How To Pack a Healthy Lunch To Work

by diana on July 11, 2014

in All the other good stuff,Raw & Vegetarian Recipes

I have worked at a full-time job up until a year ago so I have packed many, many lunches and I have to say that most of them – have been healthy.

Yet, one thing I hear consistently from women is that they struggle with what to pack for lunch or finding time to make lunch for work.

So in this post that is exactly what I am going to help you with!

I have a lot of tips and tricks and suggestions……so pull up a chair…

PACKING A HEALTHY LUNCH

Some containers I use:

 

  • mason jars

  • glass spice jars with lids

  • glass bowls (storage containers) with lids (or a hard plastic) – various sizes

  • bags, zip loc or other bags to carry veggies, etc (maybe bags you have from grocery store)

  • Salad spinner

It is also all about the prep work. So if you take time to prep things 1-2 times a week you are set! I am also going to give you tips of things to do each day that will take very little time but help so much!

NOW wait – Don’t say “I just don’t have time to prep!” It is time to make time and you do have time, just do it!! Schedule it in like a meeting or a pedicure. It is so worth it!! THIS IS YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!

TIME TO PREP

If you can take some time on Sunday – either a.m. or p.m. to prep veggies, greens and make a couple things to have in the fridge and freezer. You can watch a movie when you do this, you can listen to something great on your iPod, you can watch youtube videos on your computer, invite a friend over to do it with you – use a little imagination and you will enjoy it. I used to watch a chick-flick while doing the prep work – it was my time and my no-guilt movie time.

VEGGIES & GREENS

  • Wash and spin (in lettuce spinner) your greens. I would store my lettuce greens (even arugula) separate from greens like Swiss chard, kale, spinach, collards, etc. Once you wash and spin in lettuce spinner place the washed greens in a bag and put in fridge

  • Wash some of your veggies – if you have a bunch only wash the amount you would use in about 3 days. After veggies are washed they do not last as long. Use the following veggies within 3 days if you wash and cut them. Bell Peppers:  core them and cut into large chunks. Cucumber: just wash 1 and you can cut it into rounds if you wish or cut in cubes for salad. Broccoli: Cut into larger chunks. Asparagus: cut right before using. Cauliflower: cut into larger chunks. Etc. These can be stored in a bag or in a container with lid.

  • I like using grape or cherry tomatoes as they are fast to cut into a salad.

SALADS

  • Make 1-2 salad dressings a week and store in jars in fridge. To take to work add some dressing into a glass spice jar with lid and take that.

  • OR you can take little jars of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar (or another kind), a spice mix, salt & pepper, nutritional yeast and lemons to work and keep there so you can make your own salad dressings quickly at work. Add ingredients to a jar with lid and shake.

  • Bring a container full of chopped veggies and keep it there and each day just bring the lettuce and other things you want to add to the salad

  • Make a mix of seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and put in container to shake on a salad. Store in fridge

  • Make an all veggie salad (no greens) and a great marinate for it. Or make a greek salad – these salads last for quite a few days in the fridge so make a large batch – you can add any kind of greens or fresh herbs right before you eat it

Things to add to your salad:

  • Boiled eggs

  • nuts and/or seeds

  • chopped medjool dates

  • dried fruit

  • dulse or macro kelp

  • marinated, baked or bbq’d portabello mushroom

  • fish or meat

  • beans (black, white, red) or lentils, chickpeas

  • green peas

  • blanched green beans or any other kind of veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, etc

  • artichokes

  • sun-dried tomatoes

  • salsa

  • guacamole

  • avocado

  • toasted pecans or pine nuts

  • sliced strawberries (or another berry)

Simple Salad Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp of any of these: lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, balsamic (any flavour)

  • Spices and Herbs: use dried spices or herbs or fresh herbs to flavour – start with a bit and then add to taste

  • Salt & pepper

Other things you can add to your salad dressings:

Nutritional yeast, grated garlic, grated fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, jalapeño peppers, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, cucumber (if blending dressing)

MAINS AND SIDES

Here are some suggestions of things you can have cooked ahead of time and in the fridge to add to your meals and make them a main course or use as side dish. Also add to veggies and greens that are already prepped in fridge so you can throw together a meal really fast.

  • Quinoa

  • Lentils

  • Any kind of beans (or you can use canned, have them rinsed and drained and in container in fridge)

  • Wild rice, brown or white

  • Rice noodles

  • Buckwheat (sprouted)

  • Frozen peas (thawed in hot water and drained)

  • Sauteed or cooked veggies

  • Boiled eggs

  • Fish or lean meats

  • Goat cheese (or another cheese you like, try a raw cheese)

TIPS TO DO

  • When you are making dinner and cutting up things anyways, just cut more veggies and put aside for the next day.

  • If making fish or meat – make more and set some aside (even do single portions in containers) for the next couple of days

  • When making a meal – make a large portion so you have leftovers for the next day

  • If you want to bring a hot lunch you can buy little thermos meal containers that will keep things warm – just take time in the morning to warm the food (not in microwave, add to pot with some water and cover with lid to warm on stove) and put in the thermos container.

SMOOTHIES & JUICES TO GO

  • Put all the ingredients for your morning smoothie into a bowl at night and in the fridge and then in the morning you just have to grab that bowl and put those things into your blender.

  • Bring smoothie to go by putting it into a mason jar. Make a double batch of smoothie – have 1 at home in the morning and bring the other to work – keep in fridge. Great for that mid afternoon pick-me-up energy boost. Or have it for the drive home after work when you may be really hungry.

  • Make a batch of juice in the evening and store in mason jars to bring to work. Really refreshing during the day – I LOVE a cold green juice in the afternoon.

THE QUICKEST AND EASIEST LUNCH

A super-duper loaded Green Smoothie! Yes, if you pack a ton of things in your smoothie you could have it for lunch if you are really in a hurry or don’t have any veggies or other food made or prepped.

Loading Up Your Smoothie. Add things such as:

  • Ground flax

  • Soaked (or not soaked) nuts or seeds

  • Veggies such as cucumber, broccoli, avocado (use just a little to start)

  • Chia seeds or chia gel

  • Hemp seeds

  • Super powders such as: chlorella, spirulina, Maca, Camu Camu, Moringa, green powder blend, a berry blend, etc

  • Goji berries

  • Medjool dates

  • Protein powder

  • Meal replacement powder

  • Almond milk or another nut or seed milk

  • Coconut milk

  • Fresh coconut (from a real coconut)

  • whole oats

  • Cacao powder

I hope these tips help and I have a really cool project I am working on that relates to this that will help you even more……

As always….

LIVE HAPPY & HEALTHY

With Love, Diana

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