Transforming a beautiful meal into a “4-Leaf” meal…

Beautiful sandwich…needs a little tweaking to be 4-Leaf

Almost 100% plant-based, this beautiful meal can easily be transformed into 4-Leaf.

This “marinated tofu sandwich with Asian greens” in the New York Times caught my eye last week. By eliminating or replacing things like the sesame oil, sugar, and mayonnaise; it’s pretty easy to make a 4-Leaf meal out of this beautiful sandwich. (See the link below for full article.)

While 99 percent of of the people looking at this meal would think that it is super-healthy already, there are a few reasons why it is not. If we analyzed the caloric content on; we’d find that 215 of the total 422 calories (51%) come from the fat of just the tofu, avocado and the mayonnaise. Remember that our target is to stay below 20% of our calories from fat. Here is what the article had to say about the nutrition of the original meal shown above:

Nutritional information per serving: 422 calories; 3 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 36 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 854 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 18 grams protein

A simple approach to leveraging the power of whole, plant-based foods.

So, exactly how would I make this sandwich a 4-Leaf meal? I would start by eliminating all of the mayo, half the bread and half of the tofu. As for the tofu and the bread, we’re not saying they’re harmful, we’re just trying to help you maximize your percent of calories from whole plants.

Then I would double up on the tomato and greens. That would take care of getting near the 80% of the calories from whole plants but it still might have a little over 20% of the calories from fat. So I might just request a side order of legumes and/or grains — adding more calories and fiber without adding much fat or sodium. Note that we are not trying to cut calories, we’re just trying to “manage” where those calories are coming from.

Routine vs. an occasional meal. If the above meal were offered in a restaurant while I was on vacation, I would likely order it without suggesting any changes. I would know without doing calculations that it was over 50 percent fat, but I would also know that it was nearly 100 percent plant-based (exception being the mayo). Here is our main point:

We want to help you consume nothing but 3-Leaf or 4-Leaf meals for all of your daily routine (repeatable) breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Then, when you’re out with friends or on vacation, you can seek out entrees like this one and know that it would be a whole lot healthier than what everyone else is ordering. Or you and a friend could order one of these sandwiches along with some low fat sides of grains and legumes — then share everything.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Click here to visit our 4-Leaf Page where you’ll find lots of information on this creative approach to eating more health-promoting foods.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

Marinated Tofu Sandwich With Asian Greens – Recipes for Health –

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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