Quick, Healthy & Easy Weekday Lunch Ideas… For those who work long hours or are constantly on the go!
Are you out of easy lunch ideas for the busy work week ahead? Tired of eating the same thing everyday?
We all have been there… stuck in that, “I don’t know what to eat that is quick yet healthy” lunch rut. These four new quick healthy work lunch ideas will not only have you excited to eat nourishing foods but will leave you with a fuller, happier and slimmer stomach.
From grab and go, to pre-homemade options, the best part is each lunch can be modified to your specific tastes, wants and dietary goals.
ON THE GO – SALAD BAR
There are so many quick salad spots these days that it makes eating something packaged and processed a bad excuse. From running into a salad bar chain like Sweetgreen, Chopt, Just Salad, and even Subway, eating a nourishing and fiber rich salad has become the new “fast-food”. You can even go into your local deli or grocery store (which most people forget about) and use the salad bar there.
What to Order:
- Choice of lettuce – romaine, kale, spinach, mixed greens, iceberg, arugula, etc… (Unlimited)
- Fill up on non-starchy veggies (broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, hearts of palm, peppers, artichokes) that are not only crunchy and satisfying but will keep you feeling fuller longer. (Unlimited)
- Choose 1 starch or grain such as sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice. If you are trying to shed some extra weight, you can skip the starch and opt for more non-starchy veggies.
- Choose 1-2 lean proteins that equal about 3-4 oz. total for women and 6-8 oz. for men. The options are endless – hardboiled egg whites, chicken breast, lean beef, roasted salmon, tofu, tempeh, and goat cheese to name a few
- Skip the creamy dressings and ask for freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. If you really want dressing, ask for balsamic vinaigrette on the side so you can control the amount used.
- Explore the flavor of fresh or dry herbs and spices. Try adding oregano, chili flakes, cilantro or basil to your salads. It adds a ton of flavor without excess calories. Herbs and spices are known to have many health benefits and anti- inflammatory properties.
Is it just me, or is Chipotle the new “McDonald’s” popping up on almost every corner. The good news with this though, is Chipotle can actually be a healthier, fast, and quick option when in a pinch. When it comes to ordering at Chipotle there are so many options and variations that you can choose from to have a healthy and complete quick lunch to-go.
Option 1- Salad
What to Order:
- Start by asking for lots of lettuce. This will help not only keep you full, but your eyes feel like you’re eating more (as we know, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs).
- Choose beans (pinto or black) instead of rice. If you’re not trying to watch your weight and are a bit hungrier than normal, listen to your body and ask for half a scoop of brown rice.
- Fajita Veggies can be a great way to bulk up your salad.
- Salsa Time!! Salsa boosts flavor without adding many calories so don’t be afraid to try each one, just be careful to watch the sodium.
- Corn Salsa? If you skipped the rice and feel the need for a starchy veggie, ask for a light handed scoop of the delicious tangy corn salsa.
- Skip the dairy… no sour cream or shredded cheese! You can thank me later :).
- Remember, if you opted out of a protein choice, this is where you can ask for guacamole on the side! And this time, its not extra!
- Secret tip!!! Skip the fat and sodium laden dressing and ask for lime wedges on the side and make use of the various Tabasco hot sauces they offer before heading out the door.
Option 2- Burrito Bowl
What to Order:
- Start by choosing beans (pinto or black) instead of rice. Same with the salad option, if you’re not trying to watch your weight and are a bit hungrier than normal, listen to your body and ask for half a scoop of brown rice.
- Get a scoop of Fajita Veggies!
- Choose your protein. You can always opt out of a protein and ask for guacamole on the side later on down the line.
- Pick a salsa (OR ALL THREE) to add flavor and spice!
- Corn Salsa can definitely be a tasty way to add flavor to your bowl but avoid this option if you chose half a scoop of brown rice.
- Skip the dairy, trust me your meal will taste just as delicious and your tummy won’t be inflamed!
- Ask for extra crunchy shredded lettuce to top your bowl off!!
- This is where you can ask for guacamole on the side if you opted out of a protein, just remember 2 tablespoons as your serving size.
- Don’t forget to ask for the lime and if you can tolerate the heat, Tabasco is available by the silverware!
Asian Chicken Slaw Salad
Serves about 4 – Can also be made in a big batch ahead of time
- 1.5 to 2 Packages of Slaw Mix (Shredded Carrots, Shredded Kale, Shredded Red & Green Cabbage, Shredded Broccoli, etc… Pre-packaged slaw mixes can be found at most grocery stores!)
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
- Pre-made chicken breast or store bought rotisserie chicken. Option to make this vegetarian and vegan friendly by using 1 package of firm to extra firm tofu.
- 1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed
- Juice of 1 to 2 limes
- 1 tbsp Tamari
- 1 tbsp Coconut Amino’s
- Sesame Seeds
- Mix all of the ingredients together and top with dressing. Toss well and enjoy!
These crackers are super high in fiber and very low in net carbs, meaning you can enjoy quite a few of them without feeling guilty or bloated. Four filling fiber crackers contain only 80 calories and a whopping 16g of belly filling fiber! They are the perfect swap for a carb loaded bagel (1 bagel has the same amount of calories as 6 slices of bread!) or toast. Click here to get some ideas for toppings.