When you think of a healthy lunch you may think of a lettuce salad or a sandwich, but there are options that can be healthy for you to aid you in achieving and maintaining your optimal health.
Even if you aren’t gluten-free, a typical sandwich is not the healthiest option. Also, many people get tired of taking a simple salad or caesar salad to lunch. There is a better and healthier way.
When thinking lunch, the first thing to think about is leftovers. When cooking dinner always cook enough for leftovers the next day. Take it with you, and you have a healthy meal especially if you have created your evening meal with a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. A piece of fruit can top off a balanced lunch. Better yet, have your fruit with a handful of nuts later for a snack.
There are many other healthy options for lunch. Remember, as you create your lunch, visualize half your meal as vegetables (leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables), 1/4 your meal as protein, and 1/4 your meal as a complex carb with a little healthy fat, and you will be on the right track of having a healthy lunch. The best thing to do is avoid most packaged and processed foods. One caution is to avoid deli meats or highly processed meats. Cook your meats with your evening meal, so you have them ready for your next day lunch. Meal planning can help you not stress about what to take for lunch.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Depending on what is right for you, create a balanced lunch that is easy to take to work or even create at home.
14 Healthy Lunch Ideas
- Leafy green salads (mix spinach, chard, kale, watercress, or arugula) with a protein such as cooked chicken and a healthy fat such as an avocado
- Quinoa bowl
- Burger bowl
- Smoothie or smoothie bowl (I know of someone who has a single serve blender such as a Ninja. She puts her ingredients in the blender in the morning but doesn’t make until lunch. The blender is easy to take to work and blend in the lunchroom.)
- Wrap made with coconut wrap
- Veggie bowl (raw or cooked) with egg salad
- Soup (If you can’t warm at work, take in a stainless steel thermos)
- Tuna or salmon salad (with no mayonnaise)
- Pasta salad with many veggies and non-nitrate bacon, if you aren’t gluten-free
- Salads with beans or lentils
- Lettuce wraps
- Roasted veggies with a protein side such as sardines
- Protein drink with raw veggies and a piece of fruit and a few nuts
Always keep in mind that you should have all three macronutrients in your lunch as you create your yummy, healthy lunches.
There are many bloggers who have created lists of healthy lunches. I have pinned several on my Health Lunch Ideas Pinterest Board. You will find great ideas to help you create the healthy lunches listed above.
Don’t settle for a plain salad or a sandwich when you can eat a well-balanced, nutritious lunch that is easy to take with you.
Comment below on your favorite lunch to take and/or eat.