Pack Your Next Lunch!

November 20, 2014

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Photo credit:stockimages

We know it can be hard to find a healthy lunch in a hurry. During a busy work week the last thing you want to be thinking about is what you should eat for lunch, but it is an important part to your day. What you eat while at work will determine your energy level and overall health if you’re working long hours. The key is to plan ahead so you aren’t stuck purchasing fast food or other convenient, unhealthy options. Packing a lunch will save you time, money, and your health in the long run.

When designing your lunch try to include something from each food group, i.e. vegetable, fruit, protein, and carbohydrate. Some healthy carbohydrates include whole grain bread (fiber will keep you full longer), granola, pita bread, etc. Healthy proteins include eggs, lean meats like turkey, tuna fish, nuts, beans, etc. The more fruits and vegetables the better! Packing a lunch gives you control over what you’re eating, which is especially helpful if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight and are concerned with calories.

A sample lunch could include a whole grain pita pocket filled with turkey, lettuce, tomato (or any other veggies you like), hummus, and an apple on the side. One of my favorite healthy tricks is to add hummus to sandwiches in place of sauces, dressings, or mayonnaise. It is a great source of protein and has a lot of flavor. Pack the pita with all sorts of veggie combinations too. This is just one example of a healthy lunch option.

Plan a few meal options at the beginning of the week, and then make them the night before your work day. Or better yet, pack leftovers from dinner which is a great money saving technique. Also, don’t forget snacks with your packed lunch too! Trail mix containing nuts, Greek yogurt and granola, whole grain crackers, fruits and peanut butter, and veggies and hummus are all great options. Again, they are very simple to put together the night before and will make you feel full longer before and after a lunch break. A simple change in what you’re eating for lunch and snacks will make you feel healthier and more energized throughout the work day.

Read more about the benefits of a packed lunch here
And for more lunch ideas, see the Healthy UNH Pinterest site. 

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