Zuri Girl got to chatting with dietitian Sandra about how to make lunch healthy even when you’re on the go. Here’s the scoop gals…
Aim to be conscious of what you order and think carefully about how to avoid consuming more calories than you really need, particularly when you eat out frequently. Also, it is important that you consider the nutritional quality of your meals and not just focus on the numbers! Boosting the nutrient density of your meals will ensure that your body gets a boost of nutrients that will help you tackle the day ahead!
Keep your tummies happy and smiling over lunch! Bon Appétit.
Zurich’s Healthy Grab n’ Go lunches
About: Sushi is always a healthy choice to go for, however, it’s all about the portion. If you’re watching your weight, then choose no more than 6-8 pieces of maki. You can then add a side of sashimi plus a side salad or miso soup.
How to Find: 6 locations throughout Zurich | Website
Dietician Sandra’s Choice: Takeaway Super Salmon Bento plus a cucumber wakame salad or miso soup.
About: This is a great spot for salads but be aware that salads are not always the healthiest option and can definitely pack hidden calories! Some good choices to opt for there include: Melon Chicken Salad, Grilled Salmon Salad, Malaysian Beef Salad, Tandoori Chicken Salad and the Springtime Salad. These choices are calorie controlled and can be combined with a soup.
How to Find: Locations in Oerlikon & on Stauffacher | Website
Dietician Sandra’s Choice: Grilled Salmon Salad plus loads of water.
About: This is another popular ‘fast-food-gone-healthy’ spot offering a variety of wraps, salads, sandwiches and freshly made smoothies and juices. As much as wraps can be appealing, make sure to be conscious of portions as a large serve can go up to 600kcal. Also, ingredients such as coconut, mangos or curry sauce can add the extra calories to your meal.
How to Find: 4 locations throughout Zurich | Website
Dietician Sandra’s Choice: Falafel Salad plus a small serve of mango, coconut and passion fruit smoothie. You can find detailed nutrition information of all their products here.
About: If you’ve ever been there at lunchtime, or any time really, the place is always buzzing! Their buffet is usually a hit for those opting for a quick grab n’ go “meat-free” meal, including myself. Despite buffets being a downfall for those trying to watch their weight, I would still recommend a trip down the aisle which offers a variety of salads, curries, hot appetizers, Italian pastas, Asian stir fries and much more! Perhaps you can opt for the smaller dish and try not to pile it up? Otherwise, go for their standard take away container and be sensible. Fill your container with cold salads and limit appetizers such as samosas or their Indian pakoras to one piece. You can then choose a small serve of a heart-warming curry. Remember, keep it colourful and avoid the “pile-up”.
How to Find: Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zürich | Website
Dietician Sandra’s Choice: Starting off at the salads: quinoa salad, cucumber and chive and beetroot. Mains: a small spoonful of some steamed rice with either a small portion of Indian chickpea curry or a Thai veggie green curry with okra plus a samosa (my naughty indulgence). Finally, an ice cold refreshing beverage of the house: Ginger and lemon Lemonade.
Meal Selection Tips
The following points should help you make healthier choices when grabbing lunch on the go:
Asian meals: Choose a small portion of steamed rice (basmati or brown), mixed vegetable dishes, lean meats (beef, lamb, chicken without the skin), fish, seafood and stir fries. Try to limit dishes based on fried noodles, battered or crumbed deep-fried meats or seafood, coconut cream/milk and ghee in large amounts. Steamed dumplings are a better alternative than their fried counterparts as they contain a high amount of calories due to the fat used for frying.
Salad bars: Try to choose salads with dressings made from balsamic vinegar or oils such as canola, sunflower and olive oils, or choose salads with dressing on the side. Aim for a colourful variety of vegetables and include nourishing sources of protein such as boiled eggs, plain tuna without a creamy base or sliced grilled chicken. Non-meat sources of protein you can definitely add include lentils, chickpeas, beans, tempeh or edamame.
Sandwiches and bread rolls: Ask for sandwiches, wraps and bread rolls to be wholemeal or wholegrain. If you are intolerant to gluten, then opt for gluten free wraps or breads. Flavour your sandwich with some avocado, chutney, hummus or cottage cheese. Then, add your source of protein and vegetables such as tuna, salmon, turkey, sliced chicken or tofu steaks with lots of salad vegetables.
Contributed by Zuri Girl Sandra Mikhail. An Australian dietitian, nutrition columnist and the founder, author of Nutrition A-Z: Simple Sound and Interactive www.nutrition-az.com and head of nutrition and dietetics at Oviva, My Personal Dietitian photo app. Being a globe-trotting certified dietitian, she has extensive experience in clinical practice, nutrition consulting and health promotion, working in Australia, Dubai and Switzerland.