It’s lunch time! Did you know that statistically, lunch is the meal people skip the most? Between phone conferences and last minute meetings, I’m sure there are a ton of you out there that have a million excuses for skipping this important meal. But you don’t have to choose between lunch and an assignment at work. It’s possible to eat a healthy lunch that is fast and easy to prepare, even when you’re at the office.
Tips for Making Lunch Easier
- Plan Ahead–I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Planning your meals for the week is super important if you’re strapped for time. I know you’re thinking it will take more time out of your already busy schedule, but you’ll actually end up saving time AND money. Planning ahead isn’t as crazy as you would think either. It’s as simple as putting salad greens in five containers, adding a little chicken or beef, and a piece of fruit. Planning your meals for the week will also help you save money. No longer will you need to make a last minute stop to a fast food restaurant and waste money on food loaded with fat, sugar, and artificial preservatives.
- Eat Something You Like–It doesn’t matter if you packed your lunch the night before. If you don’t like what you’re eating, chances are you won’t eat it. I want you to get excited about lunch again! Take 15 minutes to get creative and make something you’ll truly savor. Whether it’s a loaded turkey sandwich or a cup of your favorite chili, use lunch as a time to de-stress from the mayhem of the office and truly enjoy you’re food.
- Go for Health–This last one is easier said than done. Many of you aren’t sure what a healthy lunch is (hence why you’re here). Strive for a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Don’t get too much or too little of each. Some of you might realize that if you eat a lunch heavy with carbohydrates, you’ll get sleepy/lethargic later in the day. If that’s the case, try to stick to lean proteins, greens, fruits, and healthy fat. For more lunch ideas, check out my 20 easy meals blog post.
Healthy Lunch Ideas
Still not sure what to pack for lunch? Don’t limit yourself to a sandwich and chips! Think outside the box and don’t always pack a conventional lunch. Here are some great ideas:
- Sick of the standard sandwich? Try making a wrap! Spread hummus instead of mayo on a whole-grain/sprouted grain wrap and top with nitrate-free turkey, lettuce, and your other favorite veggies. This is a great spin on your favorite sandwich.
- Tired of eating salad every day? Mix up the types of greens you eat. Not only will this beat boredom, but you’ll also get a variety of nutrients. Try baby spinach one day, romaine the next, and arugula the day after. Rotating your greens is a great way to make salad fun again.
- Want something warm and comforting? Try soup or chili! Most offices have a microwave or stove to reheat your food. A fiber-rich food like vegetable soup or chili is a great meal to keep hunger at bay. It’s also great for cold winter days when you want the rich and comforting feel of a hot meal.
The Best Tuna Salad Ever
I love this tuna salad because it’s clean and healthy. When you’re sick of eating the same sandwich every day, try this awesome lettuce wrap.
Garden Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
1 can of tuna in water, drained
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small plum tomato, diced
Handful of grated carrots
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt+ 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice (this is a substitute for mayo, use whatever canola spread/vegan mayo/real mayo that you like!)
Dash of cayenne pepper
3 romaine lettuce leaves
1. Drain tuna and mix it with the vegetables. In a separate small bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, and cayenne.
2. Add yogurt mixture to tuna mixture. Serve in lettuce wraps.
I like this recipe because it’s super simple. When I worked in the office, I would often double or triple this recipe and take tuna lettuce wraps to work all week long. Tuna and chicken salads are a great way to sneak in veggies and up your veggie intake. I specifically chose tomato because it adds a lot of moisture. This eliminates using a ton of mayonnaise, which could make for a super fattening and unhealthy tuna salad. You can also bring the tuna and lettuce separately when you get to work, then assemble them at lunch time. The lettuce will stay much crisper and you’ll have a better tasting lunch.
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