Changing from working 8 hour days to 12 hours days means changing my eating schedule. I’ve gotten comfortable eating every couple hours, and having time for lunch. However, a busier unit and longer day means I need to start consider snacks and foods I can bring with me, and eat quickly.
I’ve found a few awesome blogs with ideas, some with just pictures and some with ingredient lists as well. Fortunately, I eat like a kid (little bits – but often, and very simple foods) so school lunch posts are perfect. Foods like fruit, string cheese, cheez-it’s, sandwiches and wraps – those are my jam. So, here’s some awesome ideas I’ve found from a couple different places.
This site works really well on my iPad in portrait-mode, not so well on my computer screen. But, it’s a collection of pictures of bento boxes, with information on what’s in the picture (in case it’s not clear) underneath. Just an example, here’s #14. I’m not sure if the description is entirely accurate here (it says it’s PB and J on a pita… looks like a cheese quesadilla – I like either!), but it’s got fruit, protein, carbs, and this would be an awesome size for lunch for me.
I like this site because the ladies searched the web (or pinterest) and found a lot of different and unique ideas, and compiled them into one blog post. I am working on creating a pinterest board of healthy lunch ideas, I’ll get there someday. I like taking bits and pieces from these boxes to make my own lunch. Some are a little stingy and I would need to add more protein but otherwise they look great! (They are meant for kids lunches, to be fair). The picture I chose to share has cucumbers, carrots, crackers, cheese, ham, and fruit, as well as what looks like kind of a treat. I like this box, but I would likely double the amount of food for my lunch , at least the fruit, and add a few more crackers to make cracker sandwiches.
Fitsugar, a website branch from Popsugar has published an awesome list of the best healthy swaps for common lunch-box food. Some may surprise you, like keeping bread in a sandwich vs a wrap (more fiber and protein – if you choose the right bread!), and some are as simple as getting Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies instead of Goldfish (made with whole-wheat instead of enriched flour). Here’s there chart, because there’s no way I could make it better. And, click on the chart for a link to the full article, and check out the other articles on their page – this is one of my favorite sites for workout and recipe ideas.
Other foods I’ve seen and would suggest including:
- hardboiled eggs
- leftovers from dinner
- pasta salad
- mini tacos (cut wheat tortillas into small circles and bake in a muffin tin for a few minutes. Then add lettuce, tomatos, guac, etc for make-your-own)
- laughing cow cheese/string cheese
- greek yogurt (my favorite – if you have a way to keep it chilled)
- For a treat: dark chocolate. Still semi-healthy (especially in moderation), but satisfys that sweet tooth.
And finally, the most important part of healthy lunches, is something to drink. I found that buying a cute water bottle helped encourage me to drink water throughout the day, when otherwise I might not have. I have a multitude of water bottles that I rotate through, to keep myself excited and interested. My favorite – Camelbak Eddy, or my plastic mason jar with a handle that I got from Target for $12. To “spice” things up a bit, I put lemon in my water. Our cafeteria at work has Tru Lemon packets, which are dried, powdered lemon wedges. So, no extra color, flavor, sweetener, and it’s free. I just grab a few when I go down for lunch (the cafeteria has windows so I eat there a lot), and stock up for the next day.
What do you eat for lunch?
What are some quick, easy lunch suggestions you have?