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Getting in Shape

healthy lunches?

hey ladies i need some help from you! i bring my lunch to work everyday but i am out of ideas on what to bring that isnt junk food! i was bringing a sandwich and cheez-its and fruit but then i got sick of that (and ran out of bread and lunchmeat on the same day) and since then i've just been bringing little things of mac and cheese and chef boyardee. which i know isn't good. sooo any ideas for good healthier lunches that i can brown-bag? (i have access to a fridge and microwave and work if that helps!)

thanksssss!!!

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Re: healthy lunches?

  • I eat Healthy Choice/lean Cousine type meals because they are quick and easy. It also helps with portion control. Then I bring something for a snack to have about an hour before my shift is over. Which gets me through picking the kids up and getting home. I usually bring a bag of popcorn but I've also brought yogurt. I think your sandwhich idea is good too. I absolutely love sandwiches. You can buy different bread and meats to switch them up. I like to add spicey mustard, onions, and other things to make it more like a JJ's/Subway sandwhich.

    I hope that helps!
  • I've been facing a similar conundrum. For awhile I was eating soup. Recently I've been eating a salad (spinach and peppers) with black beans. Although you could substitute the beans for any other protein - chicken, tuna fish...

    That's the only suggestion I have. Looking forward to seeing what responses other girls come up with.
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  • I do a couple things.

    1) Sometimes on the weekend I'll make a big batch of vegetable curry (so I know I'm getting all the veggies I need) and maybe add some chicken breast as well if I know I'm not eating enough protein.  I don't really like brown rice, but brown basmati rice (from Trader Joe's) isn't bad and the curry has a strong enough flavor that it doesn't matter so much.  I add some yogurt to my curry for extra protein and to cut the heat.  I portion it for lunches with no more than 1 cup of rice and about 1-2 cups of curry.

    2) I'll poach a couple chicken breasts in white wine, pepper, and a bit of salt.  Then I slice them and add them to a salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and feta or goat cheese.  Bring some low-fat vinaigrette (I make my own) and you are good to go.  Variations for salad also can include nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts), using mache instead of mixed greens, and adding dried fruit.

    3) Leftovers of healthy dinners.  Sometimes I make pasta (been doing more spinach pasta lately) and I'll make sauce with olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, etc.  When I serve it out for dinner, I'll put aside some for lunch the next day.  I've also varied the sauce adding capers and olives, or adding asparagus or squash.  Sometimes I add a touch of 2% evaporated milk (my substitute for cream).  Grated parmesan on top.  Mmm.

    Hope some of that inspires you!
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  • Ditto on the bringing healthy meals with you!

    A lot of times I'll have leftovers from dinner the night before, plus a couple snacks.

    All my meals are a veggie or a fruit and a protein. So, grapes and string cheese. Apple and peanut butter. Carrots and hummus. Strawberries and yogurt with granola. I bring the granola in a little baggie to pour into my container of berries and yogurt just before I eat so it doesn't get soggy. :) Various salads -- use different types of lettuce, cheese, beans, etc to get some variety.

    You will stay fuller longer if you have a bit of protein with every meal.

    It does take some planning, so I like to keep a couple of those Lean Cuisine/Smart One type frozen dinners in my freezer for days when I oversleep or don't feel like doing the planning or prep.
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  • A few things:

    1) A salad with a veggie burger (nuked in the microwave before lunch), a little light cheese and some balsamic vinaigrette. Add nuts or veggies if desired. This is one of my easy go-to meals. I like that there's protein, which keeps it filling.

    2) Baked sweet potatoes with black bean chili and salsa. It's easy to bake a few on the weekend and then just grab the components before work.

    3) Leftovers. When you cook pasta, cook the whole package. Then, put half of it in tupperware before portioning out to rest to you and FI. Voila! Easy leftovers. Make extra of any meal you make for dinner - just be careful not to eat all the food at night! Portion control is key.

    4) In a pinch, I like Amy's meals. They're pretty healthy, but like all frozen meals, they have a good amount of sodium.

    5) Soup in the crockpot. You can easily make a huge batch of soup and portion that out for the week. I like black bean soup, tortilla soup and butternut squash soup.
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  • I usually make an extra serving of dinner and bring that the next day. Or canned chicken or tuna over a salad. I have the occasional sandwich, usually turkey, chicken, tuna, roasted vegetables.(cant have PB at work so I save it for weekends) I add a fruit, or vegetable. I usually make lunches the night before, after cleaning up for dinner usually works for me, that way it is done and ready for the next day, and you dot have to worry about oversleeping, running late etc.
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  • There are lots of great ideas here!  You can also look through our accountability threads to get an idea of what everyone else has planned for lunches.

    I usually do salads w/ either baby spinach or spring mix and then either chicken or tuna w/ various toppings.  Usually some sort of beans (chickpeas or black beans usually) some onion and maybe half an avocado.

    This week I've been lunching on leftover chili.

    With a fridge and a microwave, you can do basically anything!
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  • Like all the other ladies said, if you have a microwave and a fridge - the possibilties of lunches are endless for you!

    I am a big salad kind of girl, but recently have been on a sandwich kick!  I go for turkey, avocado, tomato and a low fat cheese all stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket (LOVE the weight watcher's kind)!  Then I usually bring an apple with peanut butter, berries with yogurt or string cheese for a side. 

    I also drink green tea in the afternoon to give me a little boost of energy to get through the rest of my day.  It curbs your appetite and green tea is filled with antioxidants! You can't go wrong there ;]

    Hope all the suggestions help !!
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  • Everyone has such awesome ideas. I get alot of my recipes for lunch from the "Hungry Girl 1-2-3" Book. There's an entire chapter of recipes devoted to things that you throw together in a foil "packet" and throw in the oven and they're ready. I get up for work at 4:30 in the morning, and the last thing I want to do is prepare my lunch so I gather all the ingredients together at night. Then in the morning I wake up, preheat the oven, throw my ingredients into a little foil packet and throw it in the oven to cook while I'm getting ready. Typically they take about 30 mins and I just throw it in a tupperware container so I can reheat it at work in the microwave. I really like that book and suggest it if you're short on healthy recipes.
  • LOVE IT!!! thanks everyone you've been such a huge help! since i finally got paid today i can go get some new ingredients and test some of these out.

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