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Health

Energizing Breakfast Foods

A delicious and filling breakfast can help set the tone for the day. Be sure you’re filling up on foods that will fuel you for the rest of the day. Here are some great nutritious and energizing breakfast foods.

  • Avocado
    There’s a reason avocado toast is a popular breakfast food. Loaded with heart healthy fats, B vitamins, and fiber, avocados take longer to digest, and thus, help sustain your energy throughout the day. Next time, top your avocado toast with an egg for more nutritional benefits.
  • Bananas
    Not only are they an easy option for those busy mornings, bananas offer a unique mix of antioxidants, carbohydrates, and potassium that give you an energy boost. Next time you want to reach for an energy drink, try a banana instead.
  • Breakfast Smoothie
    You can craft these to your liking and prepare them ahead of time, making them a healthy and smart option. Fruits and vegetables contains excellent nutrients that will provide you with energy through the day, and adding a source of protein will help to keep you full.
  • Eggs
    This classic and versatile breakfast food is nutrient-rich and a great source of protein. Aside from keeping you full and stabilizing your energy levels, eggs contain choline, which plays a role muscle control, and B vitamins, which convert food into energy.
  • Fresh Fruit
    Why not start your day with nature’s candy? Get your sweet tooth fix without the crash with fresh fruits. Fresh fruits contain powerful antioxidants along with fiber, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
  • Greek Yogurt
    Greek yogurt is a great source of lean protein (almost two times more than traditional yogurt), fat, and carbohydrates. The protein and fiber combination helps to delay digestion of the meal and avoid the spike and crash in blood sugar.
  • Herbal Tea
    If you can, try swapping your coffee for herbal tea. Since they have less caffeine and are water based, teas are more hydrating and contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that help protect you from free radicals.
  • Lean Meat
    Lean meats provide protein, and the amino acids in proteins help keep you alert throughout the day. Try lean meats like ham, turkey, or smoked salmon.
  • Non-Dairy Milk
    For those with dietary restrictions, non-dairy milk helps to provide vitamins and a lean source of protein sans cholesterol. Also, seek fortified versions as they will have more energy supporting nutrients than others.
  • Peanut Butter
    You may reserve peanut and other nut butters for your snacks later in the day, but adding it to breakfast can give you an extra boost. Remember, the protein and fat (and fiber when possible) combination is key to preventing highs, lows, and crashes, and will help to curb your appetite.
  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal
    Opt for steel-cut oatmeal versus the processed instant oatmeal. Your body has to work harder to break down the steel-cut oats, leaving you with more sustained energy. Also, the soluble fiber in oats helps to slow the digestion of simple carbohydrates, eliminating the spike and crash of blood sugar levels.
  • Whole Grain Bread
    Ditch the white bread – whole grain bread offers more fiber and good fats to keep you fuller longer. Whole grain bread is also fortified with B vitamins, which help with energy production in the body.

What’s your go-to breakfast when you need a little boost in the morning? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Join the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast or lunch six days a week! Breakfast is served until 10:30am and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to what you are eating, heightening our awareness of pleasure and nourishment from our food. While the overall idea of mindful eating seems simple, to really master it takes gentle and consistent practice. Over time it can become a conscious habit, but realistically, we may fall in and out of it as staying present with eating can be a challenge in different situations.

Mindful eating often slows down the process of eating, so begin by taking a few mindful breaths to relax and become centered and present. Here are more mindful eating tips to get you started on the mindfulness path.

  • Mindful Check-In
    As mentioned, before a meal, bring awareness to your breathing. Take a breath, pause, and then notice any present thoughts or feelings, particularly in relation to the food you are about to eat. This can be brief moment or last up to a couple of minutes.

    Take a few deep, relaxing breaths and pay attention to the movement of your breaths in and out. Slowly expand your awareness to include your whole body and notice without judgment what thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are present. Consider how these may influence your choices on how much, when, and what to eat, along with desires or cravings for food.

  • Hunger & Fullness Levels
    As you are mindfully checking-in, tune in to your level of physical hunger. Most of us enjoy food most when we have some to moderate hunger – when we are too hungry, we tend to eat fast and overeat.

    Ask yourself “How hungry am I?” Listen to your body and determine whether it is physical hunger or something else. If it is the latter, ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?”

    To understand your level of physical fullness, you should also ask yourself “How full am I?” Again, listen to the messages your body is sending you. Do what would most honor your body at the present moment.

  • Reflect Upon Your Food
    How did your food get to you? What went into making it and who/what were involved (people, sun, earth, water, farmers)? Think about the quality and sources of your food, and let the sense of appreciation or gratitude for your food wash over you.
  • Senses
    Enjoy your food with all your senses:

    • Feast your eyes on your food – visually appreciate the color, texture, and shape.
    • Breathe in the aromas, and notice the nuances with both nostrils.
    • Savor your food without chewing first – notice the flavor, texture, and sensations.
    • As you chew your food, stay as present as possible with each bite and immerse yourself in the experience.
    • Mindfully swallow when ready.
      Notice any associations that arise, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Bask in pleasant associations or positive memories if you’ve like, while staying present with the full experience.
  • Taste Mindfully
    Savor the taste of your food fully, and pay attention to when the taste diminishes and your enjoyment lessens. This awareness is tool and will help you make better decisions about how much and how little to eat, as well as when to stop and when to eat more.
  • Check In With Hunger & Fullness
    Check in with hunger and fullness levels occasionally throughout the snack or meal. As you did before your meal, continue to do so throughout the meal.
  • Practice
    When you begin mindful eating, you start a slow pace as you get accustomed to the different aspects. As you hone your attention skills, your mindful eating habits will become more natural, enabling you to eat mindfully at different paces, in different settings, and with different people.

Do you practice mindful eating? What benefits have you noticed? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Practice your mindful eating skills with us at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00-4:30pm. Dine in or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Scrumptious Salad Tips

Salads don’t have to be bland or boring. With the right skills, fresh ingredients, and proper execution, you can enjoy a scrumptious and satisfying salad. These simple rules and tips will help you improve your salad skills.

Before getting started, there are some general rules you should follow:

  • Quality

Since a salad is basically a mishmash of veggies and produce, in order to create a delicious salad you must start with quality ingredients. Shop and eat seasonally and locally for an exceptional salad (and a more sustainable meal). Most products at farmer’s markets are picked within 24 hours of being sold so you are pretty much guaranteed fresh, prime produce.

  • Variety

Say no to bland, boring salads. Incorporating a variety of ingredients, textures, shapes, and sizes is vital to creating complex flavors and textures within your salad.

  • Chopping

Smaller pieces mean your fork can pick up more different items for a more exciting bite. Chop your ingredients finely, especially your lettuce or greens. You can even learn how to chop different shapes and styles for more diversity in your salad.

Making The Salad
Now that you have reviewed these basic rules, it is time to make your salad.

Variety of Greens
By mixing different types of lettuce, you not only introduce new flavors and textures, but you also diversify the nutrient content of your salad. You can even go beyond leafy greens and use things like grains, other vegetables, or even legumes or beans as your base.

Season Your Greens
Before adding any dressing or toppings, season your greens with salt and pepper. This minor detail can really add to your salad overall. And really, you should be seasoning your food at every level to build a more complex flavor profile (your taste buds will thank you). In addition, you may consider adding fresh chopped herbs and citrus zest during this step.

Dressing
With salad dressing, a little goes a long way, so dress lightly. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it back. Add a little at a time and taste it as you go. For a more even coating, use your freshly washed hands to mix it all up.

Make Your Own Dressing
Homemade dressing is worth the extra effort – you can control the ingredients and adjust it to your liking. In general, dressing should have a good balance of fat, acidity, and flavor. And different greens pair with different flavors. Remember, pair bold with bold and light with light.

  • Arugula – The slightly bitter and peppery flavor is best balanced with sweetness, like a balsamic reduction.
  • Kale – Be sure to massage kale thoroughly and then dress it lightly with an acidic or creamy dressing.
  • Spring/Summer Mixes and Tender Lettuces (Boston bibb, butter lettuce) – Simple vinaigrettes and citronettes (olive oil, acidity, salt and pepper) work well with these simple greens.
  • Spinach – Because spinach wilts easily, you should use a simple dressing (honey or Dijon vinaigrette, bacon dressing) at the last minute.
  • Romaine – Because it is very versatile, it can work with any type of dressing.
  • Watercress – This can be extremely bitter, so it is best to embrace fat, creaminess and sweetness.
  • Iceberg – Creamy dressing can help build the bland flavor of iceberg lettuce.
  • Grains – These are also very versatile, thus, can handle any dressing. Remember to dress grains while they are still warm for better absorption.

Texture & Toppings
Aim for at least one from each category.

  • Crunch – Add texture with things like nuts, seeds, croutons (homemade), parmesan crisps, roasted chickpeas or lentils.
  • Grains – Bulk up your salad and stay full longer with grains like quinoa, bulgur, couscous, barley, farro, or wheat berries.
  • Protein: Protein can help round out your salad and keep you satiated. Try beans, lentils, roasted tofu, poached eggs, falafel, grilled chicken, or salmon.
  • Optional items include fats (avocado, cheese), fresh fruit (pomegranate seeds, tart green apples), or roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash). And remember, leftovers sometimes make the best salad toppings.

The finished product is a salad that you will enjoy as it includes your favorite foods and flavors with various textures – an absolute treat for your taste buds. It make sound like a lot of work, but if you do a little prep at the beginning of the week, such as washing and drying your produce, chopping veggies, or making a large batch of grains, assembling a satisfying salad won’t be so bad.

Have any other salad tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Dine in, order to-go, or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Healthy Swaps For Sandwich Spreads

When it comes to sandwiches, the things you put on them can make or break your sandwich. Sandwich staples like mayo and mustard can be delicious, but unfortunately, fall short in the nutrition department. Here are some healthy, nutritious, and delicious sandwich spread substitutes.

  • Jam→Mashed Berries

You may think your jam is healthy, but a closer look at the label may tell another story. Ditch the excess calories, sugar, and preservatives for a fresh alternative. Using mashed berries provides more fiber and fewer calories. For instance, six large smashed strawberries offer 2 grams of fiber and only 35 calories. For a little extra sweetness, drizzle some honey on top.

  • Cheese→Roasted Garlic Spread

You don’t have to give up cheese, but if you’re using it simply to add some depth to your sandwich, you will find there are tastier and healthier ways. For example, roasted garlic is a low calorie, low sodium alternative that delivers intense flavor.

  • Cream Cheese→Cottage Cheese

Bagels and cream cheese go hand in hand, but if you’re looking for a higher protein alternative, look no further than cottage cheese. A quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese offers 7 grams of protein and 45 calories, whereas the same serving of regular cream cheese offers four times the calories and half the protein along with saturated fat.

  • Mustard Or Mayo→Hummus

As mentioned, mustard and mayo are classic sandwich ingredients but are hardly nutritious. Avoid a dry sandwich while adding flavor and nutrition by trying a smear of hummus instead. If you don’t make it at home (where you can control the ingredients), look for brands that boast a few simple ingredients (ex. fresh chickpeas, tahini, garlic). Not only is this a tasty change, it also increases your intake of beans, plant protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat.

  • Mayo→Smashed Avocado

Smashed avocado delivers the creaminess and richness of mayo, but with less calories along with healthy fats and more than 20 different vitamins. Add lemon juice to balance the fattiness, and a little hot sauce if you enjoy a little spice.

  • Mayo→Yogurt In Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a great addition to (grilled or fried) fish sandwiches. While the classic recipe is mayonnaise based, you can create a healthier version with less fat and more protein by using Greek yogurt instead. Simply substitute plain Greek yogurt and add your favorite ingredients (ex. pickles, mustard, vinegar, capers).

  • Butter→Nut Butter

Instead of melting butter on top of your toast, go for nut butter instead. Nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond) are full of healthy fats, protein, finer, and vitamins. Just remember to look for all natural nut butters without fillers – the ingredients list should be short and simple. To add more flavor and benefits, sprinkle some cinnamon on it.

Did we miss anything? Share your best healthy food swaps with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Have you tried all of our signature sandwiches? Come in today and order your favorite sandwich or try something new! Visit us in store weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Have A Healthy & Happy Holiday Season!

We all know it can be hard to stay healthy during the holidays. Amid all the holiday stress, comfort foods and various gatherings, it can be difficult to stay on track. Luckily, there are some smart ways to make healthy choices.

Stay Active
We all lead busy lives, and for whatever reason, it seems to be heightened as the year draws to an end. Our normal routines are inundated with parties, shopping, special traditions and more, but we must remember to make our health a priority. Despite a busier schedule, you should still set aside some time to exercise. Remember,  a little goes a long way and something is better than nothing.

Keep Plates Small & Colorful
Indulging during the holidays can feel like a tradition for many of us. To prevent yourself from going overboard, choose small plates and fill them with naturally colored foods (think fruits and vegetables). Bu choosing fruits and vegetables, you are getting more nutrients and less calories, which is a win-win. If you can’t commit to a full plate, set a goal for filling at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Make A Healthy Dish
To make it easy on the host or hostess, most gatherings are potluck style, which works in your favor. You can choose to bring a healthy dish so that you have a smart option if the rest of the food available is too heavy. And while it’s fine to sample the other dishes, it’s important to be mindful of portions.

Watch Those Drinks
Eggnog and hot chocolate are nearly synonymous with the holiday season. They can be a nice treat, but if you drink too much, you’ll end up with an excess of sugar and calories. The same goes for soda, alcohol, and other sweet drinks that often take the place of water at holiday events. Stay hydrated and healthy by drinking water and remember that beverages also affect our caloric intake.

Share your own holiday health tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Friendly reminder, in order for our staff to enjoy the holidays, we will be closed on Monday & Tuesday December 24-25, 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. We appreciate your understanding.

Season’s Greetings from the Brick family to yours!

Breakfast: Start Your Day The Right Way

Mornings are often busy and, unless you make time for it, breakfast gets skipped more often than not. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast can do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why you should set aside some time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast.

Energy
Breakfast gets its name from breaking the fast you endure while you sleep. While you are sleeping and your body is at rest, your metabolism slows down. When you wake up in the morning, it kicks back up and you can take advantage of this by eating a healthy breakfast. By doing so, you regulate your metabolism and blood sugar levels and provide your body with the proper fuel for the day.

Healthy Diet
When you skip breakfast, you are less likely to meet the recommended daily intakes for important nutrients. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for the nearest donut or pastry. If you make nutritious breakfast choices, they can help you maintain a healthy diet.

Weight
A healthy breakfast can also help to maintain a steady BMI (body mass index). When you start your day with a well-balanced breakfast, you are less likely to be starving by lunchtime, and thus, will decrease snacking throughout the day.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that eating breakfast helps with weight control. For example, research shows that adolescents who eat breakfast tend to weigh less, while adults who have maintained weight loss tend to be breakfast eaters. It is also believed that when individuals skip breakfast, they are more inclined to overeat at later meals. But remember, skipping breakfast does not necessarily mean you will gain weight.

Mind & Mood
Food energizes the body, and without it, especially in the morning, lethargy and drowsiness may take over. By fueling your body first thing in the morning, you can increase your ability to learn and focus, as well as improve your concentration, whether for school or work. Also, the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids found in healthy breakfast foods have been shown to improve brain functioning.

Eating breakfast can also improve your overall well-being. With increased focus comes increased productivity, making it easier for you to get through your day. And we all know we are often less irritable with a stomach full of healthy and delicious food.

A healthy breakfast may include fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you are looking to lose some weight, watch your portions throughout the day to reduce your caloric intake. Remember, your breakfast can set the tone for the day and motivate you to maintain a healthy diet.

Join the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast six days a week! Breakfast is served until 10:30am and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Vegan Facts & Fiction

Did you know November is World Vegan Month? If you’ve ever thought about becoming vegan, or at least eating less meat and more plant-based foods, there are some important things you need to know before you dive in. These are some common misconceptions about the vegan diet.

X MYTH: Vegans don’t get enough protein.
In actuality, we all pretty much get enough protein. It’s not one of the nutrients we really need to worry about since we have so many sources for it. And a proper vegan diet incorporates plant proteins from sources such as nuts, beans, soy foods, and quinoa. Even athletes, who have particular protein needs, can meet their protein requirement by choosing a variety of plant protein sources.

And although most plant proteins are considered “incomplete” proteins (they don’t have all nine essential amino acids that animal proteins do), as long as you eat a variety of protein sources on a given day, you should be covered.

  • FACT: Vegans never eat meat, fish, dairy, or eggs.
    Strict vegans only eat food from plants. Vegetarians may eat dairy and eggs, vegans don’t eat any animal by-products, including honey. While the reasons may vary (animal welfare concerns, environmental reasons, health/weight loss, wellness beliefs), vegans only consume foods and products made from plants.

X MYTH: Going vegan always leads to weight loss.
Vegan diets may prompt weight loss, but it is not guaranteed. You should still pay attention to the nutritional value of the vegan foods you consume. For example, Oreos and French fries are vegan-friendly, but may not be helpful when it comes to weight loss. You should focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans for an increased fiber intake, which can help you lose weight over time.

  • FACT: You need to supplement a vegan diet.
    Vitamin B12 (critical in cell division and the maintenance of nerve cells) is only found in animal products and not plant foods, which means vegans are susceptible to a deficiency. Vegans should supplement with vitamin B12 pill or fortified cereal. But when it comes to fortified cereal, it is important to read to label to be sure vitamin B12 is covered.

Vegans at risk for falling short on other nutrients (calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids) should meet with a registered dietician who can either suggest how to meet your needs with foods or recommend a quality vegan supplement.

X MYTH: Meat alternatives are healthier than meat.
Unfortunately, many meat alternatives contain lots of sodium, which can increase blood pressure. Ideally, we should be consuming no more than 1500mg of sodium per day (as recommended by the American Heart Association). However, some frozen veggie burgers can contain up to 600mg of sodium per burger. Even more concerning, not all meat impersonators are vegan so be sure to read the fine print.

Vegan or not, we should be choosing whole foods over hyper-processed ones. Vegans should focus on animal-free whole food staples (beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits & veggies) for a nutritious and balanced diet.

Overall Benefits
Aside from the environmental and animal welfare benefits, there are also great health benefits associated with a vegan diet. Studies show that these diets can lower the risk of cancer, most likely due to an increased consumption of antioxidant- and fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes).

Food can be healing as well, and the foods included in a vegan diet are associated with improved blood pressure, reductions in heart disease, and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Not ready to jump in? You can benefit from a more flexible approach. Make it a point to consume less meat and more plant-based foods by adjusting your diet. For example, you can designate a day or two during the week in which you consume vegan friendly meals and snacks.

Have you tried to go vegan? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Did you know our vegetarian sandwiches can be made vegan? Simply let our staff know and we will gladly prepare a vegan friendly meal for you! Visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Food Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing are fun pastimes associated with Halloween. Unfortunately a lot can go wrong if the proper safety measures are not in place. To ensure your children are safe, follow these Halloween food safety tips via FDA.gov:

  • Snacking – Have your children eat a light meal or snack before they head out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they are home and you can inspect their treats before consuming them.
  • Safe Treats – Children should not accept, and especially not eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped. Inspect all candies for any signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Toss anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies – If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen is not present. Seek houses with teal pumpkins on display, as these denote that non-food treats are available. Any home-baked goods he or she may have received should not be consumed.
  • Choking Hazards – These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. If you have very young children, be sure to sort through their bags and remove these choking hazards.

Bobbing For Apples
This classic game has the potential for spreading bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • To reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables, thoroughly rinse them under cool running water. Consider using a produce brush to remove surface dirt as well.
  • New spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper and write an activity on each (ex. do 5 jumping jacks). Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let the children take turns “bobbing” and doing the activity written on the apple. Treat the kids to fresh apples after you are done.

Party At Home

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Stay safe by always serving pasteurized products at your parties.
  • Resist the urge to taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs.
  • Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time – bacteria will creep up on you if you let food sit out too long. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Share your own Halloween food safety tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli before you head out for your Halloween fun! We will have normal store hours for Halloween on Wednesday, October 31 (7:00am-4:00pm; breakfast served until 10:30am). You may also order our food for delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Healthy Tips For Dining Out

There are several reasons for dining out at a restaurant. Whether it’s a new hot spot you’ve had your eye on, for a social gathering, or simply a much-needed break from the kitchen, you deserve a nice night out. And while it is great to treat yourself, it does not mean you have to abandon your diet completely.

Despite hidden calories and large portions, there are ways to create a delicious and healthy restaurant dining experience.

Healthier Choices

  • Just say no to appetizers, which are usually loaded with unnecessary calories. If you want to start with an appetizer, a green salad with dressing on the side is a better option.
  • To prevent overeating, you should aim to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables (and no, potatoes do not count), and the other half with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Skip the sodium-laden soups. Instead, go for a salad, which offers less sodium and more potassium-rich veggies.
  • Restaurant portions are notorious for being oversized, so, if you can, order a lunch portion, box up half of your meal for later, or split an entrée with a friend.
  • As tempting as they may be, bypass the complimentary bread or chips. These fillers will just stuff you with unnecessary and empty calories and carbs.

Salads

  • Choose Darker Greens – Darker greens have more nutrients per serving than the popular romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • Pick A Good Protein – Good protein choices include egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, tuna, beans, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cut The Cheese – You really don’t need the cheese, do you? Skip the excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium that cheese provides.
  • Smart Toppings – Instead of adding crunch from oily, refined flour (crispy wontons, croutons) and salty sodium bombs (olives, bacon), add crisp veggies and fruit to add more texture and flavor. Load up on nutrient-dense toppings such as broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, roasted peppers blueberries, mango, or strawberries.
  • Dress Better – It’s always wise to get the dressing on the side so that you can control how much or how little dressing you use. You may even be able to create your our dressing using oil and vinegar.

Sandwiches

  • Whole Wheat > White Bread – Always a better choice as it provides more nutrients. And please note that “multigrain” may mean more white flour than whole wheat.
  • Avoid Wraps – Unless they are whole grain, skip the wraps (they can have up to as many calories as white bread). Or try a lettuce wrap. You can drop refined grains for whole food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, turn your sandwich into a salad.
  • Craving a sandwich? Opt for a half sandwich, half salad combo. That way, you can get your sandwich fix while taking in more vegetables, too.
  • Smart Sides – When it comes to side dishes, opt for fresh fruit or steamed veggies over chips or bread.

Coffee

  • Choose Nonfat Milk – If you don’t particularly like nonfat, take baby steps and do half nonfat, half 2% milk.
  • Pros & Cons Of Non-Dairy Milk – Soy milk provides around 8g of protein per cup, but depending on the brand, they may have added sugar. Almond milk may have less sugar, but also less protein. Skip the coconut milk as it is low in protein and high in saturated fat.
  • Skip The Whipped Cream – Save yourself from excess calories and saturated fat.
  • Skip The Syrup – Sugar-free syrups may be made with unsafe sweeteners, but if you must, ask for a single pump of regular syrup.
  • Order Brewed Coffee and make your own modifications (one packet of sugar adds about 20 calories.

How do you stay healthy when you dine out? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Packed Lunches Don’t Have To Be Boring

Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy diet, save money, or both, packing lunch is a smart option. However, after a while, you may run out of ideas or grow tired of your lunch routine. You can avoid this by making adjustments here and there. Here are some tips to keep your lunch healthy and exciting.

Salads
Salads are a healthy, easy, and delicious choice for lunch. Greens are very nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. However, salads can get boring day after day if you stick to the same basic ingredients.

An easy way to reinvent your salad is to try a different base. Some great alternatives include massaged kale, baby romaine, cabbage, or bok choy.

Another way to change things up is to look at your protein source. You can either replace it with a new protein, or simply add another to enhance the flavors and textures of your salad. Try tofu, tempeh, shelled edamame, kidney beans, brown rice, chickpeas, or lentils, all of which are excellent plant-based protein sources.

Lastly, your dressing can really make your salad ingredients shine. Instead of reaching for your preferred store-bought variety, make your own. There are plenty of recipes available online, some as simple as oil and vinegar and spices.

Sandwiches
There are plenty of ways to get creative with your sandwiches. For starters, if you use classic white bread for your sandwiches, try using whole grain or sourdough for a change. You can even try pita or other flatbreads to create a pita pocket, gyro or wrap.

Aside from that, you can try different sandwich toppings, or even use last night’s leftovers as a filling. And you can ditch mayo or mustard (or both) for a smear of avocado, hummus, or another flavorful spread. The possibilities are endless.

Snacks
Go for a variety of healthy snacks instead of a main dish. This variety can make you look forward to lunch more so than before. These can also help sustain your energy throughout the day. Try a healthy mix of sweet and savory snacks, from veggies and hummus to easy energy bites and more.

Rethink Meal Prep
Meal prep is a great way to save time and eat healthy, but with repetitive meals, lunchtime can get dull. Rather than ditching meal prep all together, try prepping some basic ingredients and creating meals that vary from day to day. Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations or think outside of the box.

Pack Realistically
Sure, you want to eat a healthy meal, but will a plain kale salad really satisfy your midday hunger? On paper it may sound like a great and healthy meal, but you may be disappointed come lunch time. Consequently, this disappointment may lead you to fall back on unhealthy habits. Instead, heed the aforementioned tips and pack a tasty, healthy lunch you know you will enjoy.

If you need a break from your own lunches, you can join us six days a week for breakfast or lunch. We are located at 105 E. Arrow Highway in Pomona, CA (on the northeast corner of E. Arrow Hwy and Garey Ave – next to Johnny’s).

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