"Sandwiches With A Punch" - The Four Stage Structure Of A Sandwich

by John Fairchild - Date: 2006-12-11 - Word Count: 698 Share This!

The NPD (a consumer research group) announced that sandwiches are now the number one dinner entree eaten at home. Over 11% of dinners and 36% of lunches, eaten in the home, features a sandwich. Lunch sandwich numbers have steadily declined in the last decade.

Our busy lifestyles and longer work days have a big part in controlling our food choices. Less time between meetings and appointments; less time to prepare food; less time to shop for fresh ingredients; and the convenience of quick-stop businesses have given sandwiches a frequent place at our dinner tables. With statistics showing a drop in families gathering together at the dinner table, it is likely the sandwich never makes it to the table. It tends to wind up next to the computer or on the couch in front of the television.

Everything we do in life is important and we have to place our fitness and health needs as a top priority. Errands, meetings, phone calls, appointments, staying current on world events, helping others, cleaning, wash, etc. need to be done and we tend to put health in the bottom bracket. In the words of Robert Kiyosaki "pay yourself first" we can come to realize that if you don't place your health as a top priority it is much harder to accomplish the things in life you aspire to achieve. NPD recently asked over 50,000 people who prepared meals at home what prompts them to make the choices they do for dinner. Some of the top reasons are:

1. Little effort and easy to put together = 53%
2. Little planning = 50%
3. Foods that are on hand-around the house = 39%
4. Pleasing all taste buds in the house = 35%
5. Easy clean up= 34%

How do we use the convenience of the sandwich to work for us in benefiting our health goals? Following is the template to building a super sandwich which will provide ideas for fiber, lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins, taste and diversity.

1. Breads:
Look for 100% whole grains and lots of fiber. Some light breads pack a nutritional victory. The bread idea goes beyond the sliced loaf. Look for pitas, tortillas (La Tortilla), hard rolls in which you can scoop out the inside to make an excellent pocket for your filling. A great idea is to fill a tortilla and grill it for a few minutes which will make the tortilla a little crunchy (great for the crunchy-carb lover).

2. Spreads:
Forget the mayo. For those of you who must, try Hellmann's light and use the smallest amount you can to tickle your taste buds with. There are many varieties of mustards, vinegars, hot sauces, light salad dressings (Walden Farms has a calorie free line), salsa's, chutney's, sun-dried tomatoes, hummus or try plain yogurt with fresh herbs. Light cream cheese with herbs, garlic, avocado, infused olive oil and your own bean paste will make for some great spreads.

3. Lean Proteins:
Are you sick of grilled chicken? Then how about; turkey, ham, Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, roast beef, tuna, shrimp, crab, salmon and yes peanut butter (but sparingly and try Naturally More by the Peanut Snack Company). Three ounces of a lean protein would be a great serving size for most people. Forego the cheese, you won't miss it. Ok, if you must--use light Cabot, smoked Gouda or feta--you can get away with using less and still taste a lot of flavor.

4. Vegetables:
Here is a great way to make the Cancer Institute happy. Load up on your body beautiful nutrients. Olives, pickles, spinach, bok choy, grated carrots, sliced radishes, sweet/hot peppers, broccoli slaw, scallions, tomato (green or red), cucumbers, sprouts, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, asparagus, eggplant, and even squash. You can increase flavor by roasting some of these in garlic and oil and keeping them in the fridge for easy use.

The sandwich idea is great for all the above mentioned reasons. The combinations of flavors are endless and fun to try. If we can't seem to control our busy schedules we can still eat healthy with a little planning. Note that some of the ideas in this article will tend to be high in sodium so bear that in mind when preparing your super sandwich creation.

Related Tags: cancer, lifestyle, fiber, protein, vegetable, sandwich, food preperation, bread, spread, nutirents

John Fairchild is a Certified Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He also holds a Fitness Expert Certification and has produced and recorded various exercise videos (originator of Kickaerobox) and DVD's. His special interest is in nutritional counseling where he holds an Adult Weight Management Counselor certification with the American Dietetic Association. You previously just saw him as one of the trainers on the Dr. Phil Weight Loss Challenge on NBC and on Entertainment Tonight. His recent talents paved a path for him to be an expert writer for ezinearticles.com. For more nutrition information please visit his free website at http://www.weightlosscoaching.org or email at kickaerobox@yahoo.com

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