Making sure you eat well at work is not always easy, especially if you are on the go a lot and have a busy home life thrown in to the equation.
Yet, preparing your midday meal at home can have a huge impact on your waistline, not to mention your overall health, energy levels and productivity. If you leave it to chance and buy your lunch at work, you tend to be starving hungry and inevitably end up with something a lot less healthy and with a lot more calories.
So, why do so many of us fail to get in to this extremely beneficial, no to mention cost effective, habit?
Well, I can think of 2 main reasons:
- Time. We always seem to think that we don’t have enough time to prepare a healthy, nutritious lunch when actually, it can take next to no time at all! Try tagging it on to a habit you already have established i.e. after dinner the night before or as soon as you finish breakfast. This way you are less likely to ‘forget’ or make excuses.
- Boredom. We seem to be creatures of habit when it comes to nutrition yet we also get bored easily. It is easy to get stuck in a rut with the same old lunch combination, especially with so many mixed messages out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat. Sometimes we just need some easy inspiration….
For these reasons, I have put together my top quick and easy packed lunch ideas that are nutritionally balanced yet light on calories. They will keep help keep hunger at bay until home time and provide you with the energy you need to smash your professional targets whilst staying on track with your body goals.
Add a piece of fruit to any of the options below, as well as a nice big glass of water, and you are on to a winner!
Fruity Chicken Pitta
Fill 1 whole-wheat pitta with 100g cooked chicken breast (if you go for pre-cooked, look for versions without added sugar), 1/2 grated apple and 1 tablespoon 0% Greek yogurt
Greek Style Wrap
Stuff 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap with 50g hummus, 1 sliced tomato, 75 g cooked chicken, 4 chopped black olives (optional)
Fill one small wholemeal roll with 2 slices cooked turkey (deli style), 100g cherry tomatoes, 1 slice cooked medallion bacon, lettuce. Top with 1 tablespoon 0% Greek yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon.
Chicken and Chickpea Super Salad
Mix 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to 200g shredded kale and let it marinade overnight. Serve with 100g cooked chicken and a half tin chickpeas (raw or roasted)
Moroccan Inspired Chicken Salad
Mix 100g cooked chicken mixed with 2 tablespoons 0% Greek yogurt, 20g pistachios, and handful of pomegranate seeds. Serve with a large portion of mixed, spinach salad.
Spicy Tuna and Chickpeas
Mix a tin of tuna in spring water (drained) with 1 tsbp Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup chickpeas a squeeze of lime and some cayenne pepper. Serve with a large garden salad
Mix 2 hard-boiled eggs with 2 tablespoons 0% Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon hot curry powder. Serve with 4 ryvitas.
Oats for Lunch
Mix 40g oats with 250ml almond milk overnight, and add 1/2 sliced banana and 25g of your favourite protein powder to serve.
Combine half a cup of cooked quinoa with 200g tinned beans of choice, sweetcorn, 1 diced red pepper, and chilli or chosen spice to taste
Chicken and Black Beans
Stir up 100g grilled chicken with 200 g black beans (tinned), some sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons parsley and, and juice of 1 lime and serve with a mixed salad
Nut Butter and Banana Thin
Spread one wholemeal sandwich thin with a tablespoon natural peanut/almond butter and 1 sliced banana. Sprinkle with cinnamon
Combine half a packet of ready to eat puy lentils with chopped cucumber, tomato and 1 tin drained tuna in spring water. Add herbs to taste
To Sum Up
Hopefully these ideas have inspired you to regain control of your working lunchtimes which will have a hugely positive impact on your personal health and fitness goals.
Do, however, bear in mind that they are not specific to your individual needs and are not intended to be prescriptive in any way. Go ahead and amend to suit your personal taste and energy requirements.
If you would like some guidance on calculating the quantities you should personally be aiming for then please get in touch 🙂
*NB all calorie calculations are estimated so please track accordingly.