You are getting ready for work, trying to eat breakfast, and make lunches for yourself and your family. What is most convenient? Sandwiches. I love a good sandwich as much as the next person, but are you aware of what you are really eating? Lets take a look at some of the health risks associated with our favorite luncheon meats.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there is an increased risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes associated with eating prepared luncheon meats. They are also packed full of nitrates, saturated fats, preservatives, and cholesterol. A study was performed at the University of Hawaii, and they determined that there is a 67% increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer from eating processed deli meats. Nutritionist Mike Adams of Grocery Warning Manual attributes this increased risk to sodium nitrate. Just about all processed meats (pepperoni, hotdogs, bacon, jerky, and processed deli meats) are made with it.
What are your options then if you want to keep eating your favorite sandwiches? Start roasting your own meats and fish and using those items as the base for a great lunch. When building a healthy sandwich there are a few key points to remember. Begin with a great bread. I try my best to not eat wheat products, but when my self-control is weak and I feel like having some bread I am going to make sure it is really tasty and not just plain white bread. So you should consider some healthy options such as whole grain, multigrain, sprouted grain breads, or tortillas. Next you will want to look at a low-fat mayo, light salad dressing, mustard or even a chutney. Next incorporate lots of fresh veggies such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, bell peppers. If you have the time, try roasting up some of your favorite veggies such as zucchini, red onion, bell peppers and mushrooms. They add more depth in flavor to anything you add them to. As well, if you are tired of eating regular lettuce all the time, jazz up the taste factor a bit with some arugula, or spinach.
Here is a recipe idea for a great wrap, that really doesn’t take very much time to prepare. And if you plan it correctly, it could be the left overs from dinner the night before.
Grilled Steak Wrap
Marinade any type of steak you wish in 1 clove of freshly minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and a tsp of freshly chopped thyme. Let stand in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight, then grill for 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice as thin as 1/4 inch for placing inside the wrap.
- Roasted bell peppers, red onion wedges, mushrooms (slice into strips once cooked and cooled)
- Horseradish mayo
For the horseradish mayo combine 2 Tbsp of light mayo, 1 Tbsp of prepared horseradish, 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice. Mix together and serve immediately. May be held for 2 days in the refrigerator.
For the wrap, you can use whatever flavor of tortilla you wish, but I would recommend either a whole wheat or a sun-dried tomato flavor. Next spread 2 tbsp of horseradish mayo on the tortilla, and layer the arugula and roasted veggies. Place the sliced steak on top, roll up and enjoy.
If you don’t eat red meat, feel free to substitute lean pork or chicken.
Do yourself and your family a favor, and start preparing your own meats for your lunches. It does require a little more planning and perhaps prep time, but you can not argue with how much better the end result tastes, and the increase in health benefits. When I was in elementary school and through junior high, my mother used to make sandwiches for us just about every day. We would get the basics like everyone else, but the one that stood out the most is the one that I make to this day as often as possible….roasted chicken salad with chunks of cucumber and fresh tomato. Simple, basic, but delicious!