Whether you work from home or in an office, making or packing a healthy lunch can seem like more effort than it’s worth. Thankfully, with some planning it doesn’t have to be.
Salads are a great healthy option for lunch, but often get passed over because of the work involved or the fear of soggy lettuce by lunchtime. I have two solutions for you! First, if you are packing a leafy green salad, pack it in two containers. The larger container should contain as much leafy greens as you can fit in it (seriously, load it up). The second smaller container should contain your chopped veggies, meat or other protein source (beans, cheese, tofu) and your dressing. This can easily be made the night before and left to “marinate” overnight. At lunch, give the veggie/dressing mixture a shake and then scoop out the mixture onto salad. When I do this, I usually only empty about half of the container at first and then as I get about half way through the greens I empty the rest. This is a delicious, healthy, and convenient way to eat a fresh salad on the go. I’ve packed this with me on several occasions including play dates and business lunches.
My second salad solution is to make a bean salad. A bean salad is a super easy meal that can be made in advance and eaten for a few days. It requires no recipe just rinse a can of beans (black, pinto, chickpeas etc.), add veggies (tomatoes, peppers, green onion, avocado etc.), add fresh herbs like cilantro if desired, and dress with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lime juice and season with sea salt and pepper. You can even add a bit of feta cheese if you tolerate dairy.
One of my favourite time savers for lunch is eating leftovers from the night before. It doesn’t even have to be the same meal. For example, let’s say you had a seasoned chicken breast with a side of rice and veggies for supper, the leftover rice and chicken can easily be added to a wrap with some fresh veggies to make a healthy, satisfying lunch with hardly any work involved. If you are avoiding gluten you can use a lettuce, coconut (such as Paleo Wraps), or rice wrap.
If you are looking for a lunch idea that can be made on Sunday and last all week, make a soup and/or chili and freeze in individual portions. Making a couple different options always helps keep me from getting bored with one meal.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be time consuming, it just takes a little planning, but the results are well worth the effort. You’ll feel good and have more energy too!