I reckon it is pretty easy to eat healthy lunches……that is if you only have healthy food in the fridge, and as an extra precaution you also hide your car keys to make sure you do stay at home to eat said healthy lunch. (p.s. This may cause problems if you hide your car keys and then can’t remember where they are when you are already running late for an appointment.)
But, how do you have a healthy lunch when you have to actually leave the house and go to places like …..say…. work.
Here are 10 simple lunch ideas that will save you time. From salads, to healthy and hearty warming lunches that you can make ahead. These delicious ideas will help you stay satisfied throughout the afternoon, and because you made it yourself you will have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you are eating, no nasty preservatives or hidden sugars thanks very much. Just think of all the extra time you’ll have to sit down and enjoy your lunch, rather than waiting in line to order it. You will also save money, as well as the obvious benefit of eating nutritious and healthy meals.
Wait! Before we get started it is a good idea to take a bit of time on a Sunday to plan and prepare your lunches for the week. By packing your lunch the night before it is one less thing to worry about in the morning. Not saying all this will be easy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, and it does take a level of commitment to do this.
Here are 10 ways to make it easier:
1. Make double dinners
This option is quite obvious as it is quick, easy and cost efficient.
a) Heat at work, or heat at home and pop in a thermos before you leave for work. Think Bolognese, stews, soups, chicken drumsticks and curries. These are all easy to make in bulk, especially if you have a slow cooker.
b) You can keep some for lunches or freeze portions for later.
c) If you already order your dinners from Wholesomeness, add some more delivered meals to your order to use as serves for lunches.
Photo courtesy of www.wellnourished.com.au
Before you say ‘booorrringgg”, salads are packed full of everything your body needs to get through the day, full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Here are some tips to making salads easy and fun.
Salad jars – Get your hands on some mason jar and fill with different salads.
Add dressing first: Balsamic and olive oil options are a good choice. Then add tomato, capsicum, red onion. Anything that would taste good pickled and acts as a barricade layer to the liquid.
Then add more vegetables: Mushrooms, beans, avocado, sprouts, celery. Add your grains: brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat. Then add your protein: egg, ham, chicken, tuna, roasted or leftover meat from dinner, feta or mozzarella cheese or beans. Protein is what is going to fill you up and get you through the afternoon. Add your base: spinach, leafy greens, nuts/seeds
Options are endless: cobb salad, greek salad, sweet potato salad. They do stay fresh as the dressing stays on the bottom. See more great recipe ideas here.
Picture courtesy of www.optimiseyourselfskinny.com
3. Canned Tuna
A great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and protein
a. Sustainable brands are becoming more common – Fish 4 Ever is Australia’s # 1 Sustainably fished Skipjack Tuna as rated by Greenpeace for the past 5 years. 100% Pole and Line caught. Click here for a list of Fish 4 Ever stockists in Queensland.
b. Combine tuna with good quality mayonnaise, or a baby spinach salad, or combine with tomatoes and basil
c. Top tuna on rice crackers or other wholesome crackers d. Keep a few cans of canned tuna at your work
Image courtesy of: www.firstray.com.au
4. Fermented food
Fermented food has been used by different cultures for many years. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, fermented vege’s/fruit and yoghurt.
a. Adding a small amount of fermented foods to every meals provide a number of benefits including: increased vitamins, boosting your immune system, improving digestion, and adding good bacteria to your gut.
b. Add chopped fermented pickles to tuna, or salads.
c. Have some tzatziki with ham or as a dip.
d. Add raw sauerkraut as a side to ham or meat dishes.
e. Drink some kombucha or kefir.
Image coutesty of: http://draxe.com
5. Boiled egg
Eggs are a great source of protein, boil half a dozen eggs on Sunday night and store them ready in the fridge.
6. Dips and vegetables
Use vegetables (carrots, capsicum, beans, cucumber) for dipping into guacamole, tzatziki, hummus, beetroot or pesto dips.
Use leaves such as lettuce, silverbeet or ‘massaged’ kale as a wrap or ‘taco’, with a filling of grated carrot, beetroot, shredded chicken or whatever else takes your fancy.
Avocado’s are a great source of vitamins and full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated.
a. Avocado Shell Salad: halve an avocado and top with red onion, tomato and humous.
b. Or spread avocado on rice crackers with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.
9. Green smoothie
Green smoothies are great because they still provide fibre (as opposed to juices). Dark leafy greens contain plenty of antioxidants and vitamins. You can prep and blend and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. A good green smoothie is made up of a few things, leafy greens, vegetables, some fruit, liquid and other extras:
a. Leafy greens: spinach, kale, bok choy,
b. Fruit: berries, banana, pineapple, apple, avocado, pear (you can also use frozen berries,
c. Liquids: water, almond milk, coconut water/milk, and cultured drinks (kefir, whey, kombucca)
d. Extras: chia seeds, green superfood powders (Spuralina, maca etc), cacoa powder, nuts, spices
e. This website is a good guide to green smoothie making.
Image courtesy of: http://simplegreensmoothies.com
10. Choose Water to drink!
You don’t want to ruin your healthy lunch by adding a sugar-laden soft drink or juice. So there you go, I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. Good luck! Mix it up and add variety.
Remember to pack it right, invest in some good quality lunch containers or thermos. There still might be times when you need to purchase your lunch, so plan ahead and choose places where you know they have healthy options. And remember you can always get chef prepared healthy meals delivered from Wholesomeness. Easy Peasy!
Now I would love to hear from you guys – what are your tips for packing healthy lunches to work?
OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Corey is a wife and mum of 2. Seeing so many sick people around (including herself) inspired her to research what foods we should be eating for optimal health. She began implementing changes with amazing results. She now has a new love for delicious, wholesome and nutritious food. She believes healthy nutritious eating is a key to a happier life.