With a few small considerations, you can consume a healthful and hearty sandwich for lunch.
The option to make a weekday sandwich can greatly lessen the stress of figuring out a quick, yet clean lunch. While sandwiches have gotten a bad "wrap" (pardon my pun) for containing too much processed bread and too many salty deli meats, you might think you have to scrap this meal type altogether when you start a healthy habit. But it would save you so much time and money if you could just figure out a way to reinvent the sandwich, right?
Well, with a few small considerations, you CAN consume a healthful and hearty sandwich for lunch throughout the week. Follow these four steps.
For those of you who follow a strictly gluten-free diet like me, I recommend finding a gluten-free sourdough. If you are free to eat a little gluten here and there, you can purchase regular sourdough as it still does contain gluten, but digests easier than most gluten-filled breads. If your body can process gluten just fine, then look for thin-sliced and whole grain breads, such as Dave's Killer Bread.
To limit your carb intake, you can also serve your sandwich in a pita half or eat it in a lettuce wrap. Try it open-faced as well and feel free stacking your veggies up nice and high. If you need a knife and fork, so be it!
When constructing the perfect sandwich, your protein source skyrockets to the top of the priority list. First, for the nutrients and, second, for the flavor. Try to stray away from the prepackaged deli meats as they can really pack on the sodium. I recommend grilling out extra meat the night before and slicing the leftovers into thin strips for your sammie. You can save the sodium and savor the fun marinade flavors from last night—now in sandwich form! Stick to the lean meats like chicken and turkey breast. Canned tuna can be okay too, just limit the amount of mayo or choose another way to liven up the dryer taste of the fish.
Yes, sandwiches can use some veggies! Tomatoes and cucumbers add some moisture, which alleviates the need for a high-calorie sauce. Garnish your sandwich with raw spinach, kale, or sprouts instead of lettuce. Roasted peppers and onions introduce a sweet, smoky flavor. Avocados help fill you up so that you won't crave a bag of chips an hour after lunchtime. Raw onions provide a fresh crunch to break up the softer breads and meats. The list goes on!
Here's where you can get creative and have some fun. Instead of sticking with the regular condiments or choosing a cheese and racking up on saturated fat and processed sugars, step out on a sauce limb. Drizzle a little homemade salad dressing onto you sandwich for a vinegar-y kick. Slather on some course ground mustard. Slip in some hummus. Test out a tzatziki. Let your choice lower-calorie sauce take the stage and wow you with bright, new flavors.