At the beginning of Mary’s journey she was pre-diabetic, preparing for back surgery and could not walk to help with mass at her church. She is the first to tell you that her newfound health is in huge part thanks to the support of the Live Well program, and her guides Mary Atkinson and Nutritionista – Laurie Ledford.
But just what do the lessons Mary learned in the Live Well program look like in day-to-day life? We asked Mary to share some of her tips. Today, one of her go-to bag lunches
Mary tells us that prior to Live Well she used to just grab a quick something at a local restaurant. Now she plans her lunches at the beginning of the week, prepping lunches and planning evening meals so that she will bring leftovers for lunch.
Mary emphasizes keeping it easy and simple. Don’t get deterred by lots of prep!
Chicken Salad Wrap – 2 servings
4oz chicken breast (we used chicken substitute) chopped into cubes
3 celery stalks washed and chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of light olive oil mayo
1 cup Arugula
2 Whole-wheat tortillas
Chop chicken breast, into ½ inch cubes and place in bowl. Add chopped celery to bowl and chopped cilantro. Add measure of light olive oil mayo and stir to cover. Add black pepper to taste. This will create two portions.
At lunchtime place ½ cup of arugula on tortilla, add filling and wrap in tortilla!
The nutritional low down on this sack lunch from Nutritionista Laurie Ledford
There are several reasons this is a great bag lunch. Take your pick:
- You’ve made it yourself, so you know exactly what’s going into it. (Not true with prepared foods.)
- The celery, arugula and whole wheat tortillas make it high in fiber.
- It gives you one serving of vegetables and two servings of whole grains, both of which are things most Americans do not get enough of.
Here are a couple of suggestions for variations and for keeping it healthy.
- Read the ingredients on your tortillas! If you see “hydrogenated” oil in there, do not buy it. That stuff is very bad for your heart. Lard and palm oil (both sources of saturated fat) are not good for your heart either, so avoid them if possible.
- If you would like to make it a little more colorful and sneak in more vegetables, consider adding chopped bell peppers, shredded carrot or chopped onion.
What is Live Well Tucson?
Live Well is a wellness program that meets once a week for 2 hours. During the 2-hour sessions participants hear from an expert the topic of the week (exercise physiologist, dietitian, physician, etc.) The topics covered are preventative care, nutrition, exercise, stress management, happiness, social networks, and sleep. Participants work with experts to set goals, and how to maintain change. In addition to the lectures, participants also have the opportunity to participate in a weekly exercise class. Email Wellness@tmcaz.com for more information about Live Well.