There are numerous benefits to packing your own lunch: 1. You save money – eating out every day can break the bank, 2. You know exactly what you are putting in your body, and 3. You can spend the extra time on your lunch break doing these productive things instead of standing in line for takeout.
If you are anything like me, you spend about 10 seconds thinking about lunch before running off to work in the morning. An organizer at heart, I made it my mission to start packing my lunch in the evenings and bring something tasty and healthy to work every day. Here are my healthy tips on packing lunch. Pack your lunch this week and see if you can beat the midday slump by nourishing your body with healthy and tasty options.
Quick tips to pack your way to a cheaper, healthier and tastier lunch:
- Intentional leftovers – Make double servings of your favorite meal and you’ll have leftovers for lunch for the week. This is the most efficient way to pack a lunch and be intentional about what you eat. My favorites are veggie lasagna and quiche.
- Repurposed leftovers – Grilling chicken for dinner? Throw a few more pieces on the grill and toss them in a salad or slice them up for a cold chicken sandwich. Multiuse at its best.
- Meat melt – All food is better hot. Revamp the old turkey and cheese by gathering ingredients and assembling your sandwich at the office. Pop it in a toaster oven and you have a mouthwatering hot lunch like one you would get from the deli counter. The options are endless! Create a variety of sandwich or tortilla melts and spice them up by trying a new cheese or condiment.
- Salad extraordinaire – Like to sleep in? Assemble your salad in a container the night before. Multitask and do all the chopping and tossing while you are heating up dinner. Assemble a few salads at a time and have lunch prepared for the whole week come Monday.
- Salad alternative – Need a little more subsistence than a salad to keep you going all day? Try your hand at some healthy salad alternatives; pasta salad and quinoa salad are easy to make ahead of time and store all week. Make a chicken caesar pasta salad or toss in chopped asparagus and feta cheese for a mouthwatering quinoa salad that will keep you full all afternoon.
- That’s a wrap – Wraps are an easy way to work new ingredients into a boring lunch. Both sandwich items and salad items work well in a wrap and are easy to transport or eat on the run. My personal favorite is a hummus, turkey and cheese wrap.
Keep yourself preparing healthy lunches all month long by planning out your lunches a week at a time. Stay energized all afternoon by including a portion of protein in your lunch. Always include fresh fruits or vegetables in your meals or as snacks. Remember: the more colors you incorporate into your meals, the wider nutrients you intake. Continue to follow my quest to eat healthy and delicious lunches on Prevent Cancer’s Bring Your Lunch to Work Pinterest board. I pinned some of my favorite lunches this week for inspiration.