Lunch is not my favorite meal of the day. I literally despise trying to think of something to eat for lunch; especially in the morning when I need to get to the office.
There was a time when I would just skip lunch and snack on whatever was in my desk drawer. When I worked in corporate, the vending machines were my go-to lunch.
Do you find yourself struggling with healthy options for lunch?
Lunchtime can be a real challenge when you want to keep your food choices healthy. There are tantalizing treats scattered throughout your office break room and your desk is in close proximity to the vending machines that can easily tempt you. The problem with eating this type of lunch is the mid-afternoon crash and burn.
Temptation surrounds you and can veer you off of your healthy eating path quickly, leaving you feeling disappointed and defeated. To avoid these negative feelings, it’s crucial to be proactive about your meals for the work week. The best thing to do in this situation is to prepare your lunches, but you might have no idea what to make or feel that’s too time consuming.
After all, do you really need one more thing to add to your to-do list?
I hear you loud and clear. Since becoming a Transformational Nutrition Coach specializing in Digestive Health, I’ve had to learn how to keep myself on the path of healthy eating. For me, that means I must eat lunch – UGH ☹
I know I’m not alone in this journey and I want to share with you some of my best and easiest lunches you can whip up in mere minutes so you can enjoy healthy lunches all week long. The biggest benefit is your energy will stay boosted during the afternoon and your boss won’t find you nodding away at 3 p.m.
Here are my top three lunches for your work week….
Quinoa is a food that is easy to prepare, very nutritious and incredibly easy to take to work with you. I’ll cook one cup of quinoa on the weekend to have available during the week; which takes the hassle out of cooking during the week. I purchased a rice cooker to cook my quinoa just right for the week ahead.
Of course, you want a little more in your bowl than just quinoa, but you can add anything you want to make your bowl delicious and filling. Vegetables that you enjoy — possibly broccoli, zucchini, onion and a sauce of your choice.
I’m a big Pinterest fan and have set up a Quinoa board. Check it out and start your own board of delicious ideas.
Mason Jar Salads
These are so simple, delicious and you can prepare them for the whole week in one sitting. Use mason jars to hold your salad ingredients so when you empty your jar into a bowl, it creates the perfect lunch salad for you. Start by putting dressing in first, then your toppings & veggies, and finish off your jar by adding your greens last. This will keep your dressing away from your greens, so they won’t get soggy. You can store these in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Simple enough, toss your favorite chopped veggies and any fitting leftover ingredients from your fridge in a lettuce leaf. Drizzle with a complimenting sauce, wrap it up and call it a day. These pair well with soup, so keep that in mind as you’re meal prepping for the week.
This is definitely one of my go-to quick, affordable and healthy lunches. I cook mine in the slow cooker for easier preparation. I always have a spaghetti squash on hand as they’re so versatile. This is another great option for tossing in any leftover veggies from the fridge, mix with some marinara sauce and you’ve got yourself a pasta-free spaghetti that won’t disappoint.
Meal prepping my lunch has made my lunchtime more enjoyable and I no longer skip this important meal. These are just a few examples of all the delicious meals you can quickly prepare at home and take to work without too much of a hassle.
Some take a little more time than others, but you can always use the Sunday to meal prep your meals for the entire week, so you don’t have to wake up extra early on your work days. Once I began to meal prep my lunches, I found that I actually enjoy lunch rather than dreading it.
If possible, you could even leave all the meals you created at work, so you can grab it during lunchtime, and you don’t have to take anything to work all week. Life can be easy.
Here’s a lunchtime recipe from my Summer 5 Day Healthy Food Detox to get you started.
Mango Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Easy lunchtime recipe
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 3 oz Chicken Breast – Boneless/Skinless
- 3 Large Lettuce Leaves
- 1/2 Mango – Ripened
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro
Heat your grill or a small skillet to medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and spices, including salt. Rub mixture over chicken breast.
Place chicken breast on the grill or skillet and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Turn over and cook until browned on the other side, another 10 minutes. Be sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, then remove from heat and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Once it’s rested, slice the chicken into strips.
Wash and Dry Lettuce Leaves
Peel Mango and cut into long strips
Peel Avocado and cut into long strips
Cut and seed bell pepper and cut into long strips
Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate. Place chicken, mango, avocado, and bell pepper in the bottom of the leaf, then top with cilantro. Roll each leaf closed and eat like a wrap.
Photo Credit: Spaghetti Squash Janet Hudson