Got Lunch? Healthier Options On The Go!

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For most people, lunch time is rushed.  You, maybe, get an hour, if you are lucky.  So, you are running to one of the nearest restaurants to grab something quick and easy.  Despite time being of the essence, you don't have to hit up fast food restaurants to grab something quick, and there are actually some choices you can make to have lunch quickly without ruining your nutrition.  What are some things you can grab quickly while still taking good care of your body?

STARBUCKS

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Some people may consider this an odd first choice, but if you look past
the pastries and sugary drinks, they DO offer some healthy choices. 
They really went up on my list when they made the move a little over a
year ago to remove all trans fat, artificial flavors & colors, as
well as high fructose corn syrup from their foods.  Here are a few of my
favorites to try:

*Spinach, Roasted Tomato, Feta & Egg White Wrap - 280 calories
*Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwich - 320 calories
*Veggie, Egg and Monterey Jack Sandwich - 350 calories

*Greek Yogurt & Honey Parfait (or any of their yogurt parfaits for a few extra calories) - 290 calories
*Chicken on Flatbread w/Hummus Cold Plate - 250 calories
*Farmer's Market Salad - 230 calories
*Roma Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich - 380 calories

Of course, those are just some of the actually pretty good
choices that Starbucks has to offer when it comes to food, there are
more!  Starbucks also carries Food Should Taste Good chips and Starbucks
brand popcorn which are pretty good as well.  You can see even more
option and play around with the nutrition guide yourself by going to the
Starbucks website.  Now, back slowly away from the super calorie/fat full latte and enjoy some healthy eats!

POTBELLY SANDWICH SHOP

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Since this is a build-your-own sandwich sort of shop, you DO need to pay attention to what you add to sandwiches here.  The good news is, their website has a nutritional calculator that you can play with to see how things add up!  Check it out here.  Here is a list of some good starting places for you:

*Turkey Breast Sandwich on Multigrain Wheat Bread (w/swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard and Italian seasoning) - 505 calories
*Vegetarian Sandwich w/Provolone ONLY** on Multigrain Thin Cut (w/lettuce, tomato, onion, hot peppers, mushrooms, oil and Italian seasoning) - 386 calories
*Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Multigrain Thin Cut (w/lettuce, tomato, mustard, Italian seasoning, and pickles) - 356 calories
*Chickpea Veggie Salad - 283 calories
*Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup - 228 calories

**the veggie sandwich usually comes loaded with cheese.  So, even though it sounds healthy that way, you are getting lots of fat and calories out of that cheese.  If ordering this one, just pick one type of cheese and ask for a single layer of slices (which would probably end up being two slices).

Those are some of my top picks.  Definitely check out the calculator on their website.  A few tips include going with multigrain or multigrain thin bread, avoid the mayo, avoid extra cheese, avoid the bacon (sorry), and avoid the high fat meat sandwiches.  DO load on those veggies!

NOODLES & COMPANY

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I love this place.  It's really one of my favorites!  The best part of their site is their "under 400 calories" nutrition guide.  It shows you how to mix and match various menu items all while staying under 400 calories!  Some of my favorite combos include:

*Japanese Pan Noodles w/Shrimp
*Tomato Basil Bisque Soup w/The Med Salad w/Shrimp
*Pad Thai w/Shrimp
*Bangkok Curry w/Chinese Chop Salad
*The Med Salad w/Chicken Noodle Soup

Those are just some of the many combinations of foods you can get there all while staying under 400 calories!

PANERA BREAD

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Despite the fact that they have a full nutritional website online, you don't even really need to go there before hitting up Panera, because they list information on their menu right in the restaurant!  I love this, because it allows those who normally may not even look it up a chance to make an educated decision about what they eat!  A few of my favorites at Panera include:

*Breakfast Power Sandwich - 340 calories
*Thai Chopped Chicken Salad - 390 calories
*Asian Sesame Chicken Salad - 410 calories
*Smoked Turkey Sandwich - 420 calories
*Low Fat Garden Vegetable Soup - 160 calories
*Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup - 170 calories

You may be surprised when you see how many calories and how much fat is in some sandwiches you thought were healthy!  You get to add on to each item... I'd recommend going for the apple or whole wheat baguette.  You can also do the You-Pick-Two option and get half of a sandwich with soup (this will allow you to perhaps go with a sandwich that is a little higher in calories but pair it with a lower calorie soup).  Enjoy!

Those are just four restaurants, of course, and there are thousands of choices in the city!  If you need help picking foods off of a menu, please feel free to email me any time and let me help you! :-)   Happy eating!

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