I’ve found that it’s extremely common for many to turn to protein drinks and bars to replace their meals; many of my clients have attested to trying this. However, I advise that you avoid these processed protein bars and drinks completely if you’re truly seeking a healthy lifestyle. The majority of these store-bought drinks and meal replacement bars are not only heavily processed but are full of genetically engineered ingredients and artificial sweeteners. Consuming a snack bar instead of eating a complete lunch will not only keep you feeling hungry and deprived, but this routine will not work in the long run. Instead of filling your diet with bars and drinks, keeping you hungry and unnourished, consume a healthy whole-food lunch. This could be a kale salad with nuts and grilled chicken, or a homemade tuna sandwich on good-ingredient bread.
Eating meals high in protein will not only keep you satisfied longer but will provide your body with nutrients and energy that no snack bar could duplicate. Try this delicious and very simple salad, bursting with proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and a number of sunnah foods I cover in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. This recipe is vegan, but if you’re big on meat, feel free to add pieces of chicken or meat for an added burst of protein. It’s very quick and easy to make and will taste great the next day as your lunch.
Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are extremely high in protein, fiber, folate, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper. Chickpeas are full of insoluble fiber, thus aiding your digestive tract in getting rid of waste, and it reduces the risk of colon cancer. Chickpeas are great for your heart, too! They have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed in one’s diet often. Chickpeas, along with other beans, do great in balancing your blood sugar. That’s one reason why you don’t feel cravings after eating a good amount of beans—they balance your blood sugar. Best of all, beans are very filling. They will definitely keep you satisfied much longer than any processed and sugary protein bar can. They taste delicious and are extremely healthy, too.
Pomegranate, one of the Sunnah Superfoods I discuss thoroughly in my book, gives this salad a sweet and tart taste. Their color gives the salad a wonderful touch, and their flavor cannot compare. Pomegranate is very high in Vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and potassium.
The carrots add a nice crunch to the salad, as well as Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Carrots are also high in fiber, biotin, Vitamin K, and potassium. Green onions give this salad the perfect flavor but are much more subtle than what white onions would do. Green onions are not just for garnish but are a good source of magnesium, thiamin, and vitamin K. The avocado provides this salad with healthy fats giving you, even more, satiety after eating it. Avocados are very high in fiber and many other nutrients. The extra virgin olive oil, one of my favorite Sunnah foods, adds a delicious taste and aroma. Extra virgin olive oil is healthy for almost every organ in the body; from heart health benefits to digestive tract benefits, I recommend olive oil in the kitchen of every client and friend. The apple cider vinegar gives a bit of a tart
The extra virgin olive oil, one of my favorite Sunnah foods, adds a delicious taste and aroma. Extra virgin olive oil is healthy for almost every organ in the body; from heart health benefits to digestive tract benefits, I recommend olive oil in the kitchen of every client and friend. The apple cider vinegar gives a bit of a tart taste and adds digestive benefits too. The lemon juice aids in maximizing the tart taste and adds a ton of Vitamin C to the nutritional value. I recommend you only use freshly squeezed lemon juice, and avoid shelf-stable versions full of preservatives and chemicals.
All of the spices in this salad not only add zest but come with health benefits, too. Ginger aids in digestion, has cognitive health benefits, heart health benefits, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Feel free to add other spices of your preference, like cumin, ground onion, garlic powder, rosemary, or cilantro. Try this salad instead of meal replacement drinks and bars, and see how your body will not only feel satisfied and nourished but happy. It’s a great start to a healthy new lifestyle; take the initiative today.
- 2 cups chickpeas
- 1 pomegranate (remove the seeds)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar, raw
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 tablespoon dill
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard seed
- Place the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the pomegranate seeds, carrots, green onions and mix.
- In a small bowl, mix the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and all of the spices. Mix well until incorporated.
- Add the dressing to the chickpeas; toss until mixed.
- Transfer the salad to a mixing bowl. Top with the chopped avocadoes. Best if served chilled.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.