If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you will have noticed that I hound upon the idea that your healthy diet must be maintainable if you want to permanently change the way your body looks. Diets that are too strict cannot be maintained and you will go back to your old ways in a matter of weeks. I keep saying this because I struggle with this everyday. I am the type of person that either goes all the way or doesn’t go at all. Over the past year, I have been trying to change this mind-set. It is ok to eat other things than just meat and veggies sometimes. It is ok to eat food that you enjoy. It is ok to take a month or two to see results of exercise and diet. The more I have come to terms with these ideas, the more successful I have been!
So what does this have to do with making a sandwich? A lot actually. I have always had problems coming up with new healthy lunch ideas. I would eat a healthy salad for a week straight, and at the end of the week, I am starving for some real food and binge on a hamburger or fast food and ruin all of my progress I made during the week. I realized, I need to eat sandwiches. Sounds silly right? But its not about the actual sandwich. Its about the principal. You have to switch things up and allow yourself to eat things that may not be the healthiest on the scale, but they are necessary for maintaining your diet.
So my advice to you is to not feel guilty about eating sandwiches or other things that are not strictly on your diet. I thought I could share how I started making sandwiches tasty and healthy at the same time. Here are a few tips.
Choose Your Bread
If you don’t know by now that the white bread you put into your body is almost pure, refined sugar, then you need to get out more. To make a healthy sandwich you need to stay away from this highly processed bread, at all cost. There are even some “wheat” breads in the stores that are highly processed and will trick you into thinking they are actually healthy. The real wheat bread is going to be a little more expensive than this processed wheat bread, but if you want to make the healthiest sandwich, this might have to be a sacrifice you make. If you want real wheat bread, look for Dave’s Killer Bread Organic 100% Whole Wheat. This is my personal favorite and taste awesome.
Two other types of bread you can try are Ezekiel bread and Rye bread. Both of these have a little different taste, but if you are down to try new things, then go for it. Any brands of these two types of bread are going to be healthy, since it is hard to trick the average consumer into buying Ezekiel or Rye bread the same way they disguise “wheat” bread.
Choose Your Meat
The meat of the sandwich is the most important aspect. It carries the majority of the taste and substance, and can provide a good amount of protein for your diet. However, a lot of deli meats out on the market today are filled with unwanted preservatives, sugar, and food starch. There are a few products out that do not contain all of these fillers though. These are the deli meats that you want to choose for you sandwich. Choosing one of these is going to decide whether your sandwich is actually healthy or not.
- Boar’s Head Simplicity All Natural Round Oven Roast Beef
- Applegate Naturals Smoked Turkey Breast (picture)
- Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Lower Sodium Rotisserie Chicken Breast
- Land O’Frost Simply Delicious Hickory Smoked Ham
These 4 do not contain all of the fillers that most deli meats in the stores today contain. They are more healthy and taste awesome as well!
Choose Your Cheese
Cheese is awesome. I love it, and so does the rest of the world. But when it comes to making a healthy sandwich, there are a few cheese that stand out. The first is mozzarella. I bet you have never tried this on a sandwich. Fresh mozzarella offers a significant balance of fat and protein with an awesome taste and texture. The second is swiss cheese. Swiss is lower in sodium than most of the other cheeses and also provides a good balance of fat and protein. Sharp cheddar is the third. Look for sharp cheddar with more natural ingredients and lower sodium. If you want the healthiest cheese on your sandwich, stay away from American cheese, Colby-jack, and pepper-jack.
Choose Your Veggies
Adding veggies to your sandwich can give it a boost in natural vitamins and minerals as well as a boost in flavor. If you are on a budget, or are out of veggies at the time, it is ok to pass on them as it is not going to make your sandwich less healthy.
There are a few veggies that are common to put on sandwiches. These are tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and pickles. However, there are a couple more veggies you can try that will increase the amount of nutrients you are obtaining from your healthy sandwich.
One veggie you can try is alfalfa sprouts. If you have ever had a Jimmy Johns sandwich, then you know what I am talking about. These tiny sprouts are very light in taste, give the sandwich a little more texture, and are packed full of nutrients. Add some next time you make your ultimate sandwich.
Another veggie to try is spinach. Spinach is similar to lettuce but contains twice the amount of nutrients. If you don’t like spinach by itself, mix spinach and lettuce together and you will barely taste the difference, but you will be getting more essential nutrients.
Choose Your Other Toppings
There are quite a few things you can think of to put on your sandwich if you get creative. Today, we are going to talk about 2 healthy choices, Avocado and Hummus. Avocado is one of my favorite sandwich toppers. It offers a great taste and texture, along with an uber amount of monounsaturated fats. These fats are the best fats money can buy.
Hummus is also a great sandwich topper, but more unusual. Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are very nutrient dense and provide a great flavor. If you are looking to spice your sandwich up in an unusual way, hummus is the way to go.
Choose Your Condiments
If you really want to be a stickler and go super healthy, then just go with no sauces and enjoy the natural flavors. But that’s no fun sometimes. Most sauces are riddled with sugar, trans-fats, and oils, all things that you should not want in your body. However, there are a few sauces that are not as bad as others.
Yellow mustard is the healthiest sauce because it contains very little sodium and low calories. Salt, pepper, and olive oil is another great condiment that is also very healthy. One condiment that I recently fell in love with is pesto. Pesto is very tasty and does not contain any unhealthy substances.
One sauce you should try to stay away from (even though it is hard) is mayo. Mayo is probably the least healthiest sauce and contains loads of sugars, oils, and refined fats that just isn’t good for you. However, if your sandwich does not seem complete without that dab of mayo, then by all means, dab that shit!
After following this advice, you will have made an awesome tasting sandwich that is also healthy! Even though they said it cant be done! That sandwiches can never be healthy! Wrong. It is the way America has made sandwiches over the past 100 years which makes them unhealthy. Slathering on fatty sauces and topping it with sugary bread. No wonder sandwiches have gotten such a bad rep!
Now take this advice and GO MAKE SOME SAMMICHES!