8 QUICK AND EASY HEALTHY LUNCHES FOR THE ONE ON THE ROAD, IN THE OFFICE AND RUNNING AFTER THE KIDS
With a busy day, lunch can be just as inconvenient to prepare as to eat. You’re probably starving but don’t have the time to prepare anything or you forgot about that grumbling stomach because you’re too busy working or running around. Here are 8 tips to make life easier for you when it comes to lunch.
1.THE LOYAL SANDWICH
This is a convenient option that can easily be unhealthy. This is why most people avoid this as a lunch option. You need to know how to prepare this to convert this loyal companion from unhealthy to healthy. Choose your bread right. Whole-wheat, high fibre and low-GI bread is ideal.. Avoid white bread and bread low in fibre. If you prefer white bread, choose a high fibre low GI option. This is step 1. Step 2 will be to only at most have 2 slices at a time. Make an open sandwich, if this has to be taken to the office put your bread in one container and your toppings in another. Choose low fat toppings like lettuce, cucumber, tomato and gherkins. As a protein source low fat cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese or low fat cold meats will be perfect. Avoid sauces and high fat spreads.
2. FRIDGE-LESS LUNCHES
This is something you can keep in you drawer as an emergency meal. One packet whole-wheat crackers, individually sealed, 1 bag of tuna. If you are in a hurry you can easily grab a tomato or fruit on your way out of your house. At least you know you have a basis at work to build a meal on. You can also choose a reliable low GI bar, such as FUTURELIFE® High Protein LITE Bars.
3. ‘ON THE RUN’ BACK UPS
If you know you do not have time in the morning to prepare lunch, pack your lunch after dinner. Put everything in a cooler bag and place the cooler bag inside the fridge. This will only take you 2 seconds to take out in the morning. If you forget it at home, everything will still be fresh for the next day. If you have a big family and one of the kids always has unplanned events at school you will also have a back-up plan for on your way out and you will never be late with his shorts and tekkies.
This can easily be packed into the appropriate portions for the next day. The meals we prepare for dinner can be too saucy or high in energy to have again for lunch so make use of the protein (if it is “clean/dry” like baked chicken, grilled fish or roasted meat), incorporate this into a salad or use it as a topping on your open sandwich.
5. DRINK YOUR LUNCH
Smoothies and shakes can be just as nutrient dense and healthy as a complete meal. This is ideal for those crazy days once in a while. Make your smoothie the night before or in the morning, keep it in a fridge at work and drink it at lunch time. Make a shake with FUTURELIFE® Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ or FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™ according to your needs. This can be kept as a fridge-less lunch as well (powder and fluid separately to mix as need be). You can also keep a FUTURELIFE® High Protein Shake in your bag as an emergency option. All you need to do is squeeze, pop and shake for an instant meal or snack on-the-go.
6. TAKE OUTS
This can either be avoided or chosen with caution. To eat a salad every time everyone else is chewing on a juicy burger is nothing but depressing. If you want a burger – order a burger. Do not order the meal, just order the burger with water and enjoy every bite, but in moderation and only on occasion.
7. ONE HAND ON THE STEERING WHEEL
If your car is your office life gets a bit harder. Try your best to plan your day that you are at home during lunch time and prepare something scrumptious. If you know you are stuck on road during lunch time, go for foods that do not need to be kept in a fridge. Low GI bars, shakes mixed with water, FUTURELIFE® High Protein Shake or ENERGIZE®, whole-wheat crackers and cream cheese triangles. Add some fruit to that and you have your lunch!
8. BREAKFAST FOR LUNCH
If you are a keen baker and know some great healthy muffin recipes, make a batch, freeze them and before you run of to work take one out of the freezer. This will be defrosted at lunch time, it is high in fibre and nutritious. Include some mozzarella cheese or low fat cottage cheese to your breakfast for lunch, with fruit or fresh 100% juice and you are ready for the rest of your day.
Even though your day can get super busy, you can always make a plan to include an easy lunch. Enjoy it, as after all it is your halfway house for the day!
DATE: May 2021 (Review)
Author: FUTURELIIFE® Dietitian