Whether you call it Supper/Dinner/Lunch, you need to eat it. Countless studies have shown how important it is to refuel your body throughout the day. Lunch is always my favorite meal, because I usually get to take a break from whatever I am doing and eat! Here are some tips for how to have a healthy lunch. I’ve gone in order of planning to eating, and what to do if you forget your lunch!
- Budget. Bringing your lunch is almost always cheaper than eating out. Most times it is even cheaper than that $1 burger from the local fast food joint. You would be surprised how cheap groceries are when you buy in bulk and get generic brands. Know ahead of time if your goal is to buy the fancy schmancy whole grain $10 artisan fresh baked loaf from the bakery, or if a 50 cent loaf of cottage bread will do.
- Weekend planning and freeze it. Once you know what you want, plan for it. Go buy everything you need and make it ahead of time. It takes so much less time to just devote and hour or so of time on the weekend to cook everything and freeze it. Things like salad you may just have to do the night before, but you can certainly prepare everything that needs to go in it. Once you have everything cooked. Freeze it. I usually keep 2 days worth of lunches thawed in my fridge and every morning move another from the freezer up to the fridge to thaw.
- Make healthy Dinners. One of the easiest things you can do it just use leftover dinners. My S.O. and I always plan for lunches for the two of us for the next day. Even when we eat out and know there isn’t any food at home, we package some for lunch. Of course, eating out isn’t recommended since you can’t control how the food is made and healthier options aren’t always available.It’s also way more expensive.
- Taste Bring something you know you like. If you pack something you don’t look forward to eating, you will be more likely to snack and indulge in other things to get your satisfaction.
- Lunchbox that keeps it fresh. Or cooler. Invest in something that will keep your food cool or make it easier to tote around. It is up to you. Keeping a refrigerator item in a plastic grocery bag at your desk for 6 hours is not the safest thing to do. I am guilty of this! If there is a fridge at work, use it.
- Water Don’t forget to pack a water bottle as well. Keep sipping every every few bites. It’ll help trigger your ‘I’m full’ reflex sooner.
- Leave a note. So you went through all this work of planning and cooking and then you forget you lunch. Don’t be that person! Write yourself a reminder note on the fridge or near your morning coffee cup. Put a sign on your door. Do what you gotta do! There are even apps that will send you reminders like this.
- Have a Plan B. You know the days. You didn’t have food at home to bring. You didn’t have leftovers from dinner the night before. Lunch break is sneaking up on you and you’re wondering where to grab a quick bite. Most likely fast food. Guess what…you can plan for this too. I have my favorite go-to frozen healthy meals. You may have a couple in mind. When you see them go on sale, stock up! You can keep them in your work freezer. Maybe your version of this is keeping a meal replacement shake in your desk. Figure out what your last minute plan is and plan for it 🙂
- Really Last Resort. If you are really in a bind and can’t figure out what to do, find a grocery store. It’ll still be cheaper than a value meal at your local fast food place, and will still fill you up. This happened to me last week! I wandered into the frozen food section of the store across the street and found that my favorite brand of healthy frozen burritos were on sale. I grabbed one and went back to work to heat it up. Super easy. Super healthy. Super last minute.
Hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to eat healthy lunches. Remember to keep snacking throughout the day. And don’t skip breakfast!
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For yesterday’s “Black bean salsa…” post click below…