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The Sandwich Walker: One Man’s 100-Pound “Active Helping” Quest

Ben Pobjoy doesn’t look back fondly on his 20s. Today, he calls them a “decade of destruction” that led him down a road of inactivity and poor eating. By the time he was 32, he was 100 pounds overweight, tired and unhappy with his lifestyle.

“I was the poster boy for being out of shape,” he says. “I couldn’t even walk up the stairs
without getting really out of breath.”

When he moved to Toronto in 2014 to start a new job with an advertising agency, he had an unpleasant epiphany: He was the unhealthy, overweight guy in the office.

“As soon as I showed up and I was surrounded with all of these healthy colleagues, I was faced with [a] stark contrast,” he says. “It was the last little kick in the butt I needed to make a change.”

The question was, how?

Two years ago, he heard Joe Rogan’s interview with biomechanist Katy Bowman, who encouraged listeners to simply get out and move — more specifically, to walk. So Pobjoy laced up his sneakers and started putting one foot in front of the other — first the couple of miles to and from work and soon to dinner, to run errands and to make social calls.

While he’d made plenty of half-hearted attempts to join gyms and start various fitness
programs over the years, he found that walking was something to which he could actually stick.

“Since I had failed so many times,” he explains, “I wanted to choose something that was very slow and sustainable.”


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In addition to tracking his walks — which eventually hit more than 60 miles a week — he began to use MyFitnessPal to get a better grip on his eating and the types of nutrients he took in each day. He’d long been what he calls a “French fries and potato chips” vegan, so tracking his nutrition and seeing what he was actually putting in his body helped motivate him to clean up his diet.

Soon, the weight began to fall off. But his biggest motivator to continue walking had nothing to do with health and fitness. Rather, it was as he puts it, “about converting physical movement to social movement.”

On a business trip in August 2015, Pobjoy took a walk through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area of the city that is known for poverty, homelessness and crime.

“The drugs, the garbage everywhere, it was so depressing and unfathomable to me that this could exist in such an affluent city,” he says.

The next day, he bought supplies to make peanut butter sandwiches, and, soon after, he hit the street and began handing them out to those in need. That, he says, was his light-bulb moment.

“I realized that exercise is quite a selfish thing, and the irony wasn’t lost on me that I was blazing through a pair of shoes each month while passing people who didn’t have shoes,” he remembers. “I thought that there must be something I could do.”

For the remainder of that year, Pobjoy brought sandwiches with him everywhere he walked. By the end of 2015, he had walked 3,600 miles and handed out a whopping 1,000 sandwiches. Last year, he walked thousands more miles and added in boxing and swimming. All told, he dropped 100 pounds.

In addition to handing out sandwiches, he started fundraising via ultra-long walking challenges. Last summer, he completed an 85-kilometer walk in Tokyo to raise money for cats and dogs left behind in the evacuation zone after the disastrous 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In September, he walked 77 miles from Toronto to Buffalo, New York, to raise money for a transitional housing program for LGBT youth.

He hopes the next chapter of his unique brand of “active helping” will include fundraising walks on all seven continents. In the meantime, he hopes his story will inspire others who might be struggling with achieving a healthy lifestyle.

“I never would have imagined what getting healthy would give me,” he says. “Most people aren’t aware how quickly they can transform their lives and work towards a better self. But more than feeling strong and healthy, it’s given me the chance to increase my empathy and reconnect with my humanity.”

Do you or a loved one have a personal Success Story you’d like to share? Let us know on our Facebook page, hit us up on Twitter or tag #MyFitnessPal on your Instagram posts. We’d love to feature it in a future blog post!

The post The Sandwich Walker: One Man’s 100-Pound “Active Helping” Quest appeared first on Under Armour.

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4 Ways to Cut Calories from Your Sandwich

4 Ways to Cut Calories from Your Sandwich

We all know about the humble sandwich, a convenient meal that rarely fails to satisfy. However, loading on too many add-ons and condiments can transform your sandwich into a shocking calorie bomb. Although it may not seem like a lot, small swaps can make a huge difference in the end. Check out these nutrient dense sandwich ingredients to stack a flavorful, nutritious sandwich without tanking your calorie goal!

1. Start with a light bun.
The bun is your carbohydrate-rich energy source packed with plenty of B vitamins and fiber, a beneficial nutrient to keep you “regular” and stabilize blood sugar to help keep your cravings at bay. While whole-wheat bread is good choice, you can also change up your sandwich game with a whole-wheat wrap or pita.

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
100% whole-wheat bread (2 slices) 160 2 28 4 3 8
Whole-wheat tortilla (8-inch diameter) 130 4 19 4 1 4
Whole-wheat pita (2 small, 4-inch diameter) 145 1 30 3 2 6

Looking to save even more calories? Think outside the bun, and use large, leafy vegetables instead of bread. For those who struggle to eat within their calorie goal, vegetable wraps are an ingenious idea that kill two birds with one stone, shaving calories and getting an extra dose of vegetables.

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
Cabbage (4 medium leaves) 20 0 5 2 3 1
Lettuce (4 large leaves) 15 0 3 1 1 1
Collard (1 large leaf) 12 0 2 1 0 1
Endive (6 small leaves) 13 0 3 2 0 1

2. Choose your lean protein.
Your protein-packed sandwich filling can help you feel satisfied sooner and for longer after a meal. When choosing the perfect protein to strengthen your sandwich recipe, opt for lean options like chicken breast over fatty cuts of pork to shave off nearly 100 calories! Also, watch out for processed lunch meats, as they are often high in sodium and may contain sodium nitrate, a preservative that increases your risk for cancer. Look for lean, high-protein, low-sodium varieties like:

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
Low-sodium turkey breast deli meat (2 ounces) 60 1 0 12 360
Low sodium, extra-lean cured ham (2 ounces) 60 1 0 10 320
Lean roast beef (2 ounces) 108 5 0 15 45
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 ounces) 130 3 0 26 44

For the vegetarian or flexitarian, load up on your essential amino acids with the following:

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
Sliced boiled egg (1 large) 70 5 1 6 62
Black bean burger patty (1 patty) 110 4 13 10 328
Swiss cheese (1 ounce slice) 110 8 1 8 52
Provolone cheese (1 ounce slice) 80 5 1 7 172
Part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 ounce slice) 70 5 1 7 175

TIME-SAVING TIP: Use leftover proteins like rotisserie chicken or marinara with meatballs for a budget-friendly and simple sandwich. Frozen turkey or black bean burger patties are convenient, too!

3. Stuff your sandwich with fiber-packed veggies.
Most sandwiches and burgers include the standard tomato and lettuce, but they don’t make much of an impact on your fiber quota for the day. Up your fiber intake with an array of low-calorie vegetables that are also loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Layer on as many veggies as possible like these fresh choices:

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carb (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g)
Baby spinach (1 cup) 7 0 1 1 1
Mushroom (1/2 cup) 8 0 1 1 1
Sliced cucumber (1/2 cup) 8 0 2 1 0
Bell pepper (10 rings) 14 0 3 1 1
Onion (2 medium slices) 11 0 3 1 0

TIME-SAVING TIP: Leftover side dishes, like roasted butternut squash and stir-fry veggies or salads are great sandwich fillers. Precut all your veggies (and fruit, if you’re gutsy) at the beginning of the week, so that you can assemble and go during your busy workdays.

4. Boost flavor with your favorite spread.
Condiments give your sandwich the extra push it needs to cross the border from bland to delicious. But, watch out for high-sodium or high-sugar condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce. Choose minimally processed condiments lower in salt, fat and sugar like:

Item (serving size) Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
Light mayonnaise (1 tablespoon) 36 3 1 0 124
Guacamole (2 tablespoons) 45 3 2 0 110
Hummus (2 tablespoons) 50 2 4 2 114

Overall, the possibilities in making a healthy sandwich are endless, so have fun, get creative and we hope that we’ve given you fresh ideas for making easy, delicious, healthy sandwiches! Check out some of these recipes, and start cooking:

1. Grilled Cuban | Clean Eating Magazine

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 231; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 36mg; Sodium: 617mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 20g

2. Turkey Panini with Sun-dried Tomatoes | Clean Eating

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 260; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 830mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 16g

3. Turkey Apple & Chutney Sandwich | The Salt Solution Cookbook

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 254; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 23mg; Sodium: 578mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 19g

4. Open-Face Steak Sandwich | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipes

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 296; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 57mg; Sodium: 432mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 20g

5. Soy-Marinated Pork Sandwich | Cooking Light

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 290; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 55mg; Sodium: 352mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 25g

6. Grilled Blue Cheese & Pear | Clean Eating

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 244; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 302mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 10g

7. Open-Faced Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich | Avocadoes From Mexico

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 354; Total Fat: 24g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 13g; Cholesterol: 280mg; Sodium: 397mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 14g

8. Curry Chickpea Salad | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

Nutrition (per serving with burger bun): Calories: 247; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 429mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g

The post 4 Ways to Cut Calories from Your Sandwich appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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Turkey Sausage Sandwich

Turkey Sausage Sandwich

You can love turkey sausage without loving the sodium, additives and preservatives usually found in store-bought versions. How? Make your own sausage patties with this lower-sodium recipe! Pair each patty with a whole-grain English muffin and tomato slices for a complete breakfast. To save time in the morning, prep sausage patties and freeze until you’re ready to serve.

Photo Credit: Demi Tsasis

The post Turkey Sausage Sandwich appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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