Healthy oils like olive, walnut, flax, and others are very dense foods with high calorie content. Using oils to dress a salad changes it from a low-calorie food to a fattening meal. While a salad has a reputation as a side dish, one with too much salad dressing (oil or creamy dairy fat) can render it more caloric than the main dish.
Most people want good-tasting food and salad is no exception. In addition, a little fat with any vegetable enhances nutritional absorption by our bodies. So how can we hang on to the low-calorie benefit of a salad and still have a tasty dressing to go with it and a few nutrient-absorbing fats?
Dr. Fuhrman encourages using the whole food in salads rather than the oil. That is, eat your salad with actual olives rather than dousing it in olive oil. Sprinkle a few walnuts on your salad or ground flax seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds give your salad some staying power throughout the day.
In his books, Dr. Fuhrman has lots of salad dressing recipes, including ones that call for a small amount of oil. Start a salad dressing with a nut butter like tahini, peanut, or cashew; liquify it in a blender with a juicy fruit like lemons or oranges; add water (coconut water, broth, vinegar, etc.), and some spices. Homemade salad dressing will last about five days in the refrigerator.
My favorite dressing is 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup tahini, 3 organic oranges peeled and seeds extracted, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1/8 cup Braggs Aminos for a salty taste or a couple of pitted dates for a sweeter taste, all blended and thinned with water to a consistency you like.
A salad that has plenty of high oil content foods like avocados, walnuts, seeds, or olives needs very little dressing. A tablespoon of humus or tabbouleh or bruschetta/salsa will do nicely if you are not up to making home-made dressings.
My salad starts with arugula. To it I add mushrooms cooked and soaked in Braggs Aminos because I love that taste and some seaweed for mineral content. I also cook organic frozen corn and add it. Other additions are lots of red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, black beans, avocado (a great healthy fat addition that aids in nutrient absorption), carrots, red peppers, black olives and sesame seeds (both high in fat and the seeds add calcium). This salad is heavy in cancer-fighting nutrients (cruciferous vegetables) and it keeps me going all day. I look forward to eating it and even though it is a pain to add all that stuff, my husband and I usually make enough for five lunches on Sunday afternoon so we don’t have to spend an hour in the kitchen every day.
Oil is used in religious ceremonies to anoint someone for a specific task or for healing them. Jesus was anointed by women with perfumed oil three times, and once with the addition of tears. Jesus knew that he was the chosen sacrificial lamb for all of our sins, he knew he was the ultimate healer of mankind, he knew that these anointings were prophetic actions inspired by God’s powerful love in action in these women, and he knew that the women and their actions would be remembered throughout time.
However, each time Christ was anointed the people watching criticized the anointing. Once because the anointer was a prostitute (described in the Bible as a sinful woman), and the other two times as overly extravagant acts whose worth could have been better accounted for in coinage to the poor. Each time Jesus corrected his critics because he saw God’s powerful affirmation of his own imminent and sacrificial death, and through these gracious acts of love he saw a sign of God’s redemptive power.
The beauty of these anointings points to the extravagant love God shows for us through His death on the cross, for God and Jesus are one and the same. Such beauty can be contemplated for an entire lifetime but at first realization it brings us to tears of repentance. Thereafter, God responds with His own anointing by giving us His Holy Spirit. This Spirit anoints us with power to become everlasting creatures no longer wedded to sin which leads to death, but to freedom from sin’s enslaving powers and to acts of love like these exemplary women. We can only be awed by God’s great mercy reflected in the actions of these women. I often think of the beauty of Christ’s love for a poor sinful woman abused and used by the world who washed Christ’s feet with her own tears of gratitude.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.