52 Weeks in a Year to Stick to a Healthy Diet

by Andrew Adorno, DTR

Martin’s is one of those lunch/dinner spots that warrants multiple return visits. For many customers, dining out at Martin’s can definitely be a weekly (or should I say daily) occurrence. Classic sandwiches, gourmet cheese plates, specialty salads, chef entrée specials, + fresh picks from the deli case are all reasons to keep coming back. That’s not even mentioning the array of wines and beers available by the glass. With a wide variety of choices available, you can eat in the deli practically every day of the week and have no need to repeat the same order. Dining at Martin’s doesn’t mean you need to ditch your healthy lifestyle. After working in the deli for almost 2 years, I have picked up some tips and tricks to making sure my meals were balanced + nutritious.

FAVORITE SANDWICHES:

#1 Smoked Salmon BLT – Substitute avocado for the bacon + switch from sour dough to either whole wheat pita, whole wheat bread, or 7-grain

#2 Californian – this delicious fan-favorite is packed with healthy toppings. Try it on whole wheat pita!

#3 Real Club – on whole wheat bread + substitute avocado instead of the bacon #3 Cedric – roasted chicken + spinach + tomato + onion on 7-grain

#4 Lindy Special – ask for 1 slice of cheese and put Russian dressing on the side for light dipping

#5 Grilled Vegetable – Served on a large ciabatta bread, try swapping with whole wheat pita

  • Try the whole wheat pita on any sandwich, it’s high in fiber and protein and 100% whole grain
  • Ask for 1 slice of cheese instead of 2 slices to cut down on fat and sodium. Ask for the cheese to be melted for maximum flavor profile.

THE HALF SANDWICH SPECIAL : WHOLE WHEAT BREAD OR 7-GRAIN: turkey, tuna salad, or chicken salad – lean meats, healthier fats

  • Fully dressed
  • Add avocado instead of mayonnaise
  • Pair with a side tossed salad, fruit bowl, or veggies from the deli case
FAVORITE BREAD OPTION:

100% Whole Wheat Pita: The whole wheat pita at Martin’s is 100% whole grain + with an ingredient list that contains only: whole wheat flour, water, yeast, salt – it packs a nutritious punch. High in fiber + high in protein + low in sodium = yes!

DELI CASE ITEMS:

Make your own platter: The deli case is loaded with a bunch of different veggies to choose from.

  1. Pick a Protein: 1 scoop of Chicken, Tuna, Egg, Turkey Salad or lean seafood if available
  2. Pick a Veggie: Roasted Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli,
  3. Choose Fruit Salad: try incorporating fruit into your day by adding fruit to any dish

While it may be tempting to make a trio salad of chicken salad + tuna salad + egg salad, this combo is high in protein, fat, calories, and sodium – so try to incorporating fruits and veggies too!

FAVORITE SALADS:

#1 Side Tossed Salad –The perfect pair with any dish or sandwich – low in calorie, high in fiber Add pulled chicken breast or a scoop of chicken or tuna salad to make a satisfying, portion-sized meal

#2 Spinach and Grilled Chicken Salad – Roasted chicken breast + peppers and onions cooked in olive oil + a huge heaping of spinach + boiled egg – this salad is packed with nutrients, protein, and healthy fats.

#3 European Salad – arugula, shaved parmesan, sliced prosciutto, pine nuts, and sherry vinaigrette.  This dish is appropriately portioned and delicious. With the prosciutto and parmesan, the animal-based fat + sodium can start to creep up

#4 Sena Salad – The fan favorite – mixed greens, pulled chicken, golden raisins, pecans, blue cheese, and pepper jelly vinaigrette. So why is this my number 4? Well it’s HUGE. With all these toppings + 2 two-ounce salad dressings – the calories at about 1200 calories!

  •  I suggest: dressing on the side, use only 1 dressing instead of 2, no crackers, and pack half of the salad in a go box to enjoy later.
FAVORITE DRESSING: Sherry Vinaigrette

This is a crisp and refreshing Dijon-based dressing normally paired with the European Salad. Simple ingredients + lightly sweetened with a touch of honey.

  • Try it on the Spinach and Grilled Chicken Salad or a side Tossed Salad.
  • I suggest asking for the dressing on the side and only using 1 two-ounce dressing container.
  • If you need some extra liquid to mix with the salad, adding some balsamic/apple cider vinegar that is available at your table.

FAVORITE SIDE ITEMS:

#1 Veggies from Deli Case – My favorite: Roasted Asparagus + Creole Mustard for dipping – delicious

#2 Tossed Salad – Perfect for any dish

#3 Fruit Bowl – Fresh fruit cut daily includes pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries Choose sweet potato fries instead of regular for extra nutrients – but save the fries and Zapp’s potato chips for just occasionally.

QUICHE SPECIAL

Choose a vegetable-based quiche: paired with side tossed salad, fruit bowl, or veggie from the deli case

  • Keep in mind: the crust is not whole-grain + some days the quiche can be loaded with various meats and cheese – which are higher in fat

CHEF’S HEALTHY SPECIAL

Typically, a lean protein + vegetables + olive oil: be on the lookout for daily specials that include quinoa or other whole-grain accompaniment, as opposed to white, refined starches.

KIDS MENU:

  • PB&J on whole wheat bread + bowl of fruit or veggie instead of fries
  • Grilled Cheese on whole wheat bread + bowl of fruit or veggie instead of fries
  • Any sandwich on whole wheat bread

GRAB N GO MEALS:

Be on the lookout for meals centered on:

  • Healthy Proteins: Beans, Lentils, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Seafood
  • Whole Grains: Quinoa, Brown Rice, Barley
  • Veggies: Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Squash, Zucchini
  • Healthy Starches: Sweet Potato, Parsnips, Turnips

WINE BY THE GLASS

There are indeed health benefits to consuming alcohol with a meal, one of which includes allowing you to sit and enjoy your food due to sipping in between bites. This allows time for your stomach to send the message to your brain that it’s satisfied – without overeating.

  • Remember: health benefits from alcohol are based on 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men
  • 1 drink = 5 fluid ounces of wine, 12 fluid ounces of beer, or 1-1/2 fluid ounces of distilled spirits

Share with us some ways the ways you like to eat healthy at Martin’s!   Andrew Adorno is a Dietetic Technician, Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Andrew also works with the Eat Fit NOLA program – working with restaurants to build healthy options and make nutritious food accessible to those who love to dine out in New Orleans.