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Salad Short Cut

It’s already later than I want to eat dinner and I just got home from work. Diane is outside taking care of the chickens and I said I’d put together something to go with the meat nicely thawed on the counter and the sweet potato already cooking in the timer-set oven. A salad is the perfect side dish we need, so I take out some lettuce to wash and look at the other plastic bags crammed full of beautiful organic salad veggies and just don’t have the heart to peel, wash, grate and dice all the colors I know I want on top of my lettuce.

Luckily, I attended Ross Pelton’s lecture at the recent Anti-Aging Conference in Las Vegas and learned his secret salad tip. I pulled the glass container off the middle shelf of the fridge and spooned some of its bounty on my salad, making it the healthiest and most colorful (those go together) thing I’d eaten all day!

Ross Pelton is perhaps best know as The Natural Pharmacist, formerly the pharmacist at our local drug store (RiteAid in Ashland, Oregon), and now better known for his writings and work on probiotics. He spoke at the conference on maintaining a healthy gut microbiome (which almost everyone mentioned, no matter their main topic) and offered us a jewel from his own personal routine. Advice I followed my first day home, and now I'm reaping the benefits.

Salad Short Cut

Next time you shop, look for all the vegetables you might possibly eat raw, vegetables you'd love to see gracing the top of your salad if only someone else took the time to prepare them for you. Stock up on beets, carrots, radishes, parsnips, green onions, chard, snow peas and celery. For added flavor—but in moderation if you have any thyroid concerns*—include some cruciferous vegetables, too: cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli or kale. Buy a lemon, too. You don’t need a separate bag for each veggie, you’re going to use them right away.

When you get home, put your grating blade on your cuisinart (oh, I hope you have one!!), and feed the vegetables through the chute and into the grater. I rinsed everything and peeled just the beets. Empty the cuisinart (maybe even two loads of it) into a big bowl. Add the juice of one lemon, mix well, and fill your biggest glass container(s) to store your bounty on the shelf of the fridge instead of in the lettuce drawer. Have a scoop on your salad! Have a bowl full with some tinned sardines for lunch!

When someone tells you to eat lots of colorful vegetables, you can smile and say, “I do, and it’s easy!”


* Cruciferous vegetables are considered goitrogens, that is, they can suppress thyroid function, but only when eaten RAW. Even lightly cooked broccoli, cabbage, etc., are thought to be completely safe for your thyroid. If you have low thyroid function, you should limit your intake of raw cruciferous vegetables. I threw in just a few brussel sprouts and a bit of cabbage, so they amount to about 5% of my Colorful Vegetable Bounty.