Lunch

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Eating a poor lunch or skipping it all together causes the afternoon slump to hit hard – you may feel sluggish, tired, moody and very unproductive.

Not a fun way to end your day at work or at home!

While it’s easy to simply buy lunch, this isn’t always the best option.  Many times the foods purchased are high in fat – which could leave you more tired and lethargic.  Eating out could also mean eating more food than your body needs, leading to potential weight gain.   Restaurants are notorious for sneakily selling us foods packed with hidden calories.

So what are we to do? Get into the routine of packing a bag lunch!  This way you can create the balanced, nutrient-packed meal that will provide you with high energy and put you in a great mood.  And the good news is that packing a good lunch doesn’t have to take you more than 5 minutes.  Packing it the night before can help you avoid introducing more chaos into your already hectic morning.

TIP: Always include veggies and fruit to give your body the nutrients it needs for energy and health.  Include a lean protein source to help keep you satisfied and going strong all afternoon long!

 

Here are some delicious ways to Spice Up your lunch box:

 

Finger Food Feast

  • 1 cup baby carrots plus 1/4 to 1/3 cup hummus to dip carrots in
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese mixed with 2 Tbsp salsa (optional) plus 1/2 to 1 whole bell pepper, cut up.  Scoop up the cottage cheese with the bell pepper!
  • 1 apple plus 1 oz cheese (1 stick)

Greek Goddess

  • 6oz Fat free Greek yogurt mixed with 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1.5 to 2 cups chopped mixed veggies (frozen, thawed, and drained; or fresh) mixed with 5 chopped kalamata olives, 2 Tbsp feta cheese, and 1 Tbsp Greek dressing.
  • 5 dried apricots and 5 dried figs

Spaghetti-less Spaghetti

One “pot” lunch:

  • 2.5 cups spaghetti squash.  To quickly cook spaghetti squash the night before: cut in half, deseed, place cut-side down on a baking dish, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for 12 minutes.
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce.  Read HERE for how to choose a good spaghetti sauce.
  • 3 oz baked chicken
  • Mix all ingredients together, heat in the microwave and enjoy!

Veggie Burger Brown Bag

Sandwich:

  • 1 veggie burger, toasted and chopped mixed with 2 Tbsp salsa and 2 Tbsp low fat sour cream (or fat free Greek yogurt).
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots or other veggie such as celery
  • 1 whole wheat lavash flatbread (wrap)
  • Mix together chopped veggie burger, salsa, sour cream, and carrots and bring to work in a tupperware.  Wrap in the lavash bread at work so that the bread doesn’t get soggy.

Sides:

  • Small side salad plus 1 Tbsp oil-based salad dressing

 

The Original

Sandwich:

  • 2 slices whole grain bread (look for bread with >3 grams fiber per slice!)
  • 1 chicken breast, sliced (3 to 4 ounces), OR 3 slices low sodium deli turkey
  • 3 Tbsp avocado, spread on the bread as a condiment, OR mustard
  • 2 slices tomato and 1 to 2 lettuce leaves
  • Pile together the sandwich, wrap it up, and bring it to work!

Sides:

  • 1 apple or other fresh fruit
  • 3/4 cup (about 25) baby carrots plus 2 Tbsp hummus for dipping.

 

Lunch Recipes

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