What’s For Lunch This Week?

Here’s another set of recommendations for healthy lunch choices at restaurants that are hopefully in your area. Once again, these are from a nutritionist at Northwestern Hospital, and she’s once again my Rainbow of the Week.

Corner Bakery

  • Asian Wonton Salad: 530 calories, 39g protein, 11g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 1910mg sodium
  • Mom’s Sandwiches, Turkey: 470 calories, 39g protein, 6g fiber, 0.5g saturated fat, 1400mg sodium
  • Mom’s Sandwiches, Roast Chicken: 500 calories, 42g protein, 6g fiber, 0.5g saturated fat, 1400mg sodium
  • Lentil Soup (cup): 140 calories, 8g protein, 9g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 930mg sodium
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (cup): 140 calories, 8g protein, 1g fiber, 1.5g saturated fat, 1080mg sodium
  • Tomato Basil (cup): 200 calories, 8g protein, 3g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 1500mg sodium
  • Chicken Tortilla (cup): 230 calories, 7g protein, 6g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 1310mg sodium

Jimmy John’s

  • Turkey Tom: 515 calories, 24g protein, 1g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 1094mg sodium
  • Tuna Slim: 401 calories, 27g protein, 0g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 1075mg sodium

Pret A Manger


  • Balsamic Chicken & Avocado: 530 calories, 23g protein, 12g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 940mg sodium
  • Slim BC&A: 265 calories, 11g protein, 6g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 470mg sodium
  • Hummus & Garden Veggies: 410 calories, 12g protein, 13g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 560mg sodium
  • Slim H&GV: 205 calories, 6g protein, 6g fiber, 0.5g saturated fat, 280mg sodium


  • Vietnamese: 550 calories, 30g protein, 4g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 1070mg sodium
  • Slim Vietnamese: 275 calories, 6g protein, 2g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 535mg sodium
  • Slim Chicken & Mozzarella: 310 calories, 18g protein, 3g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 530mg sodium


  • Avocado & Pine Nut: 440 calories, 9g protein, 9g fiber, 5g saturated fat, 470mg sodium
  • Turkey, Basil & Hummus: 400 calories, 22g protein, 5g fiber, 3.5g saturated fat, 1030mg sodium
  • Spicy Shrimp & Cilantro: 290 calories, 22g protein, 3g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 640mg sodium


  • Chicken & Avocado (balsamic dressing): 540 calories, 22g protein, 12g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 190mg sodium
  • Farmer’s Market (lemon shallot dressing): 360 calories, 8g protein, 12g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 620mg sodium
  • Harvest (lemon shallot dressing): 360 calories, 7g protein, 5g fiber, 4g saturated fat, 350mg sodium
  • Tuna Nicoise (balsamic dressing): 390 calories, 29g protein, 4g fiber, 4.5g saturated fat, 650mg sodium


  • 6” Oven Roasted Chicken: 320 calories, 23g protein, 5g fiber, 1.5g saturated fat, 640mg sodium
  • 6” Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki: 380 calories, 26g protein, 5g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 900mg sodium
  • 6” Turkey Breast: 280 calories, 18g protein, 5g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 810mg sodium
  • Apple Slices: 35 calories, 0g protein, 2g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 0mg sodium
  • Light & Fit Yogurt: 80 calories, 5g protein, 0g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 80mg sodium

Nutritional values include toppings and dressings as listed on the menu, unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy, and here’s to your health!

What’s For Lunch?

Nothing is more valuable than our health and, as the saying goes, you are what you eat. For many of us, when it comes to lunch, what we eat comes from a fast-food type of restaurant. Here are some recommendations for healthy lunch choices at restaurants that are hopefully in your area. I got this information from a nutritionist, and she’s my Rainbow of the Week.


  • Bombay Chicken Light Salad: 164 calories, 19g protein, 4g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 735mg sodium
  • Cosi Signature Lighter Side Salad: 383 calories, 10g protein, 6g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 504mg sodium
  • Shanghai Chicken Salad: 316 calories, 26g protein, 5g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 850mg sodium
  • Tandoori Chicken Light Sandwich: 376 calories, 35g protein, 2g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 889mg sodium
  • Hummus & Veggie Sandwich: 397 calories, 13g protein, 7g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 532mg sodium
  • Turkey Light Sandwich: 391 calories, 26g protein, 2g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 526mg sodium
  • Tuna Sandwich: 447 calories, 40g protein, 3g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 856mg sodium


  • Vegetable Burrito: 593 calories, 15g protein, 6g fiber, 4.5g saturated fat, 524mg sodium
  • Bangkok Burrito: 639 calories, 24.5g protein, 4g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 918mg sodium
  • Vegan Wrap: 671 calories, 14.5g protein, 12g fiber, 2.5g saturated fat, 414mg sodium
  • Tuna Garden Wrap: 535 calories, 28g protein, 4g fiber, 5.5g saturated fat, 979mg sodium
  • Spicy Noodle Bowl: 505 calories, 19g protein, 4g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 139mg sodium
  • Asian Noodle Bowl: 600 calories, 26g protein, 3g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 544mg sodium
  • Warrior Chicken Bowl: 496 calories, 23g protein, 7g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 717mg sodium
  • Chicken Teriyaki Bowl: 420 calories, 24.5g protein, 5g fiber, 0.5g saturated fat, 1489mg sodium
  • Bliss Bowl: 491 calories, 10g protein, 6g fiber, 4g saturated fat, 73mg sodium
  • Spicy Lemongrass Soup: 348 calories, 20g protein, 2g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 988g sodium
  • 7 Vegetable Soup: 255 calories, 11g protein, 3g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 877mg sodium
  • BBQ Chicken Salad: 287 calories, 18g protein, 9g fiber, 3.5g saturated fat, 633mg sodium
  • Wild Pacific Salad: 188 calories, 26g protein, 4g fiber,0.5 g saturated fat, 669mg sodium
  • Antioxidant Crunch Salad: 420 calories, 24g protein, 7.5g fiber, 2g saturated fat, 409mg sodium
  • Asian Chop Salad: 338 calories, 23g protein, 6.5g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 596mg sodium


  • Smoked Turkey Sandwich: 420 calories, 33g protein, 3g fiber, 0.5g saturated fat, 1650mg sodium
  • Tuna Salad Sandwich: 510 calories, 29g protein, 5g fiber, 4g saturated fat, 1160mg sodium
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad: 450 calories, 32g protein, 4g fiber, 4g saturated fat, 810mg sodium
  • Thai Chopped Chicken Salad: 470 calories, 36g protein, 5g fiber, 3.5g saturated fat, 1460mg sodium
  • Vegetable with Pesto Soup: 150 calories, 5g protein, 12g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 930mg sodium
  • Chicken Noodle Soup: 120 calories, 8g protein, 3g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 1380mg sodium
  • Black Bean Soup: 240 calories, 12g protein, 9g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 1270mg sodium


  • Turkey Breast (originals): 395 calories, 29g protein, 6g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 1550mg sodium
  • Chicken Salad (originals): 530 calories, 29g protein, 6g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 1180mg sodium
  • Tuna Salad (originals): 490 calories, 35g protein, 6g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 1040mg sodium
  • Grilled Chicken (originals): 444 calories, 29g protein, 3g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 1886mg sodium
  • T-K-Y (skinnys): 270 calories, 20g protein, 4g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 1048mg sodium
  • Little Tuna (skinnys): 444 calories, 29g protein, 3g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 1886mg sodium
  • Chicken Salad (salad, with no-fat vinaigrette): 510 calories, 22g protein, 7g fiber, 5g saturated fat, 1052mg sodium

The nutritional values include toppings and dressings as listed on the restaurant’s menu, except the Freshii salads include a half portion of dressing. Enjoy, and here’s to your health!

Rainbow of the Week: Anthony Bourdain?!?

Chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain is a self-confessed “snarky, cynical bastard.” So why is he my rainbow of the week?

I recently did a post about my vacation in Peru and my favorite things there, including the Amazon jungle, a Peruvian beer called chicha, guinea pigs, Incan stone work, alpacas and aliens. One of my fellow travelers told me about an episode of Bourdain’s show No Reservations that basically replicates our trip. Watching it (in four segments on YouTube) was like being in Peru again. So for those of you who would like to visit Peru from the comfort of your own home….

In segments 1 and 2, Bourdain visits Lima (Peru’s capital) and eats at one of the city’s 2,000 cevicherias. Like we did, he stays at Posadas Amazonas in the Amazon jungle, fishes for piranha, and visits the same shaman, only his trip there is even more interesting than ours.

In segment 3, Bourdain spends time in Cusco which, at about 11,000 feet above sea level, was Peru’s capital in Incan times.  He learns about the 3,000-plus varieties of potato in Peru, eats a guinea pig, and drinks some chicha.

Finally, in segment 4, Bourdain visits Macchu Picchu, marvels at the Incan stone work, sees (and eats) some alpaca, and discusses … aliens! Coincidence? I think not.

A Very Happy Accident (o un Accidente Muy Feliz)

Sometimes life’s blessings come in the form of happy accidents. Exhibit A: My good friend Zora knew I wanted to travel to Peru and suggested I check out her travel group. I could’ve sworn she said it was called Global Expeditions. I Googled them, found their web site and, sure enough, they had a trip to Peru coming up.

I booked the trip (more on that below) and loved the tour group! Global Expeditions is run and owned by Jeff Kelly and Kevin Foley. The two met at a Wall Street firm, where Jeff was a trader and Kevin worked in IT. They left the securities industry behind several years ago to start Global Expeditions and share their love of travel with other people. Here’s how Jeff and Kevin (accurately) describe themselves on their web site:

We are those ever inquisitive personalities, the type that thrive on exploring the new and adventurous destinations of the world. And we enjoy doing it in the company of other fun-loving people. Simply put, we love life and we want to get the most out of it.

Global Expeditions trips are unique, extremely well-planned and organized, reasonably priced, and loads of fun. The groups are very diverse and include many solo travelers like me.

About halfway through Peru, Jeff and Kevin asked me how I heard of Global Expeditions. I said Zora recommended them, and that she had gone to Morocco with them. Only they didn’t know Zora, and (at that time) they hadn’t done a trip to Morocco. As it turns out, her travel group is Geographic Expeditions. Oops!

Ten Things Unexpected Things I Loved About My Peru Trip With Global Expeditions

The Amazon. We stayed for 2 nights and 3 days at an eco-lodge (Posadas Amazonas) in the Amazon jungle. Our rooms were equipped with hammocks, stationed in front of the “wall” that was open to the jungle. I lay in that hammock, listening to jungle sounds, knowing it was a moment to be cherished. We spent an afternoon with a shaman who acquainted us with, among other things, jungle Viagra. We fished for piranha using chunks of raw meat. Some of my group went on a nighttime “spider hike”, which they said was amazing. (I opted instead for an amazing massage.) We awoke at 4:30 AM to go on a sunrise cruise of the Amazon, and saw things like 6-foot-long giant river otters and gorgeous macaws. We stood quietly in the jungle and watched monkeys at play. I’ll never forget the Amazon.

Pisac Market. Located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Pisac market is an enormous, open-air shopping venue with a vast array of handmade goods, jewelry and locally grown produce and meats. You could stay there for a week and still not visit all of the stalls. The most memorable part of the market is the people (mostly women) who work there, many of whom have their children with them. I wanted to take this little girl home in my pocket!

Kevin at a roadside chicha bar.

Kevin at a roadside chicha bar.

Peruvian Food and Drink. The food and drinks in Peru are unique and delish! My favorite Peruvian drink is a tie between Pisco sours and chicha (a yummy beer made from corn). Peru has fruits and vegetables that I’ve never seen anywhere else. They’re enormous and so fresh. And Peruvians know how to cook quinoa dishes like no one else in the world.

Jeff gets to know an alpaca.

Jeff gets to know a llama.

Llamas and Alpacas. Llamas and alpacas abound in Peru, and they’re the source of the wool for beautiful Peruvian sweaters, hats and other handmade goods. One of our most memorable stops was a llama and alpaca farm in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we fed the animals and saw beautiful handmade goods being created from their wool.

I’m Tall in Peru. Average heights in Peru are 5’5” for men and  5’2” for women. The picture of me (at 5’5″) towering over the woman with the llama says it all.

Our Tour Guide, Juan. One of our tour guides, Juan, is a retired college professor who thoroughly educated us in Peruvian history. He was fantastic (except for that one time he purported to give us homework).

Incan Architecture. Incans were amazing stonefitters. No mortar. No iron tools. They carved those rocks, using only small rocks as tools, to fit together perfectly. They even put shapes of things that were sacred to them into their stone work. Check out that puma claw that Juan is pointing out. Amazing!

Guinea Pigs. Guinea pigs are a staple of the Peruvian diet; they’re used by shamans as diagnostic tools; and their poop is used as a power source in a village outside of Lima. So revered are guinea pigs in Peru that a famous painting of the last supper in the Cathedral of Cusco features a guinea pig carcass on the table in front of Jesus. And to think we keep them in cages, running on wheels….

Rainbows. Rainbow flags and symbols are everywhere in Peru. When we first arrived in Lima and I saw all of the rainbow flags, I thought, “Wow, they must have a huge GLBT community!” Then I learned that in Peru, the rainbow is an image of Incan heritage. The bright colors make for a very happy atmosphere.

Alien owner John feeds one to a piranha. (No aliens were hurt for purposes of creating this post.)

Aliens. Global Expeditions is a very fun group to travel with. One of my fellow travelers in Peru brought two small, plastic green aliens with him. They became our group’s mascots. We even invented a sort of alien “dice” game on the train to Macchu Picchu. The highest scoring roll in the alien toss was the elusive “two butts up.”

Stay Tuned For Further Adventures With Global Expeditions

In September, I’m going to India, Nepal and Tibet with Global Expeditions. Stay tuned for future posts about my adventures in Asia with Jeff, Kevin and our fellow travelers….

Loosening The Grip Of The Big Five

Recent news about mad cow disease in California is a good reason to rethink our diets, and to check out Kathy Freston’s book, Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Mind, Body and Spirit. This isn’t a cleanse where you starve yourself, take pills, or drink concoctions made with maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Instead, for 3 weeks, you refrain from eating what Freston calls the “Big Five”:

  • Caffeine
  • Refined sugar
  • Gluten
  • Alcohol
  • Animal products (dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish)

Benefits from Taking a Break from the “Big Five”

Freston’s book explains in detail why each of the “Big Five” can cause problems for our bodies and minds, and how we’ve become dependent on “artificial boosts” and have forgotten how to feel good naturally. Positive effects from the Quantum Wellness Cleanse can include:

  • Release from addictive habits
  • More energy (and better sleep)
  • Clearer skin and eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Cessation of certain aches, pains and digestive ailments
  • Deeper awareness of the effect that we and our eating habits can have on the world

As Freston explains:

“Doing this cleanse is one of the best ways I know to discover any negative emotional material we are covering over with food, so that we can shake it right out of our system. And the beauty of it is, you can take what feels right from this program and leave the rest behind. Once you’ve done the work, you can add things back in, though many people find they want to stick with the changes that have so improved the way they look and feel.”

Why 21 days? According to Freston, “because that’s about how long it takes for your tastes and cravings to begin responding to healthier and simpler foods.” Also, some researchers say that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Don’t worry about having some lapses during the three-week period:

“People often ask me about ‘discipline.’ They worry that they won’t be able to get through it or do it perfectly. Here’s what I tell them: challenge yourself, but don’t make yourself (or others around you) crazy. Do the best you can. …. Our goal is progress, no perfection.”

My Experience

About a year ago, I was feeling tired, like I needed to recharge my battery, so I downloaded Quantum Wellness Cleanse on my Kindle and decided to give it a shot. I’ve always eaten healthy, but I had never eliminated sugar, gluten or animal products from my diet. And I was a regular at Starbucks.

I find Freston’s advice to be easy to follow. She provides day-by-day guidelines, shopping ideas and recipes, but you select your own foods every day. There are lots of food choices that meet the guidelines these days, especially at Whole Foods. One thing I really like about the cleanse is that it forces me to break out of my food habits and try things that I would normally pass by at the grocery store. Some of them have become favorites foods of mine. (Amy’s Tofu Scramble Breakfast Wrap, anyone?)

As a result of the cleanse and the new habits it taught me, I have more energy, sleep more soundly, and my skin looks great. Although I’m not a vegan like Freston, I now eat far fewer animal products, and when I do buy meat or poultry or eggs, I buy products that align with  values of kindness and integrity (free-range, grass-fed, cage-free, etc.). As a bonus, my food bills are lower now that I consume less of the Big Five!

Your Turn

Freston does the Quantum Wellness Cleanse once a year. Writing this post inspired me to do it for a second time. A little too much refined sugar, caffeine and poor eating habits had crept back into my life over the holidays. Doing the cleanse again helped me get back on the right path. I even managed to kick the Starbucks habit! If you want to learn more about the 21-day cleanse, check out Freston’s web site.

Which one of the Big Five has the tightest grip on you, and are you willing to do the Quantum Cleanse to break free?