When you’re heading out for lunch at your favorite gourmet deli Huntington deli counter, you’re probably not stopping to consider just how many calories your favorite sandwich and bag of chips combo comes with. If you’re at work and dying for a bit to eat, it can be hard to stop eating with your eyes and focus on making healthy choices for your midday meal. Eating too much, or eating a sandwich that’s full of fat and simple carbs might seem to make you full in the moment, but if you don’t eat healthy during lunch, chances are you’ll find yourself falling prey to that midday slump. Opting for a lighter meal, on the other hand, can help you stay focused, alert, and ready to take on the second half of the day. Eating healthy doesn’t have to feel impossible even when your options are limited. When it comes to sticking to a diet or making better choices at lunchtime, all you have to do is think about how you can feel full without gorging on something that you know isn’t good for you. If you don’t know where to begin, here are a few deli options that are equally healthy and tasty.
Any deli counter will be able to make you a salad on request. Many even come equipped will full salad bars so that you can make your own personalized plate on the spot. Even if you’re salad-averse and have a feeling that you’ll never get full eating lettuce and carrots, it helps to think outside the box. A salad can be anything you make it, including something more hearty like a chef’s salad-style plate with sliced meats, cheeses, and eggs for protein, or something lighter like a side salad with arugula, nuts, and chopped veggies. You can even make your salad sweet by adding some candied nuts and cheese if you’re in the mood. When it comes to salads, you actually have a fair amount of creative control in terms of making something that’s filling, simple, and delicious. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re taking it easy with the salad dressing. Most salads weight in at around 100-200 calories, with one tablespoon of a mayonnaise-based dressing quickly doubling that value.
If you’re craving a sandwich, there’s no reason you can’t make it healthy. The only difference between that huge meatball sub you’ve been craving and a whole wheat turkey breast sandwich is that one is packed with empty carbs and processed meats, while another is a more heart-healthy version using similar ingredients. If you really want a sandwich and a salad or “bread-less” sandwich simply won’t do, there’s nothing stopping you from getting one. As long as you stay away from processed meats like bologna and opt for healthier ones like smoked turkey slices or chicken breast, along with swapping white bread for wheat, you’ll be making a much better lunch selection. If you want to keep it even leaner, skip the cheese and condiments and add on some lettuce and fresh veggies to bulk up your meal.
Mayo is one of the sneakiest calorie-boosters there. Out of all the different condiments, mayo happens to be lowest in flavor and highest in fat, making it a less positive choice for inclusion in your salad or sandwich. If you only have the option of tuna or chicken salad with mayo, skip it. Instead, go for something lighter like a salad topped with grilled chicken breast, nuts, and veggies. You can have the same elements of a traditional chicken salad that way but without the fattening qualities of mayo. If you’re missing that extra creaminess in your sandwich, swap mayo out for a few avocado slices for that boost of healthy fat.
Nuts and High Protein Snacks
When reaching for a snack to get us through the second half of the day, many of us choose the path of least resistance by opting for a bag of chips and a soda. In addition to swapping out the soda for carbonated water, changing out your bag of chips for a container of raw or roasted nuts can make a huge difference to your diet. Not only do nuts like almonds and cashews provide you with a solid dose of healthy vitamins and fats, they’ll help keep you fuller for longer, unlike your bag of chips which will leave you dehydrated and bloated. If you want to diversify, reach for an “alternative” chip like veggie chips, seaweed snacks, or rice crackers. You’ll be able to get the same satisfying crunch without all the extra fat.