Swap It Out Sunday

In my excitement about the race last week, I forgot to do a Swap It Out Sunday (whoops).

This week I wanted to look at lunch.


An easy to pack, popular lunch item is the default sandwich.  But I know very few people that just have a sandwich and call it a day; usually there are chips, yogurt, pudding or other items involved to round out the meal.  A sandwich with wheat bread, ham, american cheese and mayo packs in 350 calories.  This was calculated with much smaller portions than most sandwiches I see too, so I think this may be a low ball estimate.

One great alternative could be to make a smoothie.  The smoothie I made most recently with spinach, greek yogurt, skim milk, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple had just 229 calories in it.  It was huge and I was full for the rest of the day.  I also usually eat/drink these a lot slower so I don’t get brain freeze.  If your office has a break room, you can buy the ingredients and store them in the fridge/freezer.  That way you don’t even have to pack food every day.  I also have a small blender that is easily stored and cheap.  Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender.  Note: It gets a little upset if you don’t put enough liquid in with the frozen ingredients so make sure to add enough milk.

Another great option is soup.  Especially in the winter, I love a good bowl of soup for lunch.  Progresso has a line of soups that I love that come in light options.  Even the cream based soups only have around 200 calories in the whole can; broth based have as low as 120 in the can.  These usually keep me full for a few hours, but I often will need a banana or apple around four to keep me going.

So if once a week you subed a:

  • smoothie for sandwich: save at least 121 cals, 6,292 cals/year –> 1.75 pounds
  • Soup for sandwich: save at least 150 cals, 7,800 cals/year –> 2.25 pounds

Now, if you are someone that buys lunch out every day at work, the savings there would be even more noticeable (and would help that wallet as well!).

So get out of your “sandwich for lunch” rut and try some of these substitutes tomorrow!