Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And, finally, the last word on lunch today

According to a 2007 Information Resources, Inc. Consumer Snacking Study, nearly two-thirds of us skip or multitask (horrible word, that) during lunch.

However, skipping lunch is doing Americans far more harm than good. While the majority of us are trying to eat healthier, overlooking this important source of midday energy can lead to unhealthy snacking, overeating at dinner, and decreased productivity in general. On the other hand, a food break around noon reenergizes the body and gives the mind a moment of rest.

Four simple changes to the daily routine will improve midday eating habits, and save money from having to eat out every day.

Plan Ahead: Packing a lunch the night before can save you time, money and empty calories. Plan each week’s lunches ahead of time to ensure your meals are as delicious as they are nutritious. For inspiration, check out the meal options at http://www.alpinelace.com/ (ham and swiss sandwich, right, looks great. Ingredients are listed below.)

Read the Label: Don’t be fooled by reduced-fat foods that are actually high in sodium or lacking in nutrients. (This tip brough to you by Alpine Lace Reduced Fat Deli Cheeses contain 25 percent less fat and 25 percent less cholesterol per serving than regular cheeses. Alpine Lace Reduced Sodium Muenster Cheese is 25 percent lower in sodium per serving than regular cheese.)

Pay Attention to Portions: Research from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention shows that portion sizes have increased in the past two years, with people inadvertently consuming more calories when faced with larger portions. Check out the serving sizes when purchasing reduced fat foods and ensure you aren’t getting more than you expect.

Snack Smart: Bring healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. If you tend to snack at home, cut up and refrigerate snack-sized portions of your favorite healthy foods so they’re just as convenient as the calorie-rich packaged snacks timecrunched consumers may gravitate towards.
Suggested retail price for pre-sliced and slicing cheese is $4.49 for 8 ounces and $7.99 per pound, respectively. Alpine Lace sends along a range of delicious recipes and tips for
healthier lifestyles.
Tropical Ham & Swiss Sandwich

Ham and Swiss with a twist.
Preparation Time: 15 min.
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Ingredients: 4
mini focaccia, split*
1/4 cup honey mustard
8 (1-ounce) slices deli honey ham or cooked ham
4 canned pineapple rings, drained
4 (1/4-inch) green bell pepper rings
8 to 12 thinly sliced red onion rings
4 (1-ounce) slices Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese
4 leaf lettuce leaves

Spread each focaccia half with honey mustard. To assemble each sandwich, place, 1 focaccia half, mustard-side up onto serving plate. Top with 2 slices ham, 1 pineapple ring, 1 pepper ring, 1/4 onion rings, 1 slice cheese and 1 lettuce leaf. Top with remaining focaccia half, mustard-side down.

Nutritional Facts:
1 sandwich
Calories 390
Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 1080 mg
Carbohydrate 48 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 26 g