In our busy world, it’s easy to over-indulge or skip lunch completely if you don’t have something planned. The best way to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle is to set yourself up for success by knowing what you’ll have for lunch each day. Planning your lunches will not only save you money, it will save you extra calories & pounds on the scale! Try these 5 delicious & healthy options that will satisfy your hunger while maintaining your waistline:
1) Mason Jar Meditarranean Bean Salad
(you can try a recipe from Recipe Corner)
Mason jars are a quick, easy way to pack a salad with perfect portion control! At around 450 calories, try this easy recipe, & experiment with many others!
Ingredients: Dressing- 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp diced onion.
Layer your salad ingrednients in your jar in this order: lemon-garlic dressing, 1/4 cup diced cucumber, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup cannellini beans, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup pre-cooked couscous, 1/4 cup feta cheese
2) Greek Chicken Pita
Ingredients: 3oz grilled skinless chicken breast or canned chicken, 1 Tbsp feta cheese, 1 Whole wheat pita, cut in half; 1 Tbsp hummus, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup each of diced cucumber, tomato & red onion, a splash of red wine vinegar, a splash of lemon juice, & a little fresh mint.
3) California Un-Roll
Who doesn’t love sushi? It can be a budget AND calorie buster, so this make-at-home option will save your wallet AND your waistline! With a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a restaurant, and just 375 calories, you can’t go wrong, & you CAN have fruit as dessert!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup cooked brown rice; 1/2 cucumber, diced; 1/4 cup crab meat; 1/2 avocado, diced & brushed with lemon juice to avoid browning; 1 Tbsp EACH of soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar for dressing.
Directions: layer ingredients & top with dressing. Enjoy!
4) Turkey, Corn, & Tomato Wraps
A simple twist on a boring sandwich, & with just 325 calories, you can add an ounce of your favorite cheese for an extra layer of flavor, or have some fresh veggies as a side!
Ingredients: 8-inch whole wheat tortilla, 2 slices low-sodium deli turkey, 2 Tbsp corn, 2 Tbsp diced onion, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tomato, 1 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce, 1 tsp EACH olive oil & red wine or cider vinegar.
Place ingredients into wrap, drizzle with oil & vinegar, Enjoy!
5) Superfood Salad
I’m a sucker for a good salad, & this one includes nutrient-packed powerhouses kale, blueberries and quinoa! It’s a little extra prep work, but well worth the time for a large salad at just around 400 calories!
Salad Ingredients: 1 cup cooked quinoa, 2 cups of washed, chopped kale, 1 cup grated or matchstick carrots, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved; 1 cup blueberries
Dressing Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tsp minced ginger, 1/2 tsp sesame seed oil, 1/2 tsp water
And if you DO have to eat on the run, Starbuck’s Bistro Boxes are all less than 500 calories (inspired from Tanya Jolliffe) Keep your wallet fat & your waistline slim with these simple, healthy lunch choices under 500 calories & way less than the cost of takeout or restaurant food!