It can be hard to eat a healthy lunch when you are always busy and running out the door in the morning. By the time lunch rolls around, you are starving, and the closest restaurant isn’t always the healthiest, but you inevitably end up eating there because you don’t have time the time or the money to travel to the healthier places to eat.
Alternatively, you can bring a frozen dinner (would you like a nice serving of preservatives, anyone?), or skip lunch altogether and end up in an afternoon slump from hell. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a healthy lunch ready to eat every day that not only kept your waistline slim but gave you enough energy to crush your workday? Sure would! Here are some ideas that you can prep the night before and grab on the way out the door.
When most people think of healthy lunches, the first thing that comes to mind is a salad. The problem with salads though it that they don’t stick to your ribs and leave you feeling hungry again within a couple of hours. The trick is to add fat, protein, and carbs to the salad to make it a complete meal.
Tropical Shrimp Salad – Spruce up some mixed greens with grilled shrimp, pineapple, avocado, red onion, and cucumber with a sweet and spicy dressing and top it all off with some toasted sesame seeds.
Steak Taco Salad – Add some fresh cilantro and lime to sliced steak, baby spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, onions, and salsa. If you like spice, add some fresh chopped jalapenos. The finishing touch is some tortilla strips to add some crunch.
Wraps are just basically one-handed sandwiches. They are extremely portable and easy to make. Pick a wrap that is whole grain and full of nutrients. The filling should be just as nutritious and satisfying to help you get through the long afternoon.
Greek Wraps – Pick a pita like wrap and fill it with tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, romaine, feta and rotisserie chicken.
Protein power wrap – Choose a wrap with extra protein content and spread mashed avocado and plain Greek yogurt, turkey, provolone, and alfalfa sprouts.
California spicy tuna sushi wrap – Fill a wrap with tuna mixed with sriracha and plain Greek yogurt, cucumber, avocado, matchsticks carrots and shredded lettuce.
Soups can be made in big batches and frozen for latter and the liquid helps to keep you full. Make sure to add plenty of fibrous veggies and hearty protein. Keep the liquid clear to keep the calories to a minimum.
Lentil soup – This hearty legume is full of protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. You can jazz this soup up with some roasted tomatoes and spicy peppers or add chunks of steak and sweet potatoes. There’s really no wrong way to cook lentil soup.
Chicken soup with a twist – Take the traditional chicken soup stock and add turmeric, curry, dill, and mint with a twist of lemon for a soup full of antioxidants and flavor.
Mushroom and barley beef stew – Add stew meat to a crockpot with bay leaves for a couple of hours then add mushrooms, barley, and beef stock. Let simmer for 2-4 more hours.