The great thing about getting up each morning is that you are starting a new day, with endless opportunities to make healthy choices. You get up, get your workout in, eat a good breakfast and head to work. And then it happens; you find yourself faced with the email invitation to grab a slice of pizza or cheeseburger and fries for lunch. Better yet, your work colleague tries to convince you that the new restaurant down the street really does serve up "healthy" Caesar dressing and an entire loaf of sourdough bread with your salad (I don't think I have ever heard the words 'Caesar dressing' and 'healthy' in the same sentence!).
Packing your lunch the night before will remove the need to hit the street for a bite to eat and instead allow you to eat a healthy meal and then hit the street for a walk afterwards.
If the idea of coming up with a menu for lunch five days a week has you reaching for the corner deli's to-go menu, try partnering up with someone else for lunch. Find a colleague or two who will lunch share with you and take turns coming up with and preparing the meal. This is a great way to eliminate boredom from preparing the same meals and takes the pressure away from prepping and packing each night.
Staple items to have on hand include: salad fixings (spinach, Romaine, green and red leaf), fruit (fresh and seasonal), vegetables (carrots, bell (red) peppers, broccoli, onions, cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes, cauliflower, peas, asparagus, garlic), lean protein (chicken, turkey, salmon, ground beef), tortillas, whole-grain rice, quinoa, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, low-sugar Greek yogurt, sweet potato/yams, beans, and low-fat cheese
Try the following lunch ideas that are guaranteed to satisfy both your appetite and your need to stay the course on a healthy eating plan. And in case you didn't notice, there are five ideas; one for each day of the average working week!
5. Burrito bowls
The beauty of all of these quick lunch ideas is that all of the ingredients can be used with any of the five ideas. Sprinkle chicken on your salad or add it to your wrap. Fill your burrito bowl with beans and rice or add it to a spicy tortilla soup. Add salmon and chopped up vegetables to your stir-fry and take the left-overs and mix them in with a salad, wrap, soup or burrito bowl.
Sara Lindburg has a B.S. in Exercise Science and an M.Ed. in Counselling. A 41-year-old wife, mother, and full-time secondary school counsellor, she combines 20-plus years' experience in the fitness and counselling fields and she has found her passion in inspiring other women to be the best version of themselves on her Facebook page, FitMom. Her inspiration for writing comes from her 6-year-old son, Cooper, and 8-year-old daughter, Hanna. Follow Sara on twitter.