Chef Robert Irvine's Recipe for Healthy Living
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FRIDAY, June 15, 2012 — As some food chains have introduced high-calorie items this summer, Subway is taking its menu downtown.
Subway, generally seen as a healthy alternative to high-fat burger chains, offered vegan options at Canadian locations last summer. This season, it is adding avocado as an optional topping nationwide and a turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich. In Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia, it is testing three vegan sandwiches: the Sweet Riblet, Malibi Greek, and Italian Black Bean offered on one of the sandwich shop's five vegan breads. Currently, Subway does not have any plans to bring this offer nationally.
Subway teamed up withFood Networkstar Robert Irvine to spread the word about the many healthy uses for avocados, a high-fat, high-calorie fruit that is rich in fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help control weight, and reduce risk for heart disease and other conditions. Irvine, who says he travels 360 days a year filming his showRestaurant: Impossible, dished to Everyday Health how he eats well and exercises on the go and more.
Everyday Health: What made you jump on the avocado bandwagon?
Robert Irvine:I'm a big lover of anything with avocado for its healthy fat content, and there's so many things you can do with them. I whip them or use them as a substitute instead of mayo or butter. You can mix them with sour cream or plain yogurt to top egg-white soufflés. I've made ice cream using avocados. I like BLTs with an avocado spread or guacamole. Cut an avocado in half, cut the pit out, fill the center with a poached egg, and you have a great meal.
EH: You're extremely fit for someone who works around food every day. What's your secret?
RI:I wake up in the morning and always start with oatmeal. Then, I go workout. [Irvine circuit trains with weights five days a week and does cardio exercise daily.] After my workout, I take a protein shake or eight egg whites and two yolks with turkey bacon, two slices of dry wheat toast, and coffee. Then two hours later, I'll have maybe a sandwich, no mayo, or a simple dish like fish and tomatoes. Two hours later, I'll take whey protein, then eat tuna in water with a bean salad or unbleached almonds, and that's how it goes: small meals, every two hours. Now that I told you what I eat, what do you eat?
EH: Um, chocolate? No, I eat fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal and a lot of lean protein. Peanut butter before I exercise in the morning.
RI: Eat oatmeal before you exercise, trust me. It's easily digestible, it won't make you feel sick first thing in the morning. I eat it immediately. It's slow-burning fuel and I truly believe that it gives me enough energy for my workouts every day. Give it a try; see what you think.
EH: Okay, will do. Besides oatmeal first thing, what are some of your other "rules" for your diet?
RI: I eat every two hours even when I'm on set. I don’t eat carbs after noon. I think the eating of any meal has to be balanced and proportioned. For most people, it's not what they eat it's how much they eat that's the problem. Give your stomach time to fill and tell your brain it has had enough. Keep it in season, keep it simple, be aware of what you're putting in your body, and that's pretty much it.
EH: As an Englishman in the United States, what's your overall impression of American diets?
RI:The British diet is born out of fish and chips, liver and onions, kidney pies and puddings. The American diet obviously is very high in saturated fat. But I think that it's really changing dramatically and has changed dramatically even in the past five years. There's a lot more education of families and children about healthy eating, so I think it will continue to change for the better. It's way better here than it is in England, that's for sure.
EH: You’re a newlywed. What do you cook for your wife [professional wrestler Gail Kim, whom Irvine married on May 10]?
RI:We do a lot of fish. She loves potstickers, so we eat a lot of vegetarian potstickers. Salmon is also one of her favorites. Last night, we did flank steak with a Greek salad and pickled beets with lots of lime and garlic.
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