When you hear egg salad, you probably imagine boiled eggs and mayo. That’s not what I had on my plate for breakfast. I wanted veggies. Lots of them.
I help people with hypertension change their eating habits and lifestyle to lower their blood pressure and their risk of heart disease. I base my counseling on the DASH diet; Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. In summary, this diet focuses on:
- 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
- sodium intake of no more than 1,500 mg per day
- moderate amount of healthy fats
- moderate amount of low fat dairy
- a focus on fish, nuts, beans, and whole grains
And you can read my previous post on explaining the DASH diet.
When I tell my clients that they need to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 9 out of 10 times, I get a wide smile with a questions back:
“NINE??? a DAY??? or did you mean a week?”
That’s when I usually say:
“Did you know that a serving is 1/2 cup? So if you eat one cup at each of your three meals, that add up to 6 servings.”
And that’s when I see some relief on their faces. We try to figure out how many they eat now, and when/where we can add another 1/2 cup of veggies or fruits to get to those 9 a day.
Veggies for Breakfast
When I suggest adding a vegetable at breakfast is when I usually get another cringe.
“Vegetables for breakfast???”
We’re so used to eating something sweet in the morning–cereals, waffles, pancakes, fruits, donuts, pastries, etc–that the thought of anything that’s not sweet that early in the day is foreign. But it’s not. I’m sure you’ve had an omelet with spinach or mushrooms or a different vegetable before. Why not a salad?
This morning specifically, there were salad veggies in the fridge that will go bad if not eaten soon. I’m meeting someone for lunch and have chili for dinner–lots of veggies too but salad won’t work with chili. So, I had to find a time in my day to boost my veggie intake and not throw away healthy food that I paid top dollars for.
This salad is high in protein from the eggs and cheese, low-carb, and high in fat. Am I worried about the fat? Not too much. Olive oil and avocados are healthy fat sources. If you eat eggs once or twice a week, 2 eggs are ok. You can skip the cheese if you want. This salad is low in calories–only 300–and it will keep you full all morning.
Would you eat this salad for breakfast? What do you do to boost your veggie intake?
- 1.5 cups salad greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach)
- ½ sweet bell pepper (any color--I had a mix)
- ½ medium tomato on the vine
- ½ baby cucumber
- 1 tbsp diced avocado (1/8 th of an avocado)
- 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
- 1 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the salad greens, bell peppers, tomato, cucumber, avocado, chopped eggs, and mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.