Tag: Olive Garden

Lunches: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & More!

Lunches: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & More!

It’s the summer months and soups, salads, and sandwiches seem to be go-to lunch choices for many people.  These can be relatively healthy items if you make sure you are diligent in how you make them or how you order them at your favorite restaurant (mine is McAlister’s:-) ).

During the week, I usually bring salads, lettuce wraps, or sandwiches to work.  One thing that I consistently have heard time and time again is that salads are not filling, they seem boring, and it tends to lead to snacking later because the person still feels hungry.  My best advice is to make salads frequently enough to where your body gets used to light, healthy lunches.  Further, load salads up with a variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, craisins, deli meat, and other great add-ins.  I like to make a variety of different hearty salads throughout the week.  The key is to make different salads each day so you don’t get bored with them.  For example, I make chef salads, Olive Garden type salads, garden salads, Cobb salads, etc. that have different add-ins and different dressings. Just be careful putting too many add-ins in your salads such as cheese, croutons, dressings, or lots of bacon because these quickly add to the calories and can make a healthy one not so healthy!

For sandwiches, I typically use lettuce as my “bread” to make lettuce wraps.  These are easy, delicious, and save calories.  You can use different varieties of lunch meat and cheese to change things up such as turkey, ham, salami, roast beef, and provolone, mozzarella, colby jack, etc.  I typically enjoy the ultra thin cheese slices, but that’s up to you.  If I do make a sandwich using bread, I try to do a 1/2 sandwich and a 1/2 salad to keep it healthy.  Again, your choices are endless to what you like so you can change it up easily.  Just remember that condiments and sauces typically add a lot of extra calories to your lunch!  I try to stick to one condiment on my sandwiches such as mustard or light mayo (I also really like dijonnaise).

If you aren’t a “make and take” type lunch person because you can’t get yourself to make it the night before or can’t get yourself up early enough in the morning to make it, consider places that have great soup, salad, and sandwich combinations.  I suggest that you always get a salad with your meal and then choose a soup or a sandwich.  The greens are great for you and the sandwich or soup can be your less healthy choice.  Remember that cream-based soups tend to be higher in calories just like bread for sandwiches.  Also, be sure to ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you put on.  I am a huge fan of McAlister’s Deli because they accommodate my food allergy.  Plus, they serve a great variety of salads and sandwiches that allow me to change things up, which I enjoy during the summer months.  One thing about McAlister’s is that it seems very healthy, but the calories add up quickly if you don’t pay attention to what you are ordering. They have a list of spud, soup, salad, and sandwich combinations on their website that are under 600 calories.  Check it out if you are curious on how many calories your typical go-to meal is!

Lastly, with your lunches and during summer in general, many people enjoy iced lemonade and iced tea, but remember these popular summer drinks add on the calories and are usually high in sugar.  You may think having a healthy meal will allow for the extra add on calories for your summer drinks, but be aware of what you are consuming.  Remember that your best option is to estimate your calories as best as you can so you aren’t mistakenly eating a “healthy” soup, salad, or sandwich combo that is actually as much as two meals combined.  Sometimes eating your sandwich at lunch and then taking your salad for later in the afternoon or vice versa is a great option.  Consider reading Find what works for YOU! and All about eating! for other great tips on eating such as full versus stuffed, eating small meals, and pacing yourself when you eat.

Happy healthy lunching (and eating)! 🙂


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