salad Bethenny

Want to be Naturally Thin? Always Start With a Salad

I consider a salad not only a delicious way to eat vegetables full of fiber and nutrients, but a tool for being naturally thin. Every night, before you eat one single thing for dinner, have a salad.

If you get tired of salad, get more creative. Salads don’t have to be boring, and they certainly don’t have to be the same every day. Shake things up. Here are some ideas:

– Choose dark leafy greens like arugula, spinach, and mesclun for your salad. These greens have more flavor and need less dressing than plain iceberg lettuce, which is mostly water and not very nutritious. Romaine is better, but still not as nutrient-dense or flavorful as some of the other greens. Remember: the darker the color, the better.

– Add colorful, exciting vegetables to your salad. I like to make salads completely from leftover herbs, such as parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, and a few bitter greens like watercress and arugula. Add pear tomatoes for color. Chop orange and red peppers for tangy crunch. Use a carrot peeler and put some carrot shavings on top. Get excited about your salad, as if it were a work of art.

– I also like to choose one or two fun ingredients for my salad. Maybe it’s a certain toasted nut, like pecans or pine nuts, combined with a lower-fat, higher-flavor cheese like Parmesan, feta, or blue cheese. To me, that makes a salad even more interesting. By the way, you don’t need very much of these high-flavor cheeses to add a lot of character to your salad.

– Finally, don’t let yourself get stuck in a salad rut. You might love a certain mix of greens, veggies, and nuts, but vary it for better nutrition and excitement. One night, try arugula, sun dried tomatoes, and goat cheese with olive oil and lemon. Another day, try baby spinach, walnuts, and tomatoes with raspberry vinaigrette. You can mix in some Asian greens (sold in bags and at some farmers markets) and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Make your own Asian vinaigrette of olive oil, a dash of sesame oil, honey, lime, and soy sauce.

The point is to have the salad, eat it before you eat anything else, fill up on that first, and include your family. They should all be eating salads, too, right? It’s better for digestion, not to mention discipline, if everyone sits down together and calmly enjoys a salad at the beginning of every meal, before moving on to the next part of the meal. Make salad a habit.

This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available on