Any advise on my diet change? Salad everyday at dinner

Hi everyone, just joined.

I started changing my diet lately. I'm trying to eat more nutrients that I am missing so that my brain and body works better. I am not fat (at least nothing to worry) and I don't really need to take into account calories (at least eating too many), I only care to eat more of what's good.

Here it can be really cheap to get greens so it's also a good way to save money.

What I've been trying to do is eat a salad everyday at dinner. Always. I am worried if for doing this I will be missing some nutrients that are usually more in meat.

The extra fibre intake didn't really affect me much since for like 3 months I ate chia seeds everyday at breakfast, so that's not an issue.

Since I've been eating chia seeds I feel a bit better, I've been a bit depressed with college and due to my bad diet I wanted to try to eat more brain food,

So my salads are also pretty big. Like 400g (almost 1 pound) big.

The first days I just used letuce (not iceberg but almost like that) as a base but now I've been also adding spinach (50% letuce 50% letuce since it's cheaper) and added stuff like:

- cherry tomatoes (rarely, I kinda don't like tomatoes)

- Red bell peppers

- Red/Purple cabage (almost every time)

- broccoli (I just add them sometimes)

- Cucumber (just sometimes)

- Onion

- Chia seeds

- Carrots

- Mozzarella cheese (the white "real" one)

Usually I pick 3 of the above at a time. Been wanting to also try adding, since I like a lot, beans and chickpeas.

Then for protein I add either chicken (fried in the pan with a bit of olive oil) or water canned tuna. Sometimes I add those fake crab legs, I don't quite know the name in english.

Usually the dressing is either vinegar, olive oil or a sauce.

Anyone got any tips or something I might be doing wrong?

For the greens part I have some ideas of what to add just for the sake of variety. But for protein I only have chicken and tuna. I'm worried, for example, with lack of iron.

One thing I'll tell you. After eating one of these, I am not hungry at all until the next meal. I stay full a long time.


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26 Replies

  • Hi LuisRA,

    Sounds like you're making some tasty and nutritious salads there - and great to hear they're filling too. You mentioned being concerned about including foods to provide iron, so you might like this article which is specifically about Vegetarian and Vegan food sources of iron - I thought it included a nice range of foods that would be delicious added into a salad.

    Hope that's helpful, and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

    Zest :-)

  • Thanks. Some of these are pretty easy to get and pretty cheap. Of that list I think I only eat regularly the spinach. But beans and seeds I really like so it should be easy. Though Collard Greens I don't quite get what it is, gotta search up more but wiki says they're native to my country so it should be easy enough to get.

  • Funny, it seems collard greens is similar to portuguese cabage so that's everywhere.

    If you don't mind the extra question, do you have any advises on what I can use for a "base" of the salad? As I said now I only use letuce and spinach. Thinking of trying out some cabages but their pretty hard leaves.

  • I quite like Rocket salad leaves because of their peppery flavour, and watercress is nice. Maybe some beansprouts for crunch? :-)

  • Gonna try it out. Arugula for some reason is hard to find besides bagged (before there was even a kinda sweet arugula).

    Watercress is everywhere, specially for soups. Probably gonna pick that this week along with beansprouts if I find them.

    Thank you very much.

  • Also, you mentioned possibly using cabbage in your salad - why not do a tasty coleslaw - which incorporates cabbage in that recipe - and you can put carrot in there and onion too. A tasty constituent of a salad then.

    I love adding beetroot to salads too - and pickled onions.

    Eggs are a great addition - either hard-boiled or pickled.

    I hope you enjoy whatever meals you end up making. :-)

  • I really have to buy a shredder because doing that by hand can be annoying. I want to make mixes with thin, crunchy veggies likes that, maybe making something like coleslaw but adding also bean sprouts.

    I love the tiny onions in the pickles but without being pickled. They are hard to find though.

  • Hi LuisRA,

    Have you ever added quinoa in a salad? Had it on its own? It's very good and has protein in it.

    For me, I add mixed nuts, egg, tuna, etc. for protein and then I have added olives, mixed/tossed salad, mushrooms, fat free/low fat dressing, cherry tomatoes (10 count) and some leftovers from othersalad-like items. I love big salads!

  • Quinoa I never saw it selling. There's a ton of greens everywhere here but seeds only recently appear in non-specialized shops. Maybe it will start to appear quinoa.

    For some reason, sometimes I can't stand cherry tomatoes. Maybe because they are not always cherry (just tiny) and I like non-cherry more.

    Nice tip on the olives. I like them time to time, gotta remember to pick those up. Mushrooms unless they are canned I'm gonna have to cook them a bit though.

  • Do you like sundried tomatoes? They are good, too!

  • Never really ate dried fruit. I try to buy more of the fresh stuff, even avoid bagged stuff if possible. Maybe one day.

  • You can buy cherry tomatoes and have them sit on the countertop in the sun. This is what happened a few weeks ago and I was able to make my own sundried tomatoes by accident!

  • With my luck someone will eat them. Last time I left something unfreezing it was eaten when I came back to eat it.

  • There's a brand of sundried tomatoes that sits out on the countertop, but can you put your name on the container so it won't get stolen?

  • I like a hard boiled egg in my Salad I used to have the base of leaves but now I chop the leaves cucumber peppers red onion or Spring onion cucumber and for me tomatoes up small in a bowl I then add a dressing ? balsamic Vinegar or a mixture of BV and Olive oil and shake it all up For protein I add Salmon or tinned mixed beans or Advocado or meat Hope this might help you

  • Been wanting to add salmon, I just don't know which one I would get and how to prepare it. Plus it's pretty expensive but I want those omega-3.

    Balsamic is pretty expensive here. Is it really worth it? I use cider vinegar.

  • I like smoked Salmon No cooking required I poach fresh Salmon I justify buying it as Im not wasting money on cakes and chocolate.If you enjoy the taste of Cider V just stick with it.Very light mayonaise can give you a change of flavour also

  • Smoked salmon can be like 60€/kg so thats a lot of cakes to skip! (To compare, chicken breast is 4€/kg). Thats too much for college student budget

    Maybe I can cook a bit of fresh.

    I actually dont eat that many sweets to substitute that money spent with healthy alternatives. What I really spend a lot of money thay I shouldnt is soda... Like seriosly its not even funny.

  • Tyr using grains as a salad Base. Wholemeal pasta and rice need a good robust dressing like balsamic viegar and citrus juice and zest. Nuts dry toasted. Hard boiled eggs. Cauliflower cooked or raw. Toasted seeds like pumpkin, sun flower, sesame and poppy. Dried fruit can add an interesting element. I love boiled beetroot ( not pickled) with carrot and a balsamic dressing.

    Salad combinations are endless. Any vegetable or fruit cooked or raw with an interesting dressing. I try to have mostly raw veg and include cooked grains and protein occasionally.


  • Never really thought of using grains. Usually I eat pasta plates (just normal pasta) and usually they are pretty fat plates :p

    I want to try for now more of the raw veggies. Mostly things I can prepare early in the week (wash, peel, shred) and only have to pop in the plate when I'm about to eat. Mostly also because I can't convince my gf to eat all of these so that would imply making 2 meals that involved cooking.

    Any of those seeds are good to eat without toasting? Been thinking of adding sunflower kernels. Nuts and seeds have always the problem of price though a package lasts a long time for me.

    The beetroot and carrot I want to try out but I only have home cider vinegar since it's cheaper. I'm indecisive if I take beets or or turnips this week.

  • I just think seeds have a better fuller taste when toasted. Just a few minutes in a dry frying pan until they pop and brown slightly. I do a big batch and store in an air tight jar.


  • I usually just add them to increase my intake on minerals like magnesium since I suspected my mood was due to bad diet. So I like to add them to stuff like sandwiches, salads or shakes. You use pumpkin and sunflower whole? Like with the shell? I actually think there's only sunflower seed kernels in most stores where I am.

  • No I buy big bags of the seeds from a wholefood shop and store them. Cheaper that way. I put seeds in the bread I bake sometimes , on salads and sometimes on vegetable stews. In cakes too.


  • I got sunflower kernels since it's the only ones I found. Not that expensive and no need to take the shell. Pretty good, they remind me of other dry fruits like nuts (but tinny of course).

    Cakes is a good idea maybe I will try that. Maybe that way I can trick my gf into eating some. Maybe chocolate salami with it sounds like a good idea (they are pretty good with almonds) for crunchiness.

  • Hello,

    I'm new here on this site. Have been researching and trying out different dietary measures for a long time and have learned a lot of things during my journey. One essential is that we are all different and have our own weak spots and eventual underlying dysfunctions that we often are not aware of. This is why there is no diet that is good for everyone.

    Things that I have found useful to check when adjusting my diet are.

    1. My estrogen-progesterone balance. Very important that estrogen is not dominant, this causes ongoing low grade inflammation with symptoms that we often just take as part of life. The ongoing situation will in time cause bigger health problems. You can check symptoms on the net and this imbalance can be fixed with right diet and natural progesterone cream.

    2. Check thyroid function. A very large % of us have hypothyroidism without knowing it. This has a very broad effect on our enrgy and well being. We can support our thyroid function with a right diet and supplementing with iodine drops.

    I ate your new diet for many years and thought it was very good for me. But it wasn't because I had the two common underlying problems mentioned above. I was always a little hungry and wondered about this for many years. What my body was telling me was that I needed more fat and animal protien, my cell metabolism had a hard time with the food I was offering it. Not until recently did my bloodtest reveal that I really needed fat to get the cholesterol that was essential for body function. For me gluten and diary and sugar were central to eliminate from my diet. I had in fact very much been relying on carbs and sugar for energy instead of the much more central and efficiant way to give our cells energy through fat metabolism.

    Hope my thoughts could be of some help.😊Simba

  • Here an interview that may be of interest.

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