My clients often come to me thinking that they need to give up their lunchtime sandwich in favor of salads. They’re typically surprised when I tell them that is not the case. Sandwiches, if handcrafted mindfully, can add a boost of nutrition.
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Peanut Butter & Jelly
Swap out jelly or jam, both of which have added sugar and little nutritive value, and use fresh fruit instead. Top peanut butter with fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. You can even mash the fruit with the back of a fork to get a jam-like texture. Pair the fresh fruit with natural peanut butter (look for just two ingredients: peanuts and salt) and whole grain bread for a well-balanced sandwich. Or mix things up and try other nut butter varieties, like almond and coconut butter (pictured) or walnut butter.
Traditional egg salad sandwiches are loaded with mayo. Swap out the mayo for plain Greek yogurt to lower the saturated fat and boosts the protein and calcium. Use slightly less egg salad on the sandwich and bulk it up with fresh veggies like tomatoes or cucumbers. Try this Egg Salad sandwich recipe.
Ham or Turkey and Cheese
A 2014 study showed that sandwiches contribute one-fifth of our daily sodium intake. Lunchmeat sandwiches are often the culprit, as they combine processed meat plus bread, two foods that are known to contain high amounts of sodium. Cut down on the salt by using fresh meats instead. Cook extra chicken, turkey, or ham at dinnertime, then slice the leftovers and use in your sandwich. For cheese, go with a less-processed option like Swiss, which contains less sodium than other cheeses. Load up your sandwich with veggies to provide potassium, which can counteract some of the sodium. Try this Roasted Turkey, Apple & Brie recipe.
Like egg salad, traditional tuna salad sandwiches are swimming in mayo. Lighten up your tuna salad by using hummus or creamy avocado in place of mayo. Toss in diced veggies, like celery, carrots, radishes, or cucumbers, to boost the fiber content. Check out this Tuna Hummus Sandwich or Avocado Tuna Salad for recipe inspiration.
Take your grilled cheese to the next level by using 100% whole wheat bread, adding avocado for healthy fats, and veggies for more fiber. Choose a strong cheese like blue cheese, feta, or cheddar, which allows you to use less while still getting that cheesy-tasting goodness. Think beyond cheese for flavor, try adding grainy mustard, spicy chilis, salsa, or mashed beans. Try Roasted Veggie Grilled Cheese or Grilled Goat Cheese and Strawberry Sandwiches or one of this delicious no-cheese version.
While chicken is a great lean protein, most American’s don’t eat enough plant-based protein. Instead of conventional chicken salad, made with celery and mayo, try adding beans or chickpeas for a boost of fiber and plant-based protein. You can swap out half the chicken and replace it with the same amount of beans (my favorite is chickpeas or white beans, but you could use any kind), or try this Chickpea “Chicken” Salad, chock full of plant-based protein and fresh veggies.
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