"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Step #1: Sandwiches

Sandwiches are not just a main-stay of American lunches. The Irish eat them. The British eat them. Even Mexicans eat tortas; though tortas are so much work, I'd just as soon cook a 5-course turkey dinner, myself.

If you are like 11 out of 10 mothers in America, you feed your kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Unless your kids have peanut allergies, and you feed them almond butter and jelly, or they have gluten allergies and you feed them pb&j on rice-bread.

The good news:

pb&j is in.

The bad news:

Oscar Meyer is out.

To start: you need a good bread. It needs to have less than 7 ingredients and you have to be able to pronounce them all. It needs to be 100% whole grain, no exceptions- wheat, rice, spelt, rye, whatever. It will doubtless cost you an extra dollar or two. Accept it. Cheap bread is not worth the bag it comes in.

Next, you obviously need something to put on your bread. Real foods are good. Chemicals, not good.

Start with your peanut butter. It needs to be made out of peanuts, and salt or not. That's it. Anything else in there? Toss it out. The same is true for almond, cashew, and sunbutter. Sunbutter is great for those with peanut issues, but you have to find one without sugar added, which isn't easy.

Next, the j.

Your jelly most definitely should not contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The best 'jam' is a 100% fruit spread. It should contain fruit, apple or grape juice, and pectin. Added citric or ascorbic acid is ok.

But raw honey, sliced banana or strawberry also make great pb accompaniments.

Unfortunately, cold lunch meats just don't make the grade. Sorry for the bad news. One popular brand that touts itself as 'natural' is Boar's Head. Found in Kroger stores around the country. But guess what? While slightly less horrendous for you, their meats are just as chemical-filled as the house brand.

Don't believe me? Well, ask for nitrate-free Boar's Head next time. They do make it.

It costs $15-21 per pound.

Believe me, there are better ways to spend your hard-earned dollars!

Instead, try spicing up and cooking a turkey breast or a chicken breast, cooling it in the fridge, and then slicing it as thinly as possible. You can do a week's worth at a time and you'll save a lot.

Of course tuna salad, tuna patties, fried eggs, egg salad, and leftover roast. Hummus and avocado are nutritious additions. Don't tell me you don't eat avocado because you're trying to lose weight! Your body needs 'good' fats and avocado is one of the best fats there are.

I eat 2 a day when I'm pregnant; 1 a day when I'm not. If they're on sale, of course.

This may not be earth-shattering information to most of you, but I know how it is to get in a lunch rut. It's really not that big a deal, actually, as long as the rut is healthy in the first place! Have your sandwich, add some crunchy raw veggies with fruit for dessert, skip the crackers/ pretzels/ jello and Little Debbies. And then go out and play... while you stil can....

Baby Step #2: Breakfast

"It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to."
~Annie Gottlier


  1. Again, I love you! :)
    I am glad to hear pb&j is in because I have really come to rely on these a lot more than I ever thought I would. I grew up hating PB but fell in love with it during my first or second pregnancy and Steve and the kids are very thankful that I am ok with pb&js now. What do you think about PB with added agave syrup? I like to grind my own but if not I buy one that is basicly peanuts, maybe some salt, and agave syrup. It's the best I've found for the best price. I also like to get our jelly from the Farmer's mrkt when possible.
    A favorite breakfast or snack around here is whole wheat/grain bread with PB or butter and raw honey, slices of banana and some raw pecans pieces or walnuts if we have them.

    I am a total fail though when it comes to the lunch meat. This is my "I know it's realy not great for us, but it's either this or starve". I like your idea about using cut up cooked chicken breast/turkey/roast. I need to figure out a way to carve out time to do that. I do buy Boars Head becaue I think it is better than the other cheaper stuff, even it if still is not 'great'. Thanks for the information about it though!

  2. From what I see online, Boars Head chicken and turkey is nitrate free. It does NOT cost $15 per pound at our Kroger, but it does run close to $10 per pound.