Healthy And Quick Lunch Ideas For Work
Even the best of us cannot survive the rigors of a workday on coffee and granola bars alone. Without a balanced midday meal, you’ll lack energy, lose concentration and your performance will inevitably suffer. Lunch is an opportunity to give your brain a break and refuel the body with what it needs to continue “killing it” for the rest of the day.
But before you grab for that ready-made deli sandwich or caesar salad, remember that these pre-packaged foods, though easy, tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar and can make you feel hungrier. Plus, they rarely meet all your nutritional needs. A balanced lunch should include all these components:
It helps to repair your body and keeps you satisfied longer, so it’s important to try to include protein in every meal. Make sure your lunch makes up a third of your daily intake. Choose lean meats, such as canned tuna, chicken breast or salmon. Or go vegetarian with a hard-boiled egg, beans or tofu or low-fat cheese. Hummus, nuts and low-fat cheeses are also great sources of protein.
Carbohydrates, including dietary fiber, provide a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Fiber also keeps you feeling full for hours afterward. The trick is to opt for complex carbs, which digest slowly and aid digestion. Sources include whole-grains, beans, sweet potatoes, fruits, pasta and brown rice.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help your body synthesize fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, which you especially need if you work in an office all day. Healthy fats include nuts, olives, avocados and fish.
Fruits and Vegetables
They’re vital for a healthy immune system, provide essential vitamins and minerals, and stimulate creativity. Plus, the color and texture they add will make your meals look like art. Make sure a good portion of your daily five servings is included in your lunch.
BYO-W to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Have your bottle of water do double duty by freezing it overnight and packing it with your lunch. It’ll keep your food chilled and will have defrosted into a refreshing drink by lunchtime.
The best way to ensure you’ll get all that in your lunch? You guessed it — pack it yourself!
Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work
Have you ever had those moments where you are running out the door and suddenly you realize you forgot to pack a lunch… again!
Let me paint a picture for you, and you can tell me if it sounds familiar or not.
8:45: Oops… forgot to make breakfast! You grab a granola bar and head out.
10:00 You feel a crash coming on. Time for a coffee!
3:00 You lost track of time. You are STARVING! You gorge yourself on the nearest fast food joint you can find. The day begins to trickle by again. You snag a few more coffees, sodas, and a couple candy bars to hold you over as your energy begins to crash and stress takes over.
8:00- Feeling ravenous again!! You gorge yourself on Pizza. A well-deserved treat.
12:00- The hunger begins to strike again. You try to muster up the willpower to keep you from running to the fridge.
Look, if that scenario at all hit home, then you are not in good company. Working as a fitness professional has really taught me quite a few things: one of them being just how bent our modern culture is towards an unhealthy lifestyle. Convenience is key in our society. While that can produce a productive and fullfililng life in some instances, I have also seen some side effects. I see the people who feel like they are dragging through each day, hoping to find the balance between a successful career, thriving relationships, and abundant health!
Here is the good news: there is an answer. If you are one of those people struggling to make a change in their life, then it’s time to blend convenience with health!
I have found some of the best quick and healthy meals for you to life your busy life and feel amazingly healthy at the same time! Here are my top meals that you can bring to work!
1. Hummus Collard Wraps
I absolutely love collard wraps! And for good reason. For one, they are so fresh and satisfying that you will feel like the healthiest person alive. Second, they are extremely easy to make and pack. Third, they taste delicious!
Trust me, if you really want to get a health kick started strong, a collard wrap is the way to do it!
2. Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
Even the word mediterranean peaks my cravings for a healthy meal! This quinoa bowl is nutrient dense and will leave you satiated with it’s high amounts of fiber. You can meal prep these for the week and have a week’s worth of lunches in about 30 minutes.
3. Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies Bowl
Sheet pan meals are an absolute favorite of mine! It’s as simple as a pop in the oven and you’re all set. These meal prep bowls are going to be a definite favorite for you. You’ll feel like you’re eating a gourmet meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
4. Keto Proscuitto Egg Cups
Are you jumping on the keto bandwagon? Then these egg cups are definitely for you! The high protein and satiating fats will keep your cravings at bay. You’ll forget how healthy you are even eating with this keeper of a recipe.
5. Low-Carb Pad Thai
Have you tried Shiritake noodles yet? If not, you definitely should! These impressive noodles are made primarily of a specific type of yam soaked in water. The end product is a delicious 0-calorie noodle.
Pad Thai has long been a favorite of mine, and these noodles make it possible to keep my blood sugar balanced while enjoying an old time favorite. Definitely give it a shot!
6. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
These chicken enchilada stuffed peppers pack a good serving of nutrients and protein while making meal prep simple. The great thing is, packing it is simple and reheating the meal is not a problem. Definitely add this amazing meal to your meal prep list.
7. Poke Bowl
Have you jumped on the Poke Bowl bandwagon? If not, you are about to discover a new favorite! Picture sushi in a bowl. This incredible is perfect for a day of relaxing.
8. Chicken Hummus Sushirrito
If you are wondering what on earth a sushirrito is, then let me help you out, it’s a blend between a burrito and sushi. Of course, this one takes on a bit of a twist.
To make meal preps super easy, it is loaded with sprouts, chicken, hummus, and veggies. The preparation literally takes minutes, and it’s a fun new twist if you find yourself getting bored of salads.
9. Skillet Pizza
Guess what? Pizza isn’t completely off the menu! This Pizza has tortillas used as the base, meaning you cut the carb while still curbing that craving. Not only that, but it is extremely simple to make. Meal prep or cheat meal? I’d say it’s the best of both combined!
10. Bento Boxes
These lunches were originally invented in Japan and are basically the equivallent of an American lunch bag. Since then, it has become an American favorite and can be filled with just about any filler you crave. From Mediteranean to American, these boxes are sure to be a favorite, especially for meals on the go!
11. Salad in a Jar
Salad in a Jar is nothing new, but it’s a classic that we all should come back to when we get stuck in a health rut. These salads are extremely easy to prep, and even easier to pack.
Grab a variety of veggies and toppings, stack them in a jar, and create varied editions of veggie-packed meals for every day of the week. You’ll be feeling fresh and ready for a new lifestyle!
12. Chicken and Avocado Burritos
Who doesn’t love a good burrito? With this delicious lunch, you get all the pros without the cons of feeling heavy and bloated all day. Easy to pack? Yep. Delicious? You betcha! Filling? Definitely! Looks like we found ourselves a winner!
13. Chia Pudding
This meal has a rap for being a breakfast food, but it happens to make an incredible lunch as well. This meal is perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Another pro? It’s unbelievably easy to throw together. All it takes is 5 minutes the day before, and you’re set for a healthy lunch tomorrow.
14. Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce Wraps have been a long time favorite of mine. They leave you feeling so fresh, satiated, and balanced.
With all that protein packed into one meal, you don’t have to worry about getting a carb crash a couple hours after. Plus, it will keep you full throughout the day. Add this one to your lunch list. You will be glad you did!
15. Vietnamese Spring Rolls
If you have ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant, then you have likely seen these on the menu.
While Spring Rolls taste fresh and light, they somehow pack a deliciously satisfying punch. With this peanut sauce paired with fresh rolls, you won’t second guess trying out this “healthy living thing”. You’ll feel more cultured than ever!
16. Egg Roll In a Bowl
If you love Egg Rolls, you will love these egg rolls in a bowl. Perfect for a meal on the go, this lunch will satisfy you with an ethnic twist!
17. Fajita Burrito Bowl
If you have ever been to Chipotle, then you probably know what I’m talking about here! Burrito bowls are basically just that… a burrito in a bowl! You’ll get the amazing flavors of a burrito but without the mess. It’s easier to pack. Easier to eat. And all out delicious! I’d say it’s a pretty easy meal with plenty of health benefits! Give it a shot and I think you’ll find you enjoy it!
18. Basil Capri Salad
This Salad is definitely one to add to your list. The fiber will keep you full while the basil leaves a fresh sensation for you. It’s a meal that is zesty, fresh, and fun!
19. Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
Something about this zesty blend of food makes my taste buds water. This Buddha bowl combines the flavorful tang of hummus with a hearty blend of roasted vegetables.
20. Chicken Sushi Bowl
If you’re not one for raw fish, then a chicken sushi bowl might be just the option for you.
Unlike Poke Bowls, this lunch is made from chicken that still packs a powerful flavor. It could save you an extra trip to the grocery store and give you the same satisfying flavor. Plus, the rice in this meal can be subbed out for cauliflower rice making it an instant Keto and Paleo favorite!
Bonus Tips To Make Lunches Easier
- Find one day to meal prep. It makes life so much easier if you can have all of your food ready in one day. Occasionally, when I’m feeling more spontaneous, I’ll meal prep just the ingredients to make easy meals the day of!
- Find a few good staples that fit your lifestyle in the best way possible.
- Try some of the below meals for a quick and easy lunch:
- One pan recipes
- Rice bowls
- Lettuce wraps