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Cooking with Karina: Dress for Success

Karina Arnold
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Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime DressingKarina Arnold is a rising junior at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

When looking for a job, parents, teachers and professionals all advise me to “dress for success” or “dress for the job you want.” So I did. I stopped wearing oversized t-shirts and sweatpants to class and started wearing jeans and nice tops. Dressing well has helped me achieve my academic goals and helped me obtain professional experience and opportunity. The advice to dress for success not only applies to your professional success, but also nutritional. Trust me.

Foodies and nutritionists often consider salads as the epitome of health. Packed with leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and protein, like in my Vegan Quinoa Taco Bowl, salads provide the nutrients your body needs to replenish and grow.

Salads have the potential to be nourishing, filling and delicious; however, there is something we need to address . . . salad dressing. Salad dressing is the final touch to a satisfying lunch. Rich, creamy, spicy or mild, salad dressings add great flavor, but they are often nutritional killers.

Some dressings exceed sugar contents of 12g for 1 tablespoon. Furthermore, many premade dressings are packed with preservatives, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils. Your body doesn’t recognize these process, lab-made ingredients, thus it is harder to digest.

Greek Salad Dressing

Here, Karina Arnold tops her spiralized cucumber and carrot salad with the homemade Greek dressing. (Photo: Karina Arnold)

For the sake of your salad and your health, ditch the store dressings and make your own!  This Greek Dressing is perfect to marinate your chicken, sauté on vegetables or drizzle on your salad. For a savory, thick dressing, try this Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing packed with healthy fats your body craves.

Although many dressings are deceivingly unhealthy, there are some store-bought dressings I grab when I do not have time to make my own. Here are my tips for buying a good dressing:

  • Look at the ingredients. Are whole, read-able foods at the top of the list?
  • Look at sugar content. If it has grams in the high double digits, ditch it.
  • Look at fats. How much is saturated? Fats are not bad, but stay away from high amounts of saturated fats.

Don’t let your salad go naked or be dressed poorly. Dress for success with these recipes and tips to the best salad toppers. What are your favorite salad dressings? Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Comment below! 

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