Lunch. If you work or have a busy school schedule (or both) — it’s not always easy to make it a healthy affair that supports your fitness goals. And if you aren’t careful, you can easily find yourself in the Taco Bell drive-thru a few days a week. Instead of doing that, brown bag your lunch. Don’t have the time or dedication to make your lunch in advance? (It was so much easier back in the day when Mom had it waiting for you before catching the school bus). Instead of wishing Mom was around to do it for you, make it easy on yourself by keeping a few handy items on hand at your job and you’ll not only eat healthier than ever, but your next dress fitting will be all about “taking in,” as you get closer to the big day!
Which foods should you consider packing for your healthier than ever lunches, not to mention for your overjoyed reactions to the “you’ve lost some weight since last time” comments from your seamstress?
With a heaping helping of peanut butter you give yourself an equally large helping of protein. Toss some peanut butter on a couple pieces of 100% whole wheat bread, add a touch of honey, and you’re in for a smooth lunch delight that’ll power you up for the rest of the day. Prefer something more substantial than honey? Slice up a small banana and pile it on. You’ll get a nice load of potassium to complement the protein!
An Average Calorie Count. Did you know that the average fast-food meal with hamburger and fries contains more than half your daily allotment of calories? Beat the average by brown bagging your lunch. Your waistline will thank you, and your coworkers will envy you (and they will even be jealous).
Salad is the new healthy brown-bag alternative. If you think an all-green salad is a bit bland for your taste buds, add some color by chopping up and adding some of your favorite veggies and fruits. Carrots, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and tangerines can all add some color, flavor, and nutrition to your salad. Want to give it even more help? Cook up some lean chicken the night before and toss it on when you’re ready for a substantial and delicious salad.
Lunch doesn’t always have to consist of one large item with a few sides to go along with it. Actually, some of the best lunches contain a handful of smaller items and nothing else. Turn your favorite health snacks into a meal by grabbing a fruit-filled container of greek yogurt, a sandwich bag of carrot sticks, some cheese and whole wheat/multi-grain crackers, and a tall glass of water. It’ll delight your taste buds, give you lots of variety, and provide your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals you need to keep on keeping on.
Have something healthy and delicious for dinner last night? Don’t let the leftovers go to waste in your refrigerator. Pack the food up in an appropriate container and bring it to work. If your leftovers are rather small in size, be sure to pack an apple, orange, or something else to make sure you fill up on healthy foods and can withstand the temptation of the snack machine later in the day.
Wrap It Up
Love sandwiches but growing tired of the same old thing, day after day? Get everything you love about sandwiches in a new package by wrapping it up. Grab some whole-wheat tortillas and toss in some lean lunchmeat, your favorite vegetables, and whatever else suits your fancy. Top it off with a side of applesauce and a small bag of nuts, and you’ve got a brown bag full of delicious, health-improving lunch!
Yes, you already had a healthy breakfast before heading off to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy breakfast foods at lunch. Whether you prefer a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries on top or a whole wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese, eating breakfast for lunch is a great and healthy way to fill up without worrying about excessive calories.