Lunch Planning: Easier Than You Think

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Photo:Kitchn

We all intend to eat healthy meals don’t we? Then life happens. Your lunch hour is cut short, you’re broke and my personal favorite; “I just don’t have time!”

The best way to avoid the dreaded “desk lunch syndrome” is to plan ahead for the whole week. That way you won’t fall into workplace starvation mode and raid the company snack machine or down burgers with your mates. Prep is the key and making your meals on a Sunday for the whole week is a great way to stay focused on eating right as well as saving money.

Find meals that you want to eat, that could be Sandwiches, soup, salads etc. – make sure you make a dish you enjoy, that way you won’t be tempted to skip it and grab sushi by the time Tuesday rolls around.

Meal-Plan
Photo:Foodierachel

Compartmentalize: This is the best way to keep everything fresh and soggy-free. That also means have tupperware and a good lunch bag for keeping all your meals together and organized.

Whatever protein you make, let’s just say you’re making salmon, make sure you don’t stack the salmon on the greens. Keep it in a separate container or you will be finding everything  gets a little funky by Wednesday.

Also, don’t just count on that piece of fish and some greens to satisfy your lust for flavors. Make your meals something you can adjust and customize each day. Just because you pack it all up on Sunday doesn’t mean each meal should be the same. We want this to be achievable people, it should never feel like some kind of torture.

If Monday is Blackened Salmon on salad with croutons, make Tuesday Blackened Salmon with quinoa and veggies. Wednesday can be  Blackened Shredded Salmon wraps with spicy kung pao and brown rice. See what I’m doing here? Take the common and make it special with your accompaniments. Think outside the box and you will find yourself saving time, money and a few pounds.

Here’s a good guideline to help:

SALADS:

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Photo:Saladbarmn

If you’re planning on a healthy salad week try preparing the meal into parts:

  • Greens – ALWAYS wash, dry, and get your greens in storage containers in the refrigerator.
  • Protein – Chicken and Fish are the go-to’s unless you have a small office, then stick with the bird. Fish smells.
  • Dressing – Either take your favorite with you, or be daring and make one each day!
  • Fixings – This is the best part! Sprouts, mushrooms, peppers, olives, seeds…make it special!

Tupperware:

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Photo:Thekitchn

Do yourself a favor and throw out all that old stuff you’ve been recycling or hanging onto. By a new pack of containers that fit your needs now. This will make stacking, storing and cleaning much easier.

Proteins & Sandwiches

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Photo:thekitchn

Some weeks you will not feel like a salad, trust me. This is when you break your week into a soup and salad week, or a chicken taco, panini week. All it takes is a little imagination and some good ideas. I love to crock pot a few chicken breasts and all week I use the shredded bird in everything from pulled chicken sandwich to asian chicken wraps. The pesto chicken wrap is a banger. Again, store separately before mixing with fixings and breads.

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