Haven’t done a “What’s in Your Lunch Box?” in a while, so figured I would post a few of my easy, nutritious, on-the-go lunches to get you inspired as we creep into the colder weather! So, I keep telling myself that I’m going to get in the habit of doing either a Sunday or Monday meal prep (for the whole week), but sadly, that has not happened yet. It seems as though literally every weekend, I’m not home on Sunday until late in the evening, or come Monday night, after work, I’m far too exhausted to do any type of cooking. Period. Fortunately enough, I’ve found that just prepping my lunch the night before, does not take too much effort and for the time being, it seems my schedule will solely allow for this!
Typically, when I plan my lunches, I try and incorporate carbs, protein, and fat! I enjoying walking away feeling satisfied with a fully nutritious lunch and usually, if I get the right amount of each in at lunch, I tend to remain fuller, longer throughout the day. For example, on some days, if I feel guilty from a big dinner the night before, I may pack a smaller lunch, like a plain salad full of veggies. Unfortunately, regardless of how much I ate the night before, I’m still starving after such a small lunch like that! So, lesson learned: always pack a carb, fat, and protein packed lunch…with lots of snacks to munch on throughout the day!
Here are some examples of lunches that best incorporate the three food groups. FYI – multi-size containers will become your best friends. I STRONGLY suggest you invest in a lot of these…especially if you’re not a fan of doing the dishes every night….thank god for a dish washer!
For the Sweet Potato:
-Cubed Sweet Potato slices
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 TBSP)
Toss the sweet potato in honey, cinnamon, olive oil, and the sea salt. Bake in oven on 375 degrees for a while (I prefer to heat mine up in the microwave before baking to soften it up quicker). Once you can see it begin turning a more golden color, switch oven to broil for the last 5-10 mins to really crisp it up!
For the Tuna Salad:
-1/2 a can of Tuna in Water
-2 TBSP of plain Greek yogurt
-1/4 soft avocado
-Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Curry (a dash of each!)
-Honey (1 tsp)
Mix all of the above together in a small mixing bowl and cool. Toss over spinach for an extra crunch!
A Carb/Protein/Fat Loaded Salad –> when in doubt, I make the biggest salads possible and fill them up with anything I can find ☺ I actually have been made fun of a few times at work for my endless, heaping amount of salad I bring for lunch…whatever, girls gotta eat!
How to make a MEAN (Vegetarian) Salad:
-Plain Baked Sweet Potato (or you can take the easy way out an toss it in the micro until it’s cooked, usually about 4 mins or so!) – seriously though, I LOVE sweet potatoes in my salad, it really adds something extra! (Carbs)
-Spinach and Kale (great combo together!)
-Spoonful of Cottage Cheese (protein)
-1/4 Cup of Black Beans (protein)
-1/4 of a Whole Avocado (Fat)
– + any additional veggies will work too!
-For the dressing, my go-to is usually either apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar (or a combo of all three!)
Strawberry Avocado Spinach & Kale Salad:
-Spinach and Kale (Carbs)
-Heaping spoonful of cottage cheese (protein)
-Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnuts, gogi berries) (protein/fat)
-1/4 whole Avocado (fat)
-Fresh lemon & apple cider vinegar for dressing
Make Leftovers Your Friend:
-Leftover Ground Turkey Meat (cooked in EVOO and seasoned with taco seasoning) (protein)
-For the “Sauce”, mix fat free cottage cheese with about 1.5 TBSP of organic salsa (I use the chipotle salsa from Whole Foods!) (protein/fat)
-Throw some veggies on the side! (I made a little mini salad here!) (carbs)
And for some snacks…
-Hard Boiled Eggs
-Fruit (Apples, bananas, oranges, mixed berries)
-Quest Bars/Lara Bars/Luna Bars – typically my go-to bars
-Yogurt and Granola
-A mini Sweet Potato w/ Almond Butter
-Mixed Nuts (I like to make my own mix at whole foods, lately I’ve been getting almonds, walnuts, and gogi berries!)
-Rice Cake and Avocado or Cottage Cheese
-Sliced Apples and Cinnamon
-Dates and an Almond Butter Packet
-RyeVita Crackers with almond butter and banana or fresh made guacamole
-Hummus and Carrots
-Chobani Dip (Chobani yogurt, almond butter, and protein powder) – use apples for dipping!
I’m open for ANY suggestions folks! I’m always trying new snack/lunch ideas and would love some new suggestions, especially ones that are easy to bring into work ☺
Hope this helps inspire you all for amping up some creative lunch ideas! Check out my instagram @eatrunandallinbetween for more foooood ☺☺