Lots of folks are out there trying to eat healthy. When lunchtime rolls around eating something that is good and healthy can get a little tricky . . . especially if you are so over eating only salads for lunch. I get it. I love a good salad as much as the next healthy eater, but sometimes the thought of one more bowl of greens just doesn’t hit the spot.
There are definitely other options out there. You want your lunch to get you through the day and provide you with enough protein, good carbs and healthy fat to eliminate any chance of the 3 o’clock crash or leave you starving the minute you walk through the door after work. Whether you eat lunch at home, at your desk or at your favorite lunch spot, it’s all about thinking outside of the salad box, eliminating the unhealthy sides and making good choices. Here are 5 healthy lunches that are not salads:
SOUPS are a great choice for lunch. Most restaurants will offer a vegetable soup, a black bean soup, chicken noodle or chili on the menu. Heck, even a fast food place like Wendy’s offers chili so there goes your excuse for ordering those fries! These will be filling and much better for you than many of the other options. Have a piece of fruit or that small salad (if you can stomach it!) as your side.
SANDWICHES can easily be your friend at lunch. Load them with lettuce, tomato and other vegetables and limit the mayo. Making the sandwich open faced by taking off the top slice of bread will save you extra calories. Make the protein lean, like turkey or white chicken breast, and hold the cheese to make it a great healthy option. Sandwich bread is not your only choice either. Try using a whole wheat tortilla and making your sandwich a wrap or just use it to hold all the good stuff in! Again, no chips or fries on the side! Try a cup of soup or fruit.
OPEN FACED BURGERS can also be a good choice. As with the sandwich, load the top of the burger with lettuce and tomato, and say no to the extra cheese and mayo. Go out on a limb and substitute the beef patty with a black bean patty.
TACOS usually get a bad rap, but not all created equally and some can count as a healthy lunch. A soft taco filled with grilled chicken or fish stuffed with lettuce, tomato and avocado gives you a good combination of protein, carb and healthy fat.
BREAKFAST for lunch is one of my main choices, especially when eating at home. Saute’ some vegetables like spinach, kale, peppers, mushrooms or onions in a little olive oil and cook alongside 2-3 EGGS and you have a super quick and delicious lunch. Top with sliced avocado, tomato or even salsa. Another breakfast for lunch option is a PROTEIN SMOOTHIE. My only warning here is that if you are purchasing a smoothie at one of the regular chain places or buying in the store, PLEASE read the label or description to avoid the ton of sugar that is often added. GREEK YOGART WITH FRUIT AND NUTS makes a great lunch. This was often a “go to” for me when I would eat lunch at my desk while working. Swap the yogurt for cottage cheese if that is more to your liking. Here you have the protein in the greek yogurt, carbs from the fruit and the good fat from the nuts to make you satiated for the afternoon.
Forget about salads for now. Think outside of the salad box and don’t be afraid to eat some real food for lunch!
What is your favorite lunch? Are you a salad eater or hater? What else would you add to the list?
Enjoy Your Day!