We all want to be healthier and try to make a concerted effort by eating better, drinking less, moving more, and going to bed earlier. But for most of us, it remains an uphill battle.
Many of us find the lunchtime dilemma a particular struggle. Food options in the office or workplace aren’t always the healthiest, and it’s hard to find the extra time to prepare nutritious options in advance. Picking up a takeaway lunch isn’t always ideal either, when you’re spending your precious time waiting in queues. Some of us skip lunch altogether, only to crash around 4pm and dive for the junk. Others get more kilojoules than they need from grazing all day, because they don’t make the time to eat three proper meals. Basically, when you’re busy it can be tricky to ensure you’re having a healthy lunch.
Ready to put your ideas into practise?
The trick to making your lunchtime meals quick, interesting and varied is to plan ahead. For most people, the best time to do this is on a Sunday. Spend a little time writing down what you want to eat and then shop or get your shopping delivered.
Here are some great lunch ideas to try:
1. Salad wrap. Use a few strong fresh salad leaves such as iceberg lettuce as cups or wraps instead of the usual wrap and fill them with your favourite ingredients.
2. Chicken, rice and veggies. Make your life easy by grilling an extra piece of chicken for dinner, and use left-over rice and vegetables to make a tasty cold salad.
3. Baked potato. If you have a microwave at work, just pop your baked potato in to heat it up and bring a separate pot with beans, tuna or other healthy toppings.
4. Cheesy pesto pasta. Jenny Craig do a delicious version of this which is filling, nutritious and makes a great lunch. Follow it with some fresh fruit.
5. Soup. Simple to prepare, and can be frozen into separate portions for days when you don’t have time to prepare lunch. Add vegetables, chicken or pasta to bulk it up
6. Quinoa bowl. Toss together your choice of fresh or cooked vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a low-fat dressing. Add nuts or mashed avocado for variety.
7. Smoothies. Another great option for super-busy mornings. Make your healthy smoothie in bulk at the weekend and freeze in plastic cups. By lunchtime, it will be ready to drink and give you that healthy kick.
8. Sandwich. The trick to having a great sandwich is to keep the ingredients separate from the bread until you are ready to eat. No more soggy sandwiches!
9. Pizza. Craving a cheese and tomato hit? Try Jenny Craig’s Pizza All Round, a multigrain pizza pocket with bacon and mozzarella cheese.
10. Salmon. Fresh or tinned, it is ideal to mix with pasta, rice, or cold boiled potatoes as the basis for a nutritious and filling lunchtime meal.