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Jun 28, 2011 12:14 PM

Local asks: where can I find "heart healthy" lunches?

So anyway, in the year that I've lived here my blood pressure has increased astronomically. Usually I do not think about food as "good" or "bad" and I have definitely eaten heartily and happily here. However, I'm pretty freaked out about my bp readings and am trying to make some healthy living changes.

For dinner, we've been trying to eat in more anyway in order to save money, so if I go out to dinner, it will be a splurge already and I'm not too worried about indulging in that case. However, I go out for lunch every day at work (workplace isn't conducive for bringing lunch) and I am trying to figure out what the hell to do.

I work in Mid-City and some of my regular haunts are: Felipe's Uptown, Cafe Minh, Rue 127, J'Anita's at the Rendon Inn, Boswell's Jamaican, Crescent City Pie and Sausage.

I am going to give the Eco Cafe another try (I had a terrible service experience there and ended up leaving my table without getting served after an hour). Any decent sushi places in that neck of the woods?

I don't love salads as meals. I did have a nice shrimp remoulade salad at Rue 127, but the dressing was ample and seemed pretty highly seasoned (though at this point I might be paranoid). But I do love vegetables in general. I also don't love chicken breasts, because they are boring and bland and dry, usually.

Any suggestions?

J'Anita's Restaurant
1906 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA

Cafe Minh
4139 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Rendon Inn
4501 Eve St, New Orleans, LA 70125

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  1. First off, a brown bag lunch is your nutritional best friend. Who says you have to eat a packed lunch at work? If you're in Mid-City, the park is close by, as is Bayou St. John. If your BP is up due to sodium, you're just not going to find low-salt food in restaurants...sorry. And entree salads are often the most caloric & nutritionally unbalanced items served in restaurants. Check out Dr. Gourmet's website: for some sensible nutritional advice; he's a Tulane doc with restaurant kitchen experience, so his recs & recipes aren't bizzarro, but real-world.

    Sushi (Mikimoto or Little Tokyo on Carollton) can work, depending on the menu choices; some of the stuff at Juan's Flying Burrito (also on Carrollton) can be tweaked to do less diet damage. Without knowing your particular dietary restrictions/goals, it's hard to make specific recs.

    Little Tokyo
    310 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

    Juan's Flying Burrito
    2018 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      At this point, I am unsure of the reasons for the high bp, my doctor is going to recheck in 2 weeks, and told me to watch the sodium, fried foods, etc. It's a challenge. Thanks for your thoughts though- haven't been to Little Tokyo yet and perhaps I will this week.

      Little Tokyo
      310 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

      1. re: noradeirdre

        LT has a seared tuna salad--ask for dressing on the side, and you'll get a wallop of protein from the tuna, a smidge of seaweed, and lots of greens, while limiting the sodium from the soy-based dressing.

        The goi cuon (rice-paper wrapped, unfried spring rolls) at Doson's Noodle House (Carrollton) are fairly light and low-salt, esp if you go easy on the dipping sauce (usually a big sodium bomb).

        135 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

    2. Having to dine out 5 days a week for lunch seems like a challenge.

      Salads with dressing on the side or adding your own olive oil and vinegar may help (the salt, fat etc comes in with meats, cheese and heavy dressing IMO). There are innovative non boring ones out there... I think it may be a bit hot to dine outdoors midday right now IMO (I've lived in entire life and the heat is something one tolerates. HA) but later in the year would work.... Little Tokyo is my favorite for Japanese, good choice as was suggested. Some of the vegetable/avocado rolls perhaps with soy paper. I often don't use soy sauce it can drown out the taste. re the HBP, lots of water, herbal tea green etc (iced) eliminating or decresing alcohol and caffeinecan help....I'm not a Dr or nurse, but your BP may or may not be hereditary/stress related from personal experience, diet may not have a big effect...

      While it may be the sign of the apocalypse for some, I really like the veggie delight sandwich from Subway on the grain/oat bread, even w/o cheese and a splash of oil and vinegar (it can be as a salad w/o bread). I've made it at home, but not the same.

      Depending on how far you'd travel, Lebanon on Carrollton would have somewhat friendly choices for you.

      Mandina's has grilled shrimp or chicken salad (as well as a grilled chicken sandwich) I'm sure you could get it with light seasoning they are usually accommodating as is Five Happiness which has brown rice as an option over white.

      The Bean Gallery on N Carrollton has/had some simple somewhat healthy limited choices (I could be wrong)

      (The above is just my opinion and I'm only speaking for myself


      Lebanon's Cafe
      1500 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

      Five Happiness Restaurant
      3605 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

      Little Tokyo
      310 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

      1. Many places have menus that you can work with to make work for you. Lebanon and Mona's have ingredients that at least start sane.

        Since you eat lunch frequently I bet you can pick several of the local restaurants (they are all small) and talk to the staff to work up some dishes that suit you. I would think that if you eat at a place maybe twice a week they would work with you.

        And if you have good taste, and you do since you hang out here, some of your preferred dishes might even show up on the menu.