Many of the people that I work with in person and some people online have shared that lunch is meal they struggle with. They either don’t take a break and eat at their desk, don’t plan ahead and end up needing to buy something, skip the meal all together, or pack something that leaves them hungry for more.
Today, I’m sharing my top 4 tips for packing a healthy lunch!
1. Pack your lunch the night before
I wake up SUPER early in the morning (I always have), but I still feel like there is never enough time in the morning. Because I always feel pressed for time when trying to get out the door by a certain time, packing my lunch (or Brian’s lunch) the night before is a total game changer!
My routine allows time for me to pack lunch while dinner is cooking. By packing lunch while dinner is cooking the night before I need it, when the morning rolls around everything feels much calmer and it’s easy to grab your lunch and head out to work, school, or wherever you are going for the day.
2. Utilize leftovers but don’t resist being creative.
If a meal I make has leftovers, it is absolutely part of the lunch plan for the week. Sometimes I serve the leftovers as is, but sometimes I get creative and create a new dish with the leftovers. For example: if I made my Taco Seasoned Chickpeas to go on burrito bowls for dinner and had leftovers, I may toss them into a salad with fresh vegetables, protein, olive oil and vinegar rather than making the same burrito bowl I had the night before.
3. Include carbohydrates, protein and fat.
It’s important to eat a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat throughout the day, as this will help you feel full and satisfied after a meal so you can focus on everything important going on in your day rather than a still-hungry stomach.
Carbohydrates usually contain a good amount of fiber (I’m thinking vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains), and fiber helps us feel full at meal time.
Protein and fat take a longer time to digest, which also helps us feel full and satisfied.
4. Pack an emergency “just in case” snack.
Some days you may feel more or less hungry than others, and I think it’s important to be prepared for those days when hunger strikes by planning ahead with a “just in case” snack. Ideas for this snack can include: