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Top Tips for a Killer Salad w/ Elizabeth Girouard

written by Elizabeth of Pure Simple Wellness

It’s hot. 

You don’t feel like turning on the oven.

You are tired of the same old meals…

Hi, I’m Elizabeth Girouard of Pure Simple Wellness here to share with you some simple tips to make healthy eating easy and enjoyable – instead of a painful chore.

When you think of a ‘salad’ you may not think of a looking for a recipe. Instead — it’s often the same old routine, which can become drab. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s time to mix things up and make salads exciting, delicious and something you crave.  Salads provide you a generous helping of nutrient-packed greens, healthy fats and satiating proteins. With so many perks all in one bowl, it’s time to re-kindle your relationship with salads and get them back on your plate.

Here are 3 tips for making killer salads that you will crave:

  1. Use ingredients that are fresh and in season.  Take a trip to the Farmers Market or your grocery store to pick up some local, fresh and in season produce…your taste buds will thank you. Salads aren’t just about lettuce! Why not use shredded brussels sprouts and broccoli slaw for the base or different greens like arugula, radicchio or watercress. Some of my favorite veggies are: Swiss chard, which I use in my morning smoothies, broccoli, which is delicious steamed, sautéed and roasted, and organic strawberries which I can eat with anything, particularly chocolate! Checkout this list for seasonal veggies by season from the USDA.
  2. Mix it up.  Get creative with your ingredients and play with mixing textures.  Combining raw veggies with one cooked veggie can really take it up a notch.  For example, roasting broccoli, mushrooms or onions for your salad will add an interesting and delicious element to your plate. Also, adding foods with different textures makes your salad more interesting. If you use something soft like avocado, balance it with something crunchy like diced carrots or chopped almonds. Don’t forget the fruit!  Adding berries to a summer salad is refreshing and quenches that taste for something sweet.
  3. Add fresh spices and herbs. One of my favorite ways to add extra flavor to my salads is with fresh herbs. Mince some fresh rosemary, dill or anise into your salad and change the flavor significantly. A ½ teaspoon of fresh minced herbs can take your salad from ho-hum to wow in no time!

I know you’ll want a healthy option to put atop that delectable salad in your near future that gives it a nice pop, so I’ve included one of my favorite easy, homemade salad dressing recipes for you below. It’s full of healthy fats and real ingredients. It’s simple and much healthier than the sugar laden bottled salad dressings made with inflammatory oils and preservatives. Enjoy!

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette 

  • Olive oil — 1/2 cup
  • Balsamic Vinegar — 1/2 cup
  • Dijon Mustard — 1⁄2 teaspoon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Basil — 1⁄2 teaspoon
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Combine in jar with lid, shake and store. It will keep for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

Want some help making tasty salads to go? Grad your free guide to making delicious mason jar salads that won’t wilt. These salads are perfect to grab and go. Get your copy here:

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Katie is a passionate mover who was brought to Pilates through dance. After a professional dance career, Katie discovered her love of teaching-connecting the mind and body, and working with students of all ages and levels. Her appreciation and understanding of everyone’s ever changing body and needs only became greater as her own body went through pre and post natal stages, an experience which has helped Katie navigate problem solving, and bring a freshness to each session making them feel personal and specific to each body’s needs. Her sessions are full of flow and aim to challenge clients with a sense of comfort, and often a little humor, all of which she has brought to Pure Pilates since 2016. Katie thinks the gift of movement and self care is one of the best things one can do for overall wellness, and is thrilled to seek and fulfill milestones and goals with each of her clients. When she’s not at the studio, Katie is taking care of her three little humans- another job that also makes her smile, laugh, and challenges her on the daily.
Eighteen years ago I discovered my love for Pilates. After having my two children, I felt the need to move my body again. At the time I was living in North Carolina, and worked through many different exercise and training programs. I discovered Pilates, and instantly knew it was right for me. Forteen years later, and a move to New Jersey, I decided to share my love of Pilates with other people looking for some way to move their bodies. Pilates has also been a way for me to keep me strong and flexible to continue many activities. My family loves to be active, and I often find when we are all together (mostly vacations) our days consist of activity and movement such as hiking, kayaking, or skiing(more on this later). As I have gotten older I find it even more imperative now that I keep my body strong. Recently I was in a skiing accident that left me with many knee injuries and ultimately having to go into surgery. I found being able to do light Pilates a few weeks after surgery kept me sane and ultimately helped with recovery time. Pilates has not only helped me be able to keep up with my children, but has also provided me with a body that is able to function at peak performance. My approach to Pilates can be described in one, simple word: movement. Movement can help you, both physically and mentally. Movement, and Pilates, is ultimately about self care. Having a built in time to focus on your body and movement can help relieve yourself of feeling tired, anxious, and stressed. Movement awakens you. Even after one session you can leave feeling calmer and energized.
Enjoyment of life through movement is a vital part of Kathy’s philosophy. When not in the studio she leads an active lifestyle trail running, cycling, skiing and hiking. She also loves connecting with people while traveling with family and friends. One of her favorite cycling trips was riding along the coast of northern California. Learning new things and sharing knowledge is also important to Kathy. She has a passion for food, likes to cook for her family and experiment with new recipes. She is currently trying to achieve the perfect pizza. She is also an avid reader of historical fiction and biographies. Her latest endeavor is learning to play golf.
Carol M. Crincoli, owner Pure Pilates studio, has been in the fitness industry since 1990, with experience in corporate and commercial fitness, recreational programming and teaching as an adjunct professor. She began practicing Pilates in 2003 and received Pilates training through the PhysicalMind Institute in New York, NY. She holds certifications from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer and lifestyle and weight management consultant. She was also accepted into the IDEA-PFT Recognition System as an Elite Level Personal Fitness Trainer. She is the only trainer in the NY-metro area for Trent McEntire’s Arcus equipment. Carol graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in musical theater and a minor in dance. Opening Pure Pilates is the culmination of a lifetime dream, and her mission to "inspire life from the core" is a holistic approach to health and wellness—from exercise and nutrition, to stress management and self-care. Carol is also the inventor of 8th Avenue Rail, an organizing solution for Tower springs.