowl or container to eat the salad in!
– Mason jars are easy to find in most stores, craft stores, and online. Amazon is a great resource for finding your preferred size.
For more inspiration and Mason jar salad recipes, check out our board on Pinterest: Mason Jar Salads