Ahh, the packed lunch…..It can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t need to be!
With a little planning and a basic template to work with, you can turn the chore of making your same old boring lunch into a meal you look forward to tucking into!
A little forward planning goes a long way. This doesn’t necessarily mean meal prepping for the week on a Sunday – although if this works for you, great!
Keeping a few items at your desk (if you have one!) can be helpful too. Cutlery, maybe some salt and pepper, water bottle and a few non-perishable snacks are a good idea.
Think about your lunches when you do your weekly shop to ensure you have lots of options and key ingredients handy. Think plenty of fresh fruit, veges, wholegrain bread, tuna, salmon, eggs, beans, chickpeas, wholegrain crackers, nuts and seeds. Also don’t be afraid of the quick options such as 90 second brown rice or quinoa – these are great time savers and easily portable!
Having items like these on hand make constructing a tasty packed lunch a whole lot easier!
Also consider tomorrows lunch when preparing your dinner. Is this something that would travel well? Could I make an extra portion to take with me tomorrow? Left over meat and veges can be easily turned into something different and delicious!
Another trick is to have some healthy treat items available so you don’t go reaching for that not so nutritious option when you need that little energy boost. Whether this is in the form of a healthy homemade slice (there are lots of yummy healthy bake options on DediKate – like this one!), or some pre-packaged whole food bars or balls, it’s up to you! I like to keep a box of whole food muesli bars in my car for when I get caught out.
Simplicity is key. What you are really aiming for in a packed lunch is –
- Balance – Think a protein source, carbohydrate, fruit, veg, some snacks and of course your water bottle!!! This could look like a wholegrain wrap stuffed with a tin of tuna, egg and salad, an apple, a handful of nuts and maybe a couple of bliss balls.
- Something that travels well and will still look appetising come time to eat.
- Foods that you enjoy and that nourish you – the aim of the game is fueling yourself to get through your day with enjoyment!
- ENOUGH! Making sure you pack enough for your day is super important. This will help keep you at your energised and at your bright best right the way through your day, and reduce the temptation to reach for the less wholesome options! It is really common to not pack enough and think ‘she’ll be right’, but no, she won’t be alright if she hasn’t eaten enough!
Some great packed lunch ideas to try!
- Tuna, egg and pesto wholegrain pasta
- Roasted vege salad with chickpeas and feta
- Hard boiled eggs are a great addition as a portable snack!
- Ham, lettuce and tomato wholegrain wrap or sandwich
- Homemade sushi
- Leftover meat thrown in a salad, sandwich or wrap with veg
- Potatoes or kumara stuffed with tomato, cucumber, tuna, yoghurt, pesto and garlic
- Wholegrain crackers topped with hummus, tomato and avo
- Brown rice with roasted veges, tinned tuna and pesto
- Soup is a great winter option! Loaded with veges, some barley and maybe beef or chicken, delish!
Whatever it is you choose as your ‘main event’, ensure you throw in some extras to keep you topped up for the day. With any of the above, try a couple of the below options for snacking on:
- A couple of pieces of fruit
- Vege sticks and hummus
- Tin of tuna (these are super handy to keep on hand for when you get caught out too!)
- Whole nut and seed bars
- Wholegrain crackers
- Bliss balls – make your own or if buying, look for wholefood options and be aware of portion sizes – these are super easy to consume much more of than you need!
- Hard boiled eggs
- Make your own roasted chickpeas – drain and rinse a can full, season and roast in the oven! Super easy and yum!
- Peanut butter and banana on wholegrain rice cakes (don’t knock it till you try it!!!)
Have fun experimenting with different lunch options and remember, it doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming – or even look pretty for that matter! If you enjoy it and it’s nourishing, I reckon that’s a winning combo!
What are your never fail, super yummy portable lunch options?
Drop me a line at https://kateiveyfitness.co.nz/contact – I’d love to hear from you!