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Eat fresh and eat smart at Subway

For some it may be "Taco Tuesday," but for me it is definitely "Subway Tuesday." It all started 18 years ago when I started working for the Pioneer Journal and our local Subway restaurant would give double stamps on Tuesday. A Subway card filled with stamps was worth a free sandwich. It made economical sense eat there to collect the stamps. Subway discontinued the stamp promotion, but my Tuesday lunch at Subway became a long-lasting habit. I am a regular and have been on a first name basis with some of the long-term staff.

Many years ago, one of my co-workers and I decided we would bring our bicycles to work and go for a bike ride during our lunch hour. We decided to ride the bike trail. About halfway on our trek, the bolt that held her seat loosened. I am sure I got the giggles watching her try to ride her bike with that uncomfortable, unruly seat. We got off the bike trail and headed for Subway. Like I said, I was a regular and the manager, Steve, was working. We got in line and ordered a wrench. Sure enough, Steve helped us out of our predicament. Unfortunately, we didn't try biking during lunch after that experience.

It is interesting how some unfortunate events stick in our memories and with enough time become a funny tale to tell.

Another Subway tale was many years ago when "Subway Cindy" was the local manager. I am pretty sure it was a Tuesday because I was eating there. I was sitting by myself next to the window. Three guys and a gal just sat down at a table next to the center divider. A big guy sitting on a chair tried to blow the straw paper between the decorative glass on the half wall divider at some "old bald guy" sitting by himself. When the big guy shifted his weight, the chair collapsed. Cindy came running over asking if he was alright. I could tell he was embarrassed. I was embarrassed for him, but I thought he should not have tried to shoot that old guy with his straw paper.

At the time, I didn't know the big guy and "old bald guy" were buddies. And the old bald guy really wasn't that old.

These days I meet that big guy, the two other guys, the gal and the "old bald guy" for lunch. In fact, I married the big guy. But he's not that big anymore.

Since Dan and I started our weight loss journey, I choose to eat our lunch together at Subway several days during the week. Yes, these days the Subway fast food chain is my favorite healthy choice and a good addiction to have.

I especially like eating there because I know I am getting healthy low calorie sandwiches. And because there are so many good choices I don't get burned out eating there ... at least three times a week.

I found a nifty nutrition calculator at that gives a custom count for exactly what you order. It can be kind of hard to find on the website. Go to to the drop down "Menu & Nutrition," then click on "all sandwiches." Click on the picture of your favorite sandwich, and on the lower right, click on the yellow button "Calculate Yours." From the list of ingredients, use the nutrition calculator and compare the calories and nutrients of the sandwiches just the way you would order.

I choose "Steak & Cheese". I select six-inch, flatbread, pepperjack cheese, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, none for sauce and none for extras. My specific "Steak & Cheese" Subway sandwich is 380 calories. I calculated all my favorites, so when I go to Subway I know my best choices. I could save 100 calories by getting the turkey, but for flavor I have the turkey and ham for 330 calories. Plus, turkey and ham is the sandwich of the week deal on Mondays.

My favorite used to be the tuna. Sometimes I would get a foot-long and eat the entire sandwich which would be 1,370 calories, plus pop and chips.

Try different combinations to see what on the list you could live without to cut calories. Some may surprise you. I thought the flatbread would be the better choice because it looks like a smaller portion, but choosing 6-inch Italian bread has 20 calories less than the 6 inch flatbread. Add the chipotle southwest sauce, and you add an additional 100 calories to your lunch. Is the taste worth the calories?

It is all about choices. Just knowing which sandwiches are the better choices prevents me from ordering a footlong and consuming the entire sandwich, even when they are on special for $5. A $5 footlong would be a healthy and economical choice only if I have the will power to save half for another meal or share it with a co-worker or my big guy.