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What Happened When I Started Eating Salad for Breakfast

Preston and Kate enjoy numerous DIY projects: painting, tiling, quilting, crafting, gardening, canning, thrifting, cooking—they do it all.

Are there health benefits to eating salad for breakfast? Read on to learn more.

Are there health benefits to eating salad for breakfast? Read on to learn more.

A Healthy Diet Change

I need to preface a few things before I let you in on the great results I found after I started eating salad for breakfast. For almost eight months now, I have attempted to eat very little refined sugar and very few refined carbs.

See, over a year ago, my father had some terribly painful digestive problems that doctors could not diagnose. He was in excruciating pain, and there seemed to be nothing he could do about it. Finally, his oncologist sent him to a holistic doctor. This was the best thing that ever happened to my dad.

His new holistic doctor immediately recommended that he switch to a paleo diet. This was a huge change for both my parents. My mom was spending hours in the kitchen making everything from scratch. What happened next was crazy. My parents started losing weight at a rapid pace and after two weeks, my father's pain was gone. After months of recommendations and a very painful biopsy, two weeks of a wholesome and healthy diet healed my father.


Pregnancy and a Gestational Diabetes Test

I was pregnant with my second son when all this happened with my dad. I went in for my routine one hour gestational diabetes test. What happened? I failed it! By only three points, but alas, I failed it.

I immediately changed my diet. I didn't go hard core paleo, but I cut out all refined sugar and refined carbs. I was 22 weeks pregnant and losing weight. Kind of crazy. Please know I was still eating plenty of food. I went in my doctor's to retake my gestational diabetes test and I passed with exceptionally flying colors after three weeks of new eating habits.

A Nursing Mom Stuck in a Rut

So where am I now? I'm stuck. I'm nursing, and I can't get the baby weight off as fast as I would like. With the help of my husband, I have cut out all refined carbs and refined sugars again. We've been at it for almost fifteen days now, and I just wasn't seeing the change on the scale that I was hoping for.

I needed to change something. With the warmer weather, I was walking more. I was trying to be ultra disciplined at home between meals, but I'm a horrible grazer. I stay at home with the kids, and during the long afternoons, I easily head to the kitchen for unnecessary snacks.

I needed to change something. I always eat oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal out of the canister with milk, a little butter, a little honey, and a little salt. I love it with a cold glass of milk.

This is a pretty high calorie breakfast, but it's oatmeal, right? Oatmeal is supposed to be healthy. That's when I started thinking...

Vegetables are really probably what I need to add to my diet. I see so many varying opinions on whether dairy is good for you, and I see lots of articles on whether grains are good for you or toxic to your body. Forever will we see the debate on whether or not meat is healthy to eat.

What does everyone seem to agree on? Everyone seems to agree on the fact that vegetables are healthy for our bodies and most of us don't eat enough of them!

I decided to see what would happen if I ate salad for breakfast for five days straight.

Romaine lettuce for breakfast

Romaine lettuce for breakfast

Eating Salad for Breakfast: Day One

I love eating salads. I was laying in bed the night before thinking how great of a salad I would make for breakfast. I would use a heart of Romaine lettuce, a tomato, half an avocado, five pieces of bacon, and a little cottage cheese to act as the dressing.

I woke up that morning and poured my coffee. First things first, coffee does not go with salad. All the sudden eating salad for breakfast does NOT sound near as tasty as it did the day before. But, I decided I was going to do this. I set to work chopping my Romaine. I ate a nice hearty salad for breakfast.

What happened on day one? I forgot to eat lunch. I stunned myself. I am usually back in the kitchen by 10:30 in the morning fixing lunch because I am so hungry. I guess my hefty salad held me over a little longer than my usual oatmeal.

I also noticed I had a little lull of energy in the afternoon. Since going off refined carbs and refined sugars, I have had way more energy again. I was surprised when I turned up a bit sleepy in the afternoon. I am not sure if it had anything to do with eating a salad for breakfast or not, but I wondered if it was because I had not had any starches that day.


Eating Salad for Breakfast: Day Two

My husband told me I should just eat the oatmeal again. He was a bit concerned about me getting enough calories since I am nursing our three month old. I told him to take a look at my waistline...I am getting plenty of calories. Plus, I was down two pounds from the previous morning! (Yes, right now I am weighing myself every morning and writing it down. It's not an obsession, but I want to track how I am doing for the time being. I want to see a downward trend.) I had broken through a threshold I hadn't seen since before being pregnant. I rushed to the kitchen to make my salad for the second day in a row...hoping my salad made me lose more weight the following morning.

Day two was a bit tricky since it was a rough day at home with the kids. I ended up eating four, yes four, of my homemade almond joys. (Chocolate always helps a stressed out mother.) Even when eating salad for breakfast, it's going to be hard to lose weight when I eat four almond joys in one day. Maybe it will all even out since we had salad with grilled chicken on it for dinner.

Eating Salad for Breakfast: Day Three

I couldn't believe when I had lost another .2 of a pound when I weighed myself on day three. I really was very very pleasantly surprised. Another .2 of a pound was motivation to make another salad!

I, once again, had my Romaine lettuce with a tomato, half an avocado, five pieces of bacon, some cottage cheese, and a little salt and pepper.

I had to drink my coffee after eating my salad because the two just don't mix well.

I kind of felt like my salad failed me when I found myself pretty hungry around 10:00 that morning. I snacked a little before eating lunch around 11:30. I find myself with plenty of energy in the mornings. Is this a result of eating salad for breakfast? I'm not sure. Maybe I had good sleep the night before. I am not sure for all the reasons as I continue on my food journey, but I am finding myself very productive each morning after starting my day with a salad.


Eating Salad for Breakfast: Day Four

This was the first day I almost broke my 'salad for breakfast' fiasco. I don't mind the taste right now, but I am getting tired of the preparation each morning. If I had planned better, I should have cut all the lettuce and cooked all the bacon on the first day. Instead, I've been cooking and chopping every morning.

I held steady on the scale today. I've lost 2.2 pounds since I started my salad eating three days ago. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'm pretty happy with that change!

Today I was ready for a change in the salad. Instead of using cottage cheese on top, I used a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and made a homemade olive oil based dressing.

Once again, on day four's morning, I had more energy than expected. The night before had been a bit long with both kids up multiple times, and I had expected to hit a lull, but I felt good. Maybe the salad did it? This week I have also been able to wake up much easier than usual.

During the afternoon, though, I noticed another pitfall as a result of eating salad for breakfast. I noticed that I had almost no energy. I thought back on my day realizing I had eaten salad for breakfast and two fried eggs for lunch. This was a reminder I need to eat fruit, carrots, or some other form of natural carbs or sugars to keep some energy up.

Eating Salad for Breakfast: Day Five

This was my last day of eating salad for breakfast. It was a tough one for me because it was Saturday morning. Saturday mornings are meant for eating pancakes and sausage for breakfast.

I weighed myself again on the morning of day five, and I was quite motivated to go eat that last salad after seeing I lost a whole pound again! I really couldn't believe it. I had lost 3.2 pounds in five days making one small change in life.

I was thankful this was the last day of chopping lettuce at 7:00 in the morning.

Since this was some pretty rapid weight loss, I expect to see some fluctuation on the scale, but I was so thankful to see some results. I will be continuing on my journey of healthy eating and exercising...and trying to get some of the baby weight off!


What Was Achieved?

1. Eating salad for breakfast for five days helped me shed a few pounds quickly and keep me motivated on a path to healthy eating. This was what I was hoping for, and I achieved my goal.

2. When I started my day with salad, I had a stronger drive to eat healthy all day. I didn't want to ruin my healthy start.

3. When I ate salad for breakfast, I needed to consciously eat some fruit or healthy snack around 10:30 to keep my energy up. Eating only vegetables and meat can leave me feeling a bit lethargic.

4. I found myself with extra energy most days. This could be a result of eating the salads for breakfast, but I think it has more to do with a low carb and low sugar diet overall.

5. My mind has been opened to the many possibilities of breakfast options. I don't have to eat oatmeal or cereal. Or bagels. Or muffins. Or any of the other high sugar options most commonly eaten for breakfast.

I think eating salad for breakfast was a healthy change. Am I going to stick with it? I found a number of advantages to eating salad for breakfast, but I don't think I'll continue eating it every morning. Maybe everyone once in a while when I get stuck in a weight loss rut, this will be a good challenge again.

Let me know what your favorite healthy options are for breakfast!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Valerie Wilson on April 12, 2018:

Doing this does it matter what u eat for lunch and dinner.

radhapriestess on January 23, 2018:

I do eat oatmeal for breakfast, but I put in coconut milk instead of regular milk and add an egg, seeds & nuts & fruits & herbs and spices. It stays with me a long time. I eat salad for lunch and dinner all the time. It does help with digestion and I don't gain weight. For some people salad at breakfast works. When I work the salads work better than for breakfast.

Taby on January 22, 2018:

been eating salad for breakfast on and off for 3 months, my husband for for months daily. He lost two pant sizes...

what do I mean by salad? how much time does it take?

salad, cucumbers, avocado, rotation garbanzo, lentils or black beans, chia seeds, rotation sunflower or pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, red onion! finishing off with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon vinaigrette... takes 5 minutes to prepare 3 bowls ( me , daughter and hubby)Love my salads!

RobF on April 06, 2016:

Cool experiment. But seriously the fact you feel full until lunch is most likely because of the bacon and avocado. Fat helps you maintain full longer. Also removing the oatmeal with honey definitely and the cup of milk specially if it was low fat milk (you would be surprised how much sugar that thing has) would make you crave even more food so removing it definitely makes you less hungry. Also greens help you digest so yes salad is a great idea for breakfast! Suggest you can add some veggies like raddish, beets, carrots, chayote, zucchini or squash instead of grains like oats, rice, beans, corn, peas etc ...

Raven Monique Veal from Louisiana on May 21, 2015:

Pretty interesting....I think I would have trouble with the prep daily. Since I am off for the summer I will give this a try!!! :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 12, 2015:

Thanks for sharing your story! I've been thinking about adopting a more paleo diet, and it's always interesting to read other people's experiences with it.

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on May 05, 2015:

Hi FatBoyThin. Thanks for the info on the juicing. I really need to try it sometime. I'm with you on washing kitchen can get old really fast when you are using it every day.

Hi fpherj48! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub! Thanks for stopping by!

Suzie from Carson City on May 05, 2015:

Thanks for sharing this. Very educational & interesting. I applaud your tenacity and careful recording. You didn't fall for the typical, "forget it, I can't do this!"....white flag routine. Determination and staying on track is so important and one of the harder things to do. Congratulations on your success!....UP+++

Colin Garrow from Inverbervie, Scotland on May 05, 2015:

Hi Guys, yeah juicing is great but because it's just liquid, it doesn't feel like you've had a meal, so you have to drink really slowly. Again the prep time is ridiculous and by the time I'd made my juice and washed up the equipment it used to take me about 20 minutes, which seems a bit excessive.

Diana Abrahamson on May 04, 2015:

Good way to shed the the idea of bacon with it!

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on May 03, 2015:

Hi FatBoyThin, yes, I agree, the worst part if eating salad for breakfast was the preparation time. I should have done a better job of cooking and chopping everything on the same day and using it as needed.

I have never tried juicing, but it's appealed to me. Did you find it helpful or enjoyable?

Colin Garrow from Inverbervie, Scotland on May 03, 2015:

Sounds like an interesting idea, though I think that having to take time to prepare breakfast every morning would put me off (usually takes me about two minutes - porrdige with fresh fruit). Having said that, I did pretty well a few years ago when I was having juiced vegetables for lunch, so maybe I'll give it a go. Great Hub.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 01, 2015:

I do and a lot healthier as well, especially for my heart.

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on May 01, 2015:

Hi Kristen Howe, good job losing some weight! I hope I can soon say I have lost 15 pounds too. I bet you feel so much better!

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 30, 2015:

Hi Seafarer Mama, I have probably five cans of coconut milk in my pantry , but I haven't experimented with them yet. I love coconut. Using them in a smoothie is a great idea. I bet the combo of coconut and pineapple is so delicious! I am so glad you mentioned that.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 30, 2015:

I never thought of eating salad for breakfast. I have it for lunch or dinner as a side dish or a main dish, especially if I'm low on food. I might give it a try sometime. I've ate so much salad in a year and lost unexpected weight-just around 15 pounds. Good for you! Voted up for interesting!

Karen A Szklany from New England on April 30, 2015:

I found one that involves kale, pineapple, coconut milk, regular milk, ,and a banana. You may need to play with amounts so it isn't too thick. It is delicous, though. :0)

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 29, 2015:

Hi Seafarer Mama, I've started walking a lot more now that the weather is getting nicer. We do lots of smoothies around our house. We add spinach to almost every has been a good way to get our toddler to eat some fresh veggies. I have not experimented with protein shakes yet.

Do you have any suggestions or recommendations of smoothies or shakes that you have enjoyed?

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 29, 2015:

Hi easylearningweb! Good job eating so healthy. I have a lot to learn! I haven't done any omelettes lately. That would be a good way to mix up a diet where I am eating so many eggs. They are so easy right now as I explore my way through a low carb / low sugar diet. You gave me a great suggestion for some variation.

Karen A Szklany from New England on April 29, 2015:

Great article. When I had gestational diabetes, I followed a strict low carb diet and bounced back to my normal blood sugar management afterward. I have been contemplating eating more salads for all 3 meals and walking to lose weight.

Do you make smoothies/shakes for yourself?

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on April 29, 2015:

Hi prestonandkate, This is very interesting. i too love eating salads. I like to add some protein for energy like chicken or a Morning Star garden veggie burger (so good and healthy by the way).

My fave healthy breakfast is an omelet with veggie mix in a tomato basil wrap.

Lets keep eating salads!

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 28, 2015:

Hi Flipsgeraldine! I will have to look into protein shakes. I'm glad you mentioned them. I have not experimented with them and haven't read much about recipes and ingredients. I agree that heavy carbs have lost their appeal, but I am still attempting to get off chocolate. I still crave it.

Thanks for your insight!

Yvette Marshall from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2015:

I did the diet change as well but, I eat salads for lunch, for breakfast I drink a protein drink. I notice a huge change in abdomen, which is what I was hoping for. I too cut back on carbs and sugar and notice a huge difference in how I feel. I will continue eating spinach salads and will eliminate carbs and sugar permanently. It is a process. One think I did notice is that since I eat only salads, foods like pizza and pasta lost its appeal. I like the changes hence, I am working towards incorporating it permanently.

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 28, 2015:

Hi radhapristess, I think I could learn a lot from you! We just started incorporating lots of nuts and coconut oil into our diet. Is there any reason in particular you choose to eat dried papaya? You comment is interesting about honey. We are using less and less of it, but I still use it a bit as we continue eliminating sugar in our diets. What have you found out about honey and its affects on people?

Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 28, 2015:

Hi LisaRoppolo, I love salad too. It was a bit interesting convincing my taste buds that I could try it for breakfast too. We don't have any gluten allergies in our family, but we have seen some benefits of staying away from it anyway. We don't seem to have the energy lulls when we stay away from the gluten products. Maybe the energy crashes aren't from gluten but just refined wheat products??? I'm not sure. I have so much to learn! Thanks for the vote and thanks for stopping by!

radhapriestess from Minneapolis, MN on April 28, 2015:

Interesting about eating salad for breakfast. I do that for lunch. I do the oatmeal for breakfast and it stays with me pretty long. I also have seeds, nuts, fruits, one egg and dried papaya, besides coconut oil. Honey can effect people. I can't handle it very well. I stay away from refined sugars and I have complex carbs mostly.

Lisa Roppolo from New Lenox, IL on April 28, 2015:

Interesting, I love salad to begin with and I usually have it for lunch. But I may try flip flopping my meals around and see what happens. More for weight loss than anything. I am already completely gluten free (allergy tests came back positive) and that pretty much avoids all the high calorie and high sugar bakery items for breakfast. Nice Hub. Voted Up!