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The cafeteria eater’s guide

cafeteria-eaters-guideWhen you don’t brown-bag it, you’re stuck eating from either the vending machine or the cafeteria (good luck finding the time to leave for a meal on the “outside”).

Ideally, you’ll have at least 20 minutes to sit down with your meal. Here are some tips for when you’re visiting your workplace cafeteria:

  • Get water instead of soda or juice, and be sure to drink it. A sip between every couple of bites will slow you down.
  • No need for a sandwich piled high with luncheon meat — request three to four thin slices of roast turkey or roast beef.
  • Tuna is terrific. Get it in a sandwich, on a salad, in a pita — request no extra mayo if your sandwich is being made to order.
  • Include real vegetables on a salad — not just lettuce (primarily water and not too many other nutrients) — and skip the cheese topping. Put the light dressing in a ramekin or paper cup, and lightly dip each bite rather than slathering it all over.
  • Request proper portion sizes rather than the over-generous ladling: one spoon of mashed potatoes/rice and a teaspoon of gravy (or request it on the side).
  • Your chicken/turkey/fish portion should be about the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Fill your plate with plenty of steamed or grilled vegetables, but skip anything slathered with sauce or oil glistening all over it.
  • Get fresh fruit for dessert, but skip the whipped topping!

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Charla McMillan

Charla McMillian is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with more than 25 years of strength training and personal training experience. Since 1997, she has operated FitBoot - Basic Training for Professionals, helping elite athletes and novices achieve balanced conditioning and superior performance using military techniques, which Charla learned as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, and NSCA-approved athletic conditioning guidelines. FitBoot programming includes authentic boot camp fitness training in Boston and San Francisco, on-site personal training in the Bay Area and FitbyFone long-distance training, reaching clients nationwide. She is the author of Boot Camp Abs (Fair Winds Press).
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