Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What's for lunch?

School time is just around the corner and has me thinking about getting back in the regular exercise and healthy diet groove. Back to my treadmill and walking and the Bowflex. Back to 8 minute abs and stretching. Thought I would try to help you all get back in the groove too--stick with me, kids and I'll get you in shape *laughing heartily*.

How about your lunch? I talked about breakfast last time--are you eating a healthy breakfast yet? If not, go back and review and hop to it tomorrow. Now, for lunch--do you make it yourself, do you head to the fast food places, grab the leftovers from the kids, or just skip it?

Well, if you haven't guessed, the first choice--making it yourself--is the best option. When you make your own lunch, you are in complete control of what and how much you prepare. If you think you don't have time when you're working a full-time job, look for ways to make it happen. You can prepare it the night before so it's all ready when you head out. You can stock up on healthy frozen dinners too. I love the Lean Cuisine line. My favorite are the Lean Cuisine microwave pizzas. I've also gotten fond of the Sara Lee Whole Grain white bread. Can't tell the difference in taste from regular white bread. I've also been eating Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeats. They have no preservatives and no artificial flavors--bye bye nasty nitrates! And one of my favorite chips is now Baked Doritos--1/3 the fat of regular ones too and I actually like them better. For drinks, opt out of sugary sodas. Some of my faves are 7up Plus, Diet Rite, and if you don't like diet sodas, try the Coca-Cola Zero or Crystal Light products, and of course--good ole water is great!

If you do go out for lunch, try to order the healthy choices. Fast food places are offering more healthy choices all the time, so do your research. McDonald's has a great line of salads now. I tried the Asian Chicken Salad recently and it was great! Seemed to have a good mix of protein and carbs. Now, you've probably heard in the news that getting salads is as bad or worse than getting some of the burgers in terms of fat and calories. And you can probably guess why! The dressing! Stay away from the high-fat dressings. McDonald's again, has the Newman's Own line of low-fat dressings. You can control how much you put on it. Just add enough for some flavor, not to drown it. And watch the type of salad you get. The Bacon Ranch salads are good, but they are also full of cheese, bacon, and eggs that can put you over the edge. Just watch those ingredients. Get the grilled chicken instead of breaded. Goes for sandwiches too. Think grilled, whole wheat when available, skip the mayo, and try to get something other than fries for a side.

Now, the last two choices--grabbing the kids' leftovers and skipping lunch--just don't do it. You know better. On really busy days, occasionally, it's not gonna kill you, but don't make it a habit. Think of your food as fuel. Your body needs enough of the right fuel to function properly. And if you get too much, the fuel will spill out on the pavement, I mean, into your fat cells, and before you know it, your new jeans are too tight. When you overfill on lunch, you also are setting yourself up for a sleepy afternoon.

Mind you, I'm not one to pass up a free meal. If someone is buying your food, like the vendors who take my hubby out sometimes, eat up! But most of the time, you're in charge of your meals, so make the best choices. When you've upgraded your breakfast and lunch to healthier choices, we'll take about dinner. Send me your healthy lunch ideas, and any other comments you may have about eating choices. I'll be happy to hear from you.


Cheryl said...

From McDonald's I love the cobb salad with "grilled chicken" and the Newman's ranch dressing and I only use half the pack. Ask them to hold the cheese, because honestly how much do you taste the cheese. Salads don't taste good when they are covered up by dressing. Another tip I have is when eating a salad bar, I avoid the dressing and add maybe 1/2 or 1/4 cup of tuna. The tuna adds flavor and is much better for you than that heavy dressing. When those spoons are in the dressings it is easy to dip a couple of times and before you know it you have just created something not as healthy as you would think that a salad should be. And look for the dark greens (Misty gave me that idea) they have more good stuff for you.

I am definately not an expert on this stuff but this is how I have been trying to avoid extra calories and fat. Misty is my helpful hand when it comes to this. I am getting ready to start weight watchers and she is my leaning post when it comes to this stuff.

Love ya Misty!

Magnanimity said...

I'm in big trouble. Let's see. OJ and skittles for breakfast. Mozzeralla cheesesticks and a Pepsi for supper last night. Lunch..oh, yeah, left over pizza for Sunday...breakfast, a bowl of sugar cereal.

yeah...I've definately been in summer vacation mode.

Time for me to get busy. This is the second post on eating healthy I've read today. If I just has a passion to cook, I might make it. Without a concerted effort. I generally just avoid food until I'm starving and then snack. ick.

Anybody figure out why McDonalds offers healthy salads and only one lowfat dressing...a vinegrette? Pullease!

Misty said...

I think they have some other low-fat stuff too. I just happen to like that one. I know the Asian Salad Dressing is low fat. It's a sesame ginger flavor, and quite tasty.

Thanks for the great comments, Cheryl!

And beef up those meals, Miss Maggie! Skittles for breakfast? Sounds like my college days :) And leftover pizza--we used to leave ours out all night and eat it the next morning. Wonder we didn't die of food poisoning.

Andrew said...

I'm sitting here munching on Hickory Sticks - Am I in trouble?

To Love, Honor and Dismay