Salads For Summer

Posted by: 
Aimee Lecointre

It’s summer and boy is it a hot one! When it’s hot out one of the last things I want to do is heat the house up to cook a meal. Plus, I just don’t feel like eating a hot meal when it’s hot out. Ya feel me?

Salads give me life in the summer!

I often find that salads get a bad wrap in our community, the CF community. For many, in and out of our community, salads are synonymous with diet food. And typically when one thinks of diet food they think low calorie, and while not everyone with CF struggles to gain/maintain weight, many do. And salads are not usually one’s “go to” meal when trying to gain weight.

Here’s the thing though, if you think outside the box there are all sorts of ways to add calories to a salad. I also encourage you to think beyond just calories but also nutrients. We need to focus on eating more foods that are nutrient dense and support health and  healing while dropping foods that promote disease and inflammation. Salads full of  vegetables, healthy fats, good quality proteins, and sometimes limited fruit fit the nutrient dense bill.

The problem is, many of us get stuck in a creative rut when it comes to salads. So think outside the box, experiment with different flavor combinations, mix it up, and  try new things!

Here’s how I get my salad on:

1. Start with some greens. Your options here go beyond iceberg lettuce or romaine. Some other options include spinach, arugula, microgreens, mixed baby lettuces, kale, cabbage, etc. Personally, I like to mix two to three options together.

2. Add your veggies. Keep ‘em raw, roast them, grill them. You have endless possibilities here. Start with what you know you like then add in something new everytime. Choose a wide variety of colors when it comes to your veggies.

3. Add some fruit, fresh or dried. This is optional. If you do add fruit keep it to a small serving. Fruit is not only delicious and contains all sorts of amazing nutrients, but it can still spike blood sugars. Adding fats and proteins will help keep your sugars from spiking too high. If you go with dried fruit be sure it doesn’t have added sweeteners or sugars.

4. Add some healthy fats. Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats but also add some texture. Other healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, avocado oil, and full fat cheeses (if you tolerate dairy well).

5. Protein. Don’t skip the protein! Most people with CF know they need a high calorie/high fat diet, but most don’t realize that most of us should also be eating a high protein diet. Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, bison, venison, fish, shrimp, scallops, pork, eggs, etc. HIgh quality canned meats like tuna, salmon, and sardines are also great and convenient options. Get creative with how you cook your proteins. Grill it, roast, pan fry it, slow cook it etc. I’ve even been known to throw homemade extra crispy chicken wings on top of a salad! And while I don’t recommend a vegetarian diet for optimal health, it is a decision that I respect. If you don’t eat meat some protein options include beans, tempeh, and quinoa.

6. Dressing. Keep in mind that most store bought dressing include added sugars and rancid fats. Some great store bought options are Tessemae’s and Paleo Kitchen Foods dressings. You can also make your own. I like to use Google to search “homemade paleo salad dressings”. I use the word ‘paleo’ in my search only because it gives me more options that are dairy free, use healthy fats, and don’t have added sugars. Do your own search to find something with stellar ingredients that sounds good to you. Some days I just skip an actual dressing and drizzle my salad with olive or avocado oil and some sort of citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, etc).

Remember, think outside the box, try new combinations, mix it up often, and have fun!

                                                                                         Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 




Aimee Lecointre is 32 years old with CF and lives in Salt Lake City, UT. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is passionate about helping the CF community through movement and nutrition. In her free time you can find her hiking, doing yoga, cooking, reading, writing, fishing, or eating! Follow her on Facebook at The Nourished Breath or on Instagram @thenourishedbreath.





***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 

***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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