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Did you know...

Tuna can provide you with important nutrients like omega-3, calcium, protein and more. 

These nutrients help promote:

Heart health
Memory retention
Healthy joints
Cardiovacular health
Healthy skin
Healthy vision

plus many other benefits!

You can get all these benefits included in our Albacore Tuna Sub sandwich! 
All in one place and at the same time. 
Isn't that wonderful!?

Albacore Tuna Sub
by Robert Livesay

People use many excuses as to why they are not eating healthy foods. One of the most common excuses is they have no time to worry about choosing the best foods and cooking them for themselves and their families.

These people usually grab fast food or take-out instead of healthier foods, and these quick dinner fixes are full of bad fats and cholesterol, sugar, and empty calories. However, no matter how little time you have to spend in the kitchen and at the supermarket, there are ways in which you can eat in a healthy way.

Learning how to eat healthily quickly can make all the difference in maintaining your diet. Eating healthy foods begins with healthy ingredients, but if you are short on time, you may find that spending time in the grocery store does not fit into your schedule.

To maximize your time, plan ahead for two weeks at a time. Instead of having to go to the store every time you need an ingredient, make a list and keep your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry stocked with good, healthy ingredients.

You can make your shopping list during a meeting, while eating lunch, or while you are on the phone. A list will also help you cut back on compulsory buying, which is when we purchase a lot of the foods that are bad for us.

Along with planning your shopping list, plan your meals as well. If you find little time to cook during the week, you can try making a few healthy meals in advance on the weekend and than putting them in your freezer.

Before you go to work in the morning, simply stick the frozen dinner in the refrigerator to thaw and then pop into the oven to cook when you get home from work. This will help you avoid having to pick up fast food.

When you do find yourself in the need of a quick meal and want to order out, look for healthy options. Instead of choosing a burger and fries, for example, look at the chicken breast options.
Some fast food restaurants also have salads and fruit, but beware of dressings, which can have tons of fat and empty calories. Keep healthy drinks on hand at home instead of purchasing a soda as well.

Better yet, bypass the burger, pizza, and Mexican joints altogether and opt for a sandwich or sub shop instead, where you can choose a wheat bread and ask them to hold the mayonnaise.
Healthy eating on the run will never be easy. However, putting a tad bit more time into it is worth that extra effort, because you'll be living a healthier life in the end.

Using these tips will help you to quickly eat as healthily as possible. For more informative articles on this subject please visit here:
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By Judy Ferril

Lunch considerations are important with kids going back to school, but they should also be important for parents going to work.

You think that is just one more thing to add to my list of "to-do's". Not really. With a bit of planning, it can be quite simple.

Salad: How about a Chef's Salad? Leafy lettuce, chopped hard boiled egg, diced ham, tomato wedges are the standard fare, but you really can put anything you want in the salad since you are the chef? It packs nicely with a dressing on the side and holds well in an insulated bag with a blue ice pack. Kids really do like salad too, especially if they have some of their favorite foods in the salad. Left over taco meat, lettuce, a sprinkle of cheese and tortilla chips are great choices. Mix low fat sour cream and salsa for the dressing.

Wraps: An excellent alternative to a boring sandwich on bread. I know you've heard it before, but maybe it bears repeating again. Make extra salad for dinner and put your leftover salad in a wrap and add some sliced chicken, turkey or tuna. Take along a little dressing to add before you eat it to avoid the soggies. Another idea is to make quesadillas with leftovers and reheat them in the microwave. But be careful with the wraps. Look for whole grain, higher fiber - some wraps can be pretty high on the carb load and not the good kind.

Pasta: Make a little extra pasta one evening. Bow ties or rotini are excellent options. I try to use whole wheat pasta whenever I can for that added boost to my diet. Add some diced olives, diced green or red onion, quartered hard-boiled egg, cubed meat of your choice, and baby tomatoes cut in half. Toss it with an Italian type dressing. Sprinkle a little Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese on top. Seal well. Keep refrigerated or in an insulated bag with a blue ice pack.

Picnic Lunch: How about some of your favorite sliced cheeses, whole wheat crackers or a small whole wheat baguette, sliced fruits, and maybe some slices of salami or sopressata? You can do this type of lunch and still make it healthy. Just watch the types of cheese or consider reduced-fat varieties. Same with the salami. And you can buy nitrite/nitrate free salamis that are excellent.

Sandwich: Last, but certainly not least, is an all-time favorite in our home. PB&J. Yes, the classic Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich can be comfort food for a stressful day at the office (or for kids at school). Peanut butter is a healthy food. Make the sandwich on a good whole wheat, whole grain bread and use a pure fruit spread rather than jam or jelly. You really don't need the high fructose corn syrup in your diet. Put banana on it instead of jelly or even with the jelly.

Just remember to make healthy choices. Take along a book and find a quiet place either inside or outside and relax. Enjoy your lunch. You might even start a new trend and get a group together to co-op on lunches. You can save some money and calories and enjoy a great lunch without the crowds!

Judy Ferril is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. Are you a stranger in your own kitchen? Do you think eating healthy means no fun or flavor in your meals? Judy is the self-trained executive chef for the Ferril family and loves to share her passion for cooking and healthy foods with others. Join Judy Ferril at Baking With Lemons. What does baking and lemons have to do with fun, flavor, and health? Come see, stretch your imagination and enjoy new tastes and flavors at Baking with Lemons and Local Food Connections for fun and healthy local food options. Judy Ferril

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By Laura Cockerell

If you have to pack a lunch every day you know how tedious and boring it can get and at times you may just run out of ideas. Here are some quick lunchbox meal ideas to use throughout the year for both children and adults.

Using healthy ingredients and simple preparation, you will be able to make quick lunches any day of the week and because of the variety of choices you will always be able to make something new and different.


Here is a simple approach for creating sandwiches in a hurry. Just pick from each category and you've got a sandwich made in no time.


Choose your favorite variety or take a look at the suggestions below.

- whole wheat bread

- pita pocket

- dark rye bread

- sourdough bread

- bagels (plain or flavored)

- hamburger buns

- soft rolls (choose your favorite)

- soft shell tortilla (whole wheat or flavored)


- non-fat mayonnaise

- non-fat sour cream

- non-fat plain yogurt (Greek style is thicker and creamier and makes a nice spread)

- mustard (spicy, honey, Dijon, horseradish, etc)

- creamy low-fat all-natural bottled dressings

- avocado (a ripe avocado can be mashed and used as a delicious spread)

- pesto (a little basil or roasted red pepper pesto)


- tuna (canned, packed in water and drained)

- thin slices of smoked salmon

- thin slices of low-sodium, minimally processed deli meat

- chicken (baked, broiled or grilled and thinly sliced)

- hummus (regular or flavored variety)

- nut butter (peanut, soy, sunflower, cashew or almond)

- vegetarian burger or patty (cooked as directed on package)

- baked tofu (choose your favorite flavor and slice thin or thick)

- cheese slices (low-fat varieties or vegetarian cheese slices)

Flavorful Additions:

Add a variety of vegetables or fruit to your sandwich for great flavor and nutrition.


- sliced tomatoes

- sliced cucumbers

- pickle relish or sliced pickles

- lettuce (soft varieties are great like Bibb lettuce or the green or red leaf varieties)

- sweet bell pepper strips (plain or roasted)

- pitted and chopped black or green olives

- thin slices of peeled jicama

- thin slices of chayote squash

- sprouts


(fruit works especially well on nut butter sandwiches)

- thinly sliced apples

- raisins

- chopped dried cherry pieces or any dried fruit variety

- sliced bananas



Soups are a great lunch idea. Keeping soup warm until lunchtime can be a challenge but if you warm up the thermos first, with some very warm water from the tap for a few minutes, then pour it out and add the hot soup, it will usually stay fairly warm until you are ready to eat.

Choose your favorite soup either homemade or store-bought. When buying store-bought varieties look for all-natural ingredients and low-sodium content. Add some simple sides along with a thermos of warm soup and you've got a quick and easy lunch. Some suggestions for side dishes to go along with hot soup are listed below.

Side Dishes:

- small side salad: lettuce, tomato and cucumber with Italian dressing

- veggies and dip: carrot and celery sticks with all-natural Ranch style dressing or hummus for dipping

- fruit and yogurt: apple slices with low-fat vanilla flavored yogurt for dipping

- potatoes: cubes of cooked potatoes dressed with a little non-fat sour cream and chives

- cheese and crackers: low-fat cheese cubes and whole grain crackers

- chips and salsa: baked pita chips with salsa for dipping

- breadsticks and fruit: flavored breadsticks and a small container of applesauce

- cheese and fruit: low-fat string cheese and a small box of raisins

- chips and fruit: small bag of baked chips with a piece of fruit


Pasta and Noodles:

Warm or cold, cooked pasta or noodles are a simple lunch idea that can be made quickly and easily. These can be made ahead of time and either served cold or warmed up before placing in an insulated container. Just choose something from each category, combine together and create a pasta meal in minutes.

Pasta or Noodles:

Cook according to package directions, drain and place in a bowl.

- small pasta shapes: elbow macaroni, farfalle, penne or rotini (or your favorite)

- long noodle varieties: thin spaghetti, fettucini, rice noodles or udon noodles


Depending on what you choose, warm the quantity of sauce you are using in a saucepan or simply add your choice of sauce to the warm, cooked pasta.

- marinara

- pasta sauce with vegetables

- Italian dressing

- peanut sauce

- non-fat sour cream (alone or mixed with dried herbs of choice)

- mustard and non-fat sour cream or mayonnaise combination

- salsa (your favorite variety)

- basil or roasted red pepper pesto mixed with non-fat sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt


Here is a suggested list of vegetables that you can use in any combination. Use any of these or your favorite combinations. If using frozen vegetables, cook according to package directions and if using fresh, use raw or lightly cooked until tender, whichever you prefer.

- artichoke hearts (frozen or marinated in jars (drain before using))

- asparagus spears (frozen or fresh) - cut into one-inch pieces

- broccoli (frozen or fresh) - cut into bite-sized pieces

- carrots - sliced or diced

- celery - sliced or diced

- mushrooms - sliced

- sweet bell peppers - chopped

- roasted sweet red peppers (jarred - drain before using) - cut into bite-sized pieces

- tomatoes - diced

- sweet onions - chopped

- peas (frozen or fresh)

- corn kernels (frozen or fresh)

- baby spinach leaves (fresh works best and the heat from the warm pasta will soften the leaves perfectly)


These are just some simple flavor boosters that add a little something extra to pasta or noodle dishes. Use these ingredients alone or in any combination you prefer.

- pitted and chopped green or black olives

- chopped nuts

- grated or cubed low-fat cheese

- any canned beans (rinsed and drained before using) such as black, cannellini, garbanzo or kidney

- chopped sun-dried tomatoes


Quick and Easy Salad Meals:

Simply choose something from each category and you can create a salad meal in minutes. The wide variety of combinations you can create will always give you something new at lunchtime.


Choose the greens for your salad. There are a variety of pre-packaged salad greens in the grocery stores these days from spring mixes, romaine, arugula, baby spinach and more. You can choose these products and even make combinations of them for an interesting salad base.

You can also simply buy the fresh variety in heads by themselves and make your own combinations. This route is cheaper than the packaged variety but if time is short you can't beat the pre-packaged greens.

Vegetables and Fruit:

Choose a variety of vegetables and/or fruit to put in the salad with a rainbow of colors for the most nutrition. Some flavorful combinations are:

- cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery or

- red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, scallions or

- grape tomatoes, avocado, hearts of palm or

- shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, mandarin oranges or

- diced apples, blueberries, strawberries


Here are some suggestions for fillings that will make a salad a meal.

- cooked chicken (cubed) - either grilled, baked, or broiled or

- cooked seafood (cut into bite-sized pieces) - tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, or lobster or

- cooked grains - brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or wild rice or

- cooked beans - black beans, garbanzo beans, butter beans, lima beans, kidney beans, azuki beans, cannellini beans, or edamame or

- cooked meat (cut into bite-sized pieces) - steak, ham, pork chops, or roast beef or

- eggs - chopped hard-boiled eggs, cooked omelet cut into pieces, or cooked scrambled eggs or

- cooked pasta - (the smaller varieties work best like rotini, elbow macaroni, couscous or farfalle)


Choose an all natural, organic and low-fat variety. Making your own dressing is always an option and you can control all the ingredients that way but if time is too short, there are so many varieties available today that you will always be able to find something delicious.


These simple topping accents will add an extra layer of flavor to salad meals. Use as many or as few as you like.

- croutons: plain or flavored varieties

- crumbled cooked bacon: use turkey bacon to cut down on fat or try the vegetarian variety

- nuts: use a sprinkling of chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds or pine nuts

- shelled seeds are also a good addition like: pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernels or sesame seeds

- baked tortilla chips: crumble them up and sprinkle over your salad

- shredded cheese: use a low-fat variety and sprinkle over the salad

Try these easy lunchbox meals whenever you need them. They are quick and simple to put together and will give you a variety of ideas so lunches will never be boring.

Visit for these easy lunchbox meals and a large selection of free recipes that are streamlined for speed, flexibility and ease of preparation along with menu planners that provide a wide variety of ideas for simple, flavorful and quick meals for every day of the week throughout the year.

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By Evan L. Mestman

There isn’t a school day that goes by that I worry about my son’s lunch. Of course, I ask myself the usual questions: Is he eating what he has in the bag? Will he trade his apple for a cookie? Will the school lunch he’s ordering once a week be nutritious? He’s a kid! He’s not a fussy eater, but there are plenty of days that he has come home with a bag full of food. I’ll ask him “what did you eat for lunch?” He always says, “nothing.” What’s a parent to do?

Plenty of Mom’s worry about what to feed their kids for lunch. They always ask me which foods are the best to pack. I believe there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. Remember, the food police aren’t arresting anyone at Ben and Jerry’s. Some foods are much more nutritious than others. The key to feeding your child well is to offer variety and make sure to include fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended five or more servings of antioxidant-rich and nutritious fruits and vegetables daily. Kids eat even less. While supplementation may guarantee you get enough Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, it‘s not a substitution for all the thousands of healthful nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that you can’t get in a pill. You want your kids to grow up healthy and strong. Here are some winners that will compliment any school lunch and help make your fruit and vegetable choices count.

Broccoli: Here’s an all American winner, as if you didn’t already know! Broccoli is chock full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. It taste great, too. Broccoli is high is Vitamin C and carotenoids. These are antioxidants that help boost our immunity and protect our body from environmental insults like cigarette smoke and pollution. The two types of fiber in broccoli , soluble and insoluble, help lower cholesterol, fight cancer, and keep our digestive systems in tip-top shape. Broccoli also contains indoles and isothiocyantes that help decrease estrogen’s effectiveness and protects our cell’s DNA (the building blocks of genetics and reproduction). It’s also an excellent source of folic acid-a B vitamin that seem to be critical for cardiovascular health. Not bad for being green!

Kids either love it or hate it. Here are some ideas to help you kids eat more of the green stuff. Broccoli tastes best if it’s blanched first, cooked in boiling water or steamed for 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the cooking with an ice bath if you want to eat it cold. Marinate it in your favorite light Italian dressing and place it in a zip lock bag for lots of flavor. Substitute broccoli for half the cabbage in your favorite coleslaw recipe and add to a sandwich instead of lettuce and tomato. Don’t throw away the stalks.

Carrots: If this vegetable was marketed for its benefits, I bet it would sell for $20 per pound! Carrots have over 200 carotenoids, one of which is beta carotene. Scientists aren’t sure which caroteniod is responsible for protecting us from cancer. Since beta carotene provided such disappointing results in recent research, I’ll keep eating carrots and skip the beta carotene. Carrots also contain phenolic acid, a phytochemical that may reduce the risk of cancer.

A great way to get your kids to start eating carrots is top his/her favorite sandwiches with shredded carrots along with lettuce and tomato. Kids will enjoy a bag of baby carrots (they are large carrots cut into small bite-sized pieces) with some low fat dressing on the side for dipping. Even try it shredded on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if your kids won’t eat their vegetables.

Beans: Most kids won’t eat beans, “I don’t like them.” “They taste yucky.” My son loves black beans, soybeans and chickpeas. There are so many different types of beans all with a different texture and flavor. Don’t give up on your first try. Beans are a great way to add a powerful nutritious punch to any meal. A large portion of the world population depends on beans to provide them with nutrition. People of the orient uses soybeans, Americans use peas, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries depend on chickpeas and lentils, Africans uses a combination of beans. Beans have the highest source of fiber for a whole food. They also are loaded with cancer-fighting phytochemicals like genistein and flavones. Soybeans have the most impressive list of plant chemicals to help fight, cancer, and high blood pressure, and menopausal symptoms. Add to its long list of benefits its ability to lower blood cholesterol and you have a winner. Use canned beans if you’re in a rush. Open a can of chickpeas, chop up an onion and some red pepper (if your child doesn’t like them, you can always substitute another bean and vegetable until they are happy), toss in your favorite salad dressing and let it marinate overnight. Let your child spread black beans or prepared humus (a chickpea spread) on a flour tortilla. When at home, add cheese and chopped onion and cilantro, heat it in the toaster oven or microwave and have a side of salsa with carrot sticks for a delicious and well rounded lunch.

Apricots, Melon, and Papaya: All these fruits are loaded with nutrients. They’re high in Vitamin C and mixed carotenoids, potasium and have lots of fiber. Papaya has enzymes that help digestion and break down protein. Some of these enzymes have anti-inflammatory qualities. All of these fruits are great as snack foods in a lunch bag. Whether dried or fresh, these fruits taste great solo or with other foods. Combine dried apricots and toasted almonds for a tasty snack.

Spinach: Here’s another vegetable with abundant amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Most kids say they don’t like spinach probably because it’s cooked incorrectly. Spinach tastes best if cooked when young and tender. Older spinach tends to be woody and tough. Don’t use aluminum cookware. The spinach will pick up an acidic taste and lose its beautiful green color. Don’t overcook spinach. It gets waterlogged easily and is probably the reason why many don’t like it. Use it on sandwiches with lettuce and tomato.

Herbs and Spices and Tea: Don’t to forget to spice up your kid’s life with garlic, turmeric, ginger, rosemary and green and black tea. Many parents think kids don’t like spices. It’s true their taste buds are more sensitive to hot and spicy foods. But, if you don’t introduce these flavors at an early age, your children won’t learn to like them. These additions to your children’s diet will provide antioxidants such as curcumin, lycopene, allicin, and flavonoids. They taste great and may be the hidden ingredients that provide protection from cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Use lightly sweetened green tea mixed with juice for a great tasting thirst-quencher.

Next time you question whether your children’s lunch is packing enough nutrition, try these easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised how easy it is to fee your children power foods for a powerful body!

About The Author

Evan L. Mestman is the owner of, the home of the Pleasure Principle Weight Loss Plan. Lose Weight, With Pleasure!

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By Audrey Okaneko

Kids love to help mom in the kitchen. Both of my girls always asked what they could do to help prepare meals.

Here are several suggestions for recipes kids can help make that require no cooking:

1. Fruit on a stick. Buy already cut up fruit pieces and have the kids put them on short skewers. Kids love to make the skewers and then eat them. Try mixing colors, such as blueberries with either strawberries or pineapple, or strawberries with cantaloupe.

2. Dips for veggies. Kids love to dip. Start with either yogurt, mayonnaise or cottage cheese. You can add ranch dressing mix, or Italian dressing mix, or even onion soup mix. Buy the small carrots or any other veggie and the kids can have veggies and their own home made dip.

3. Frozen banana. Cut bananas in half. Place a popsicle stick in each banana piece. Dip the banana in chocolate syrup. Now roll the banana in crushed nuts, crushed corn flakes, or crushed graham cracker crumbs. Freeze for a few hours, in waxed paper.

4. 7 layer dip (this is one of my favorites). It’s served cold, there is no cooking involved. Start with a can of refried beans as your bottom layer. Chop up olives, tomatoes, onions, cheese and avocado (has to be very ripe). On the very top add sour cream. Use tortilla chips to dip. We have made an entire meal out of this great recipe.

5. Graham cracker peanut butter balls. Mix one cup peanut butter, one cup powdered milk and one cup honey (it’s a bit sticky and gooey). Roll into small balls and then dip into crushed graham crackers. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve cold.

6. Sandwich wraps. Use tortillas and tear strips. Kids can take a piece of lunch meat and wrap it with one strip to make a wrap sandwich. You can add mayonnaise or mustard on top of the meat before you roll. We also love to wrap spinach dip.

7. Ritz cracker sandwiches. We have put everything imaginable on Ritz crackers. We’ve used cut up cheddar cheese cubes, cream cheese, peanut butter and even chocolate and vanilla frosting.

8. Deviled eggs. My kids both like hardboiled eggs. Just slice the egg, scoop out the yolk and add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Then mix and scoop back in.

9. Pickle sandwich. Spread softened cream cheese onto a slice of either turkey or roast beef lunch meat. Wrap the meat around a pickle and chill. Cut into bit size pieces.

10. Orange Delight. Pour ½ cup of orange juice into a class. Add ½ cup orange sherbet. Pour in ¾ cup ginger ale or 7-Up. Mix and enjoy!

Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at or visited at

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