February 29, 2016

Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN Feedback from TappMD Expert
Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN
Healthy AND Delicious
To get in a nutritious and healthy meal, bringing lunch to work can reduce the amount of fat, calories, and sodium in our diets. Unfortunately, bagged lunches start getting boring and bland. Here are some tweaks to incorporate into your lunch to keep them nutritious and healthy but also delicious.

Bringing lunch from home saves you money, helps you avoid the lunch-hour crowds and is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting a nutritious meal.

“Healthy brown-bag meals can reduce fat, calories and sodium in our diets, improving overall health,” said Amber Massey, a Dallas-based registered dietitian and food blogger.

But let’s face it, the typical brown-bag lunch is a little, or maybe a lot, boring — especially when you keep pulling the same foods from your brown bag day after day. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Making just a few tweaks to some lunchtime classics brings fresh new flavor and added nutrients to those old standbys.

“Lunch needs to carry you through the afternoon, so it’s important to eat foods that will digest slowly, releasing nutrients and energy over a long period of time.”

Dawn Viola, chef, recipe developer and food writer

The Classic: Tuna Salad / The Makeover: Salmon and White Bean Salad Over Spicy Greens

You may be quick to order baked or broiled salmon at your favorite restaurant, but perhaps you’ve never even considered buying the canned variety that lines the shelves of your local grocery store. Well, you’re missing out on a nutritious taste treat.

Not only does salmon tend to be moister and retain more flavor when canned, it also provides a generous dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Combine a can of salmon with half a can of drained, rinsed white beans for creaminess. Instead of mayonnaise, make a light dressing with fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh dill and finely chopped shallots. Serve over spicy greens such as arugula or watercress and top with sliced almonds and chopped radish for crunch.

You may be quick to order baked or broiled salmon at your favorite restaurant, but perhaps you’ve never even considered buying the canned variety that lines the shelves of your local grocery store. Well, you’re missing out on a nutritious taste treat.

Not only does salmon tend to be moister and retain more flavor when canned, it also provides a generous dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Combine a can of salmon with half a can of drained, rinsed white beans for creaminess. Instead of mayonnaise, make a light dressing with fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh dill and finely chopped shallots. Serve over spicy greens such as arugula or watercress and top with sliced almonds and chopped radish for crunch.

The Classic: Peanut Butter and Jelly / The Makeover: Almond Butter With Fresh Fruit

Is there any lunch more quintessential than a PB and J? The combination of creamy peanut butter, sweet jelly and soft bread truly satisfies midday hunger pangs. However, peanut butter, jelly and even bread can be chock-full of refined sugar, which can bring on an energy crash.

To avoid added sugar and hydrogenated oils, look for all-natural varieties of nut butter. For a change of pace, try almond butter or look for butters made from cashews, walnuts or even pumpkin seeds. For sweetness, replace sugary jelly with slices of fresh fruit, such as apricots or strawberries. Sandwich it all between two slices of whole-wheat bread, which provides a healthy dose of fiber to help keep you full.

Is there any lunch more quintessential than a PB and J? The combination of creamy peanut butter, sweet jelly and soft bread truly satisfies midday hunger pangs. However, peanut butter, jelly and even bread can be chock-full of refined sugar, which can bring on an energy crash.

To avoid added sugar and hydrogenated oils, look for all-natural varieties of nut butter. For a change of pace, try almond butter or look for butters made from cashews, walnuts or even pumpkin seeds. For sweetness, replace sugary jelly with slices of fresh fruit, such as apricots or strawberries. Sandwich it all between two slices of whole-wheat bread, which provides a healthy dose of fiber to help keep you full.
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Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN

Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN, CPT promotes nutrition and wellness as an author, media spokesperson, motivational speaker, and corporate consultant. Erin is the author of the newly released “Belly Fat Diet for Dummies” (Wiley 2012) as well as the creator and author of the Healthy 'n Fit Weight Management Program and the Healthy Resolutions Weight Management Program. She also serves as the featured expert in the #1 best selling diabetes Ipad App “Diabetes: What Now” by Everydayhealth and is the featured nutrition expert on the weekly syndicated health show KnowMoreTV.