The Salad Standby

OK, so let me tell you about my personal trainer. His name is AC and he rocks my fitness right now. I work out at a gym called Balance here in D.C. It's not your average Life Circuit rotation gym, it's hardcore. A bunch of rugby players own the place and there is nothing cute about it except for, well, the rugby players. At my first session, he had me push a sand bag across the basketball court, benchpress my own body weight, and run while he held me back with the rubber band wrapped around my waist. Not to mention the chinups, pushups, and skipping rope. All exercises at which I'm not particularly stellar. All with the exception of skipping rope. Every girl is a pro at that one. AC works just about every muscle in my body without me even knowing it. The day after, I am always a little stiff, but it's not so bad. It doesn't get brutal until the day after that.

I can't lie, the best part of the workout is the salad after. When I was working in New York City, the salad I ate everyday came from Metro Cafe on 7th Avenue. It was my own freaked out, pared down combination of a Caesar, Cobb, and Tuna Nicoise. "May I have a small mixed greens with tuna, hard boiled egg, parmesan, and extra croutons, please? Caesar dressing on the side, thank you."

I swear, it was like a mantra.

When I was courting the Godfather, I ate this salad almost everyday and it totally worked for me. The protein boost in the early afternoon was exactly what I needed in order to walk back into Ralph Lauren and keep up that insane, Fashion Avenue, Devil Wears Prada pace without morphing into a complete bitch.

A few years back, a friend of a friend opened Chopt. They basically expanded on the idea that is one of many stations in establishments like Metro all over NYC. Chopt offers the same "make your own" salad concept, but takes a mezzaluna to your salad so that scarfing seems charming.

So that's where I head after the gym for my freaked out Cobbsar Nicoise. It's like the Red after the J (a nod, Sarah). I'm already high from the incredible workout and that protein packed salad makes me feel as strong as some of those cute rugby boys.

The salad is probably one of the easiest salads to put together. Grab about three generous handfuls of mixed greens, drained and flaked canned tuna (one can will suffice), two chopped hard boiled eggs, two tablespoons of grated or shaved parmesan and a handful of croutons. Have your dressing on the side. You can make your own dressing, if you are so inclined, or just choose your favourite. I find that when I have my salad dressing on he side, I end up consuming really no more than a teaspoon or so. It's a good deal.

The Deal:

Calories: 378; Fat: 21g; Carbs: 14g; Protein: 34g

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