Monday, July 25, 2016
Are you crazy about chicken or tuna salad on thick slices of artisan bread...but you think it's bad for you?
Trust me, it is bad for you
But is there a hack or a workaround for this seemingly insurmountable problem? I happen to think there is.
First let's start with what exactly it is in this yummydelicious sandwich that is bad for us. Let me count the ways:
Number One: it's usually made with store-bought mayonnaise which is filled with GMO soybean oil and all kinds of nasty chemicals and processing
Number Two: it's usually on non-organic bread made with commercial wheat and chemicals and omega-6 refined vegetable oils that we're learning are soooo bad for us...we're learning that wheat generally is not good for us...and organic gluten-free bread is so hard to find (especially one that tastes good).
Number Three: the chicken is almost never organic (so it's filled with hormones and antibiotics and God knows what else that's bad for us) and the tuna is a great big fish from a great big polluted ocean (pregnant women and children are advised to limit consumption of tuna, so how healthy did you think it could be?)
Now that we know what's wrong with this summertime favorite, we can figure out how to fix it. Because admit it, sometimes you just have to have what it is you love.
The number one fix is: You're gonna have to make it at home. Never buy this stuff store-bought because you don't know what's in it.
The second big fix is: Use organic chicken. Please. If you're trying to get healthy or lose weight, you can't keep flooding your body with all the hormones and anti-biotics in commercially-raised chicken. If you think you can't afford organic chicken, don't eat chicken. Period. Watch this video about the growth hormones in our meat supply. Does no good to try to eat healthy to lose weight, only to gain weight because your hormones are out of whack. Growth Hormone in your Meat Supply
If it's tuna you can't live without, go with chunk light more often than albacore white. The skipjack and other mixed smaller tuna breeds have less mercury contamination than the bigger, older albacore that has proven to have accumulated more mercury. Nine servings per month of albacore will exceed your recommended maximum mercury intake. Crazy, huh?
The third big fix is: make your own mayonnaise or buy Primal Kitchen's avocado oil mayonnaise. For me, it's the closest you can come to store-bought mayonnaise without all the unhealthy oils and nasty ingredients. You can get it on Amazon or Jet or Thrive. Since you shouldn't be using much mayonnaise, it will last you and it's not that much more expensive than regular mayonnaise.
The fourth big fix is: surround it with anti-oxidants and nutrition. Put organic celery, walnuts, grapes or apples in your chicken or tuna salad. Put celery seed (yummy) for seasoning along with sea salt and anything else you like in your tuna or chicken salad (turmeric anyone?). Use lots of sprouts and/or greens/lettuces on your sandwich, some fresh organic tomatoes. Put a little apple-cider vinegar in your chicken or tuna salad mix. Just a capful. I'm always looking for ways to add vinegar since it's so important for health and weight loss (I'll write a post on that one day).
The fifth big fix is: if you like it sweet, use a little organic apple juice concentrate. Keep a canister of some frozen organic apple juice in your freezer so you can dig out a spoonful to mildly sweeten something you're making. Then if you add apples and grapes to it, the whole thing has a summery-fruity flair, which is nice for chicken salad especially.
The sixth big fix is: the right bread. Are you gluten-intolerant? You'll have to go with gluten-free bread and it's hard to find a healthy organic gluten-free bread. For those of you who aren't gluten-intolerant, I still don't recommend wheat bread. You should read on our Facebook page what they do to wheat (kill it with hazardous chemicals before harvesting to extend the life of their harvesting equipment, among other things).
If you're going with wheat, make sure it's organic wheat bread and preferably sourdough organic wheat bread. Even organic wheat is toxic for our bodies, but the sourdough process neutralizes many of the anti-nutrients in wheat.
Try to find a local baker who makes it, or try to convince a local baker to make it. If you have no luck, I think the breads from essentialbaking.com sound good. They are out of Seattle. I wish their gluten-free breads were organic. They look so good. They are looking at launching some organic gluten-free options in the next few months, and believe me, I'll be reviewing them for you.
But fortunately their wheat breads are organic and they have organic sourdough wheat bread. All their breads use traditional sourdough starters rather than yeast. I'm gluten-intolerant (as is my entire biological family) but I still find organic sprouted wheat or organic sourdough wheat bothers me less than straight commercial wheat bread. I want to try organic sourdough. Use the code BakersDozen to get 13% off your order of any size and also get flat-rate shipping. This bread is on my wish-list:
I'm still looking for the perfect organic gluten-free sandwich bread. Manna Organics has an Ancient Grain but it's a bit crumbly and not really suitable for sandwiches.
One of my readers recommended cloud bread (made of eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar). How many of you eat your sandwiches on cloud bread? My concern is that most people probably use commercial cream cheese, not organic, and that's a source of concentrated hormones and antibiotics in conventionally-raised dairy cows.
If you find a good one, let us know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post.
I really want to start making my own bread. I've been wanting to check out the recipes at betterbreads.net. If you have tried them, let me know. I don't like almond flour (that will be a future post I'll write) and for very good reasons. I would love to substitute sunflower seed flour but where do you find organic sprouted sunflower seed flour. I haven't found it yet. If you know where to get it, let me know.
Now the tried and true workaround for your bread issue is to eat it with a hollowed out tomato--you know, make a stuffed tomato. (Don't throw away the insides; just eat them). Or eat your chicken or tuna salad in a lettuce wrap.
But sometimes you just want an old-timey sandwich. On real bread.
That's alot of thinking we've put into the simple subject of chicken and tuna salad, but we just have to retrain our minds and reequip our pantries and then we can have what we love sometimes. As long as most of my meals are 80% veggie, I can have a healthy organic monster chicken-salad sandwich one day a week and it won't kill me. Might even say it's good for me.