Do you struggle to find healthy food at lunchtime? Maybe you get so frustrated and short on time that you wind going out for lunch or worse, picking up fast food. Eating healthy requires planning and dedication. And crafting healthy lunches for work is an art in and of itself.
If you’re serious about staying healthy and reaching a healthy weight, you must have a consistent healthy lunch routine. For most of us, that means bring our lunch to work most of the time. And these lunches should be filling and nutrient-dense to fuel you until dinnertime. Let’s take a look at some healthy lunch ideas for work. You deserve to eat well!
Do all your meal prep for the week on Sunday
Preparing a healthy lunch takes time. You have to plan meals, shop for them, and make them! When does anyone have time for that? It can be done, if you get into the habit of dedicating Sundays to the task. Make a meal plan that inspires you and makes you excited about what you’re going to be cooking and eating in the coming week.
Find a shopping buddy
You may even want to find a shopping buddy to turn grocery shopping into a fun outing. Grab a friend and a favorite coffee drink, then make your way to the grocery store or the farmer’s market. You’ll want to make this lunch planning time as fun as possible! You may even want to go the cafe to sit down and brainstorm healthy lunch ideas together beforehand. Grab some fun cookbooks from the library to help with inspiration.
Buy beautiful lunch containers for storage and travel
After you’ve shopped for your healthy lunch ingredients, it’s time to prep. Wash and chop any fruits and veggies that you intend to use in your lunches for the week. Place them in glass containers, as plastic containers are often full of chemicals that can leach into your food. If you need to purchase some pretty glass containers for organization and storage, by all means do so! Buy a handful of pretty, lunch-sized containers to store your food in and also take to work. If you’d rather hire a sous chef than chop and prep your own fruits and veggies, look for the pre-chopped ones at the store. They may cost more but they’ll save you time and effort if that suits you better.
Bring a smoothie for lunch
Smoothies are easy to make, and even satisfying if you know what to put in them. All you need is a good blender and healthy ingredients. There’s very little prep time involved, and you can get all the necessary nutrients you need once you know what those are. First you need a liquid like coconut water or any kind of nut milk. Almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk are great choices. Next you need a healthy fat like almond butter, avocado, coconut oil, or a little bit of all three. Then a green like a handful of spinach or kale, some chopped cucumber, or a green superfood powder.
The last part of your smoothie should contain fresh or frozen fruit. Organic berries are ideal with their antioxidant load. If you want to add a sweetener, try stevia, honey or pure maple syrup. Smoothies are quick and easy, and you can even make them the night before. Pour them into your favorite to-go bottle and sip for lunch. Smoothies are the perfect healthy lunch for summer when you naturally crave lighter meals.
Bring dinner leftovers for lunch
Why not cook a meal the night before — one that’s bigger than usual — and then take leftovers to work the following day? This saves time and money. You might prepare a large stir fry, or an extra piece of chicken or salmon. Then add salad greens to your meat of choice for a healthy lunch. Double the recipe if you’re crafting a meal from a recipe you like for dinner. This ensures you’ll have a filling and healthy lunch to enjoy at work.
Eat lunch at the supermarket when need be
There will no doubt be days when you can’t bring a healthy lunch to work. Maybe you didn’t have time. Maybe you forgot a necessary ingredient or two. Perhaps you accidentally left your lunch at home. In these cases, opt for eating at the grocery store, rather than a restaurant or fast food joint.
Most supermarkets have a deli, a salad bar, or even a smoothie and juice bar. Have fun perusing pre-made healthy lunches like hummus wraps, sushi, or Greek salads if you don’t want to craft something from the salad bar. Treat yourself to a bar of dark chocolate for dessert. Just don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting. Have a few squares and save the rest for future lunches. You may wonder why you hadn’t thought of this option before! Lunches at the local health food store or supermarket are far healthier than those in a restaurant. Plus, portion sizes are always more reasonable than the over-sized ones you find when you eat out.
Purchase or make nutrient-rich snacks
We all snack. And while snacking can lead to weight gain, it doesn’t have to if you’re eating the right snacks. Snacks can be just as healthy as any meal if you know what to buy or how to make them. This alleviates the urge to reach into the candy jar that looms in so many workplaces. A snack that contains a protein and healthy fat can satiate you while fueling your body with the nutrients it needs. Examples of healthy snack ideas to bring to work include:
- Apple or pear slices with almond or cashew butter
- Hummus with cucumbers, carrots, or celery slices
- Raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts
- 3-ingredient nut butter cookies made from almond butter, pure maple syrup, and sea salt
- Homemade granola
- Greek yogurt with fruit
At Elite Physique, we believe an equal balance of nutrition, activity, rest, and confidence is the foundation for achieving a healthier you. Our personalized weight-loss programs are custom-tailored to help you meet your goals and to address the underlying factors that can make weight-loss difficult. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!