Enjoy this guest post from Big Sky New Britain Coach Maggie Nelson. Maggie has her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, as well as her NASM CPT and Precision Nutrition Certification. She is passionate about teaching people to live a happy, healthy, and balanced life.
4 Tips for Quick & Healthy Lunches
Whether you’re heading into the office, heading back to school, or you’re just trying to make less trips for take out on your lunch break, we all know that the lunch hour can cause stress and lead to bad habits and endless afternoon snacking. These quick tips can help you keep your energy high through the afternoon and set you up for success all week long.
Why make them in jars? If you put salad dressing on the bottom, with things like avocado and tomatoes, it prevents your greens from getting soggy from the moisture, and they will stay fresh all week! Simply build your salad from the base – dressing, tomatoes, avocado at the bottom, topped with peppers, onions and protein, and then save those leafy greens for the very top – as far away from the moisture as possible. Seal the jar tightly and your salad will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Mason jars work great for this, but really any container that is tall and cylindrical, so the dressing stays at the bottom will work.
This means you can prep them on Sunday and have a healthy lunch for the week! No need to make lunch every night – especially helpful if you’ve already got kids lunches to pack.
2 – Make an Appetizer Plate Lunch
Everyone loves showing up to a party and seeing cheese boards out to munch on, so why not make your lunch a little more exciting in the same way? Give yourself some options at lunch time by piecing together some of your favorite hearty snacks to make a meal. It’s also easier to eat on the go if you use this on weekends in between activities.
Some ideas – hard boiled eggs, sliced deli meat, sliced cheese, yogurt with fruit, veggie sticks with guacamole, pretzel rods, a cup of trail mix, and mixed nuts. Choose a mixture of 3-4 options and be sure to have a mix of carbs, fats and proteins so your meals keeps you full and satisfied.
3 – Go for Leftovers
Put all your energy into cooking a nice meal for your family? Enjoy it tomorrow too! If you’ve got access to a microwave (or even if you don’t – some leftovers are great cold!), take a portion out while you are cleaning up dinner and pack it up for lunch tomorrow. Bring along a snack to go with it and lunch is ready without any additional work.
This option means planning ahead and buying enough so that when you make dinner you are planning for leftovers. Decide how much you need for dinner, and then add an additional 2-3 portions for the rest of the week.
4 – Skip the Sugar
If the day gets away from you and take out is the best option – that’s ok! It happens to everyone. Weigh your options, stick to whole grains, veggies, and protein when possible, and skip the sugary drinks. Candy, soda, and sugary lattes at lunch will almost always lead to a slippery slope of sugar cravings as the afternoon goes on.
A bonus of a healthy lunch hour? GET MOVING! Even a 10 minute walk at lunch can really improve your mood and set you up for a productive afternoon.
Need more nutrition tips or a complete overhaul of your eating habits? Our Big Sky Coaches are here to help. Sign up for our FREE 10-Day Personal Training Experience HERE and start seeing results faster!
See you at Big Sky!