Archive for the tag - lunch

Healthy Sandwich Guide!

sprout-sandwich[1]Yes, sandwiches are fast, easy and convenient – but they can also be secret calorie bombs. Today, I’m going to help you build a better lunch with my healthy sandwich guide.

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that healthy sandwiches start at home. By preparing your sandwich at home, you’ll know exactly what goes into it (and, equally important, what’s not going into it). And, it will save you money!

BREAD

Building a healthy sandwich starts with a proper foundation. While white bread or baguettes can be tempting, the later could add as many as 500 calories to your lunch. White bread will also spike your blood sugar and wreck havoc on your energy levels.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Whole wheat bread. Be careful to read the label and look for the word “whole” before wheat. If it doesn’t have it, it’s really just white bread in disguise. For example, I was surprised to learn that Subway’s wheat bread actually contains no whole grains. It’s not a smart choice for a health-conscious individual like you.
  • Whole grains. There are plenty of other whole grain options beyond wheat. Spelt is another great choice.
  • Whole wheat pita. Cut open a whole wheat pita and fill it with your favorite toppings.

PROTEIN

Our bodies use proteins for many important functions, including to repair and rebuild our muscles – which is especially important for active or gym-going individuals. But protein also helps us feel full longer. As such, protein consumption is also important for people looking to lose weight.

Smart protein choices:

  • Eggs. While high in dietary cholesterol, eggs don’t spike blood cholesterol levels – and they’re packed with tons of important nutrients.
  • Chicken or turkey.
  • Hummus. No meat? No problem. Beans are rich in protein. And since hummus is made from a base of chickpeas, it’s a smart, high-protein option.
  • Fish including tuna, salmon and mackerel.

TOPPINGS

This is where it gets fun! Load your sandwich with colorful and nourishing toppings like:

  • Sliced red, yellow and green peppers.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Onions.
  • Arugula.
  • Micro greens – which are loaded with an average of 4x the nutrients of full-grown greens.
  • Spinach.
  • And so much more. Get creative!

FATS

Guess what? You don’t need to put fats like butter or mayonnaise on a sandwich. I promise that your sandwich will still taste great! And that’s especially true if you replace unhealthy fats with alternatives like mashed avocado, mustard or even just plain tomatoes. Try adding herbs and seasoning to increase flavor without the fat.

By putting these tips to use, your lunchtime meal with help support your health and fitness goals. If you have any additional tips to share, please do so in the comments below!

Healthy Bagged Lunch Ideas for Adults.

Bag lunchHey Davey,

I work in construction so I’m pretty much forced to bring a bagged lunch to work. There are no microwaves to heat up stuff so its pretty much sandwiches. I usually eat sandwiches but I’ve heard that deli meat isn’t good for you. I sometimes eat yogurt and an apple and sometimes salads, but salads get old quick. What can I bring to work that is healthy?

From,
David

Hey David,

Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to eat healthy with bagged lunches than going out to restaurants and delis. You have complete control over your menu – and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into the food you eat.

I have a few tips for you to try.

  1. Start with healthy bread. When picking out a loaf, read the ingredients carefully. Just because a bread is labeled as “multigrain” or “wheat” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bread is made from whole grains. The ingredients must list the word “whole” before any of the grains. “Wheat” isn’t the same as “whole wheat” so don’t be fooled.
  2. Load up the veggies. Pile your sandwich up with a generous portion of veggies. Vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrients – so this is a great opportunity to truly indulge without adding to your waistline. Cut up peppers, thick slices of tomatoes, red onions and so on. I like to top my sandwiches with lettuce, sprouts and a spread of avocado.
  3. Opt for lean meat or other protein sources. Though you mentioned that deli meats are unhealthy, the truth is that not all sliced meat products are created equal. Meats like bologna are terribly unhealthy. But fresh sliced turkey or chicken can be a smart choice. Fresh deli meats will have less sodium and some consumers like to avoid nitrates (though the research on nitrates is still somewhat inconclusive).
  4. Pick clean sides. The devil can be in the details. A delicious and nourishing sandwich should be accompanied by equally healthy sides like carrots sticks, hummus, mixed unsalted nuts with raisins, apple slices and real peanut butter, a bowl of fresh fruit, quinoa, brown rice, berries or even my healthy three ingredient cookies. If you’re craving a crunch, try making some homemade whole wheat pita chips. A side salad is also a great choice. Speaking of salads…
  5. Spice up your salad! My grandmother said that only boring people get bored. I’d like to extend that to only boring people make boring salads. The salad can even be the main course if you top it with some sliced chicken or other type of protein. I like to mix my salad with sprouts, microgreens, kale, homemade whole wheat croutons (so easy to make!), peppers, onions, seeds, tomatoes, cranberries or other dried fruits, olives, strawberries, tofu or so many other delicious ingredients. There are a zillion different salad combinations – and literally hundreds of heart-healthy dressing options.

I hope this helps to upgrade your bagged lunches. If anyone has any other tips, please share them in the comments below.

Love,
Davey