More lunch ideas

Here are more ideas for lunches to take to work or school. I hope these help you guys when you’re trying to figure out healthy and filling lunches to make for yourselves.

1. Fruit salad that has peaches, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and banana sprinkled with one packet of Truvis. (I obviously did not take this enormous portion of fruit to work. I made all of this for the week and take about a 1/2 of a cup of it a day)
2. Non-fat plain Chobani with one packet of Truvia to eat with my fruit
3. A peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly sandwich on 50 calorie whole wheat bread
4. Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie granola bars (amazing!!)
5. 1/2 of a honeycrisp apple
6. Dark chocolate covered cranberries and walnuts for dessert

I don’t have any veggies in this lunch like I normally pack, but for my breakfast I am having some scrambled egg whites with spinach and broccoli which should give me a full serving of greens.

What I pack for lunch

Last week, I shared a picture of what I took to work for lunch. I thought that since a lot of you are working and/or in school, that it might be helpful for you to see what I pack on an average day to give you some ideas for your own lunches. I always bring my lunch to work because I know that if I eat what I pack for myself, I will be eating a healthy and filling meal that won’t leave me feeling guilty and sluggish.

This is the lunch I just packed for my long day of work tomorrow. I try and incorporate different flavors, textures, and nutrients in my lunches so that I don’t get bored. I also try and pack lots of foods that will give me energy and keep me full at work. The worst thing to do is to pack a small lunch (or no lunch at all) and then start snacking on all of the unhealthy choices your job offers for food.

1. non-fat plain Chobani yogurt
2. Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries which I will mix into my Chobani
3. Low fat/low sugar granola with one packet of Truvia to mix into my Chobani
4. A leftover 1/2 of a chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes
5. Grapes and some broccoli slaw that I’ll eat with some balsamic vinegar
6. (not pictured) Kashi Pumpkin Flax granola bar (I eat this as my midmorning snack to tie me over until lunch)

This is the perfect amount of food for me and its something that will keep me full for a while. This lunch may be a little bit big for some of you though. I am eating a little extra during lunch tomorrow because it has to keep me going until 7:30pm. Right after work tomorrow I am heading to bootcamp so I will need lots of energy to keep me going until 7:30pm when I’ll finally be able to eat some dinner.

I also recently bought a BPA free reusable water bottle that I constantly refill throughout the day to keep my hydrated. I am trying to incorporate a lot more water into my diet and the plastic water bottle has been helping!

As of today, I have started a one month challenge for myself to see if I can go without drinking diet soda (or any soda) for the entire month of October. I know that drinking soda is so bad for you and as health conscious as I am, I should know better and not drink it. But, it is my weakness and I am acknowledging that I have a problem with it. I am going to take it day by day and see if I can eventually eliminate it completely from my diet. Thank God I am not doing this with coffee. I think I would die if I couldn’t drink that anymore!

I will keep you all posted on my progress!!

Healthy lunch ideas

Is the office making you fat??

I know where I work, they are always feeding us. And there are always cookies and soda around tempting me to fall off my healthy eating wagon. To combat all the unhealthy temptations, I pack my lunch everyday. Here is a sample of what I usually take:

1. Quinoa, black bean, and corn salad. This is packed full of protein and fiber! I add some jalapeno to it and a little lime juice so it has lots of flavor.
2. Fruit salad sprinkled with 1/2 Truvia packet. This had blueberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and lime juice.
3. Watermelon slices
4. 3 Gingersnaps, 2 marshmallows, and a small hand full of dark chocolate chips. I NEED dessert. If I don’t get my fix, then I’ll most likely be munching on cookies later on in the day.

Also, something that isn’t pictured is a Kashi pumpkin flax granola bar which I eat a few hours after I get to work so I’m not starving by lunch time.

By packing my lunch everyday, I know exactly what I’m getting and I look forward to it all day. I can determine how healthy/unhealthy I want to eat that day and by giving myself lots of variety, I hardly ever get bored. I also pack my lunch the night before so I have plenty of time to pack a nutritious and filling lunch for myself. If I waited until the morning, I would be rushing and just pack a bunch of random things that won’t do much for me.

The key to eating healthy at work is to pack a protein and fiber rich lunch that will keep you satisfied until dinner. A healthy breakfast is also extremely helpful. If you start your day out well, you are more likely to continue a healthy diet throughout the rest of the day!

You all know by now that I am a smoothie nut so I normally will drink a smoothie around 7am and then go workout. After my workout I usually will eat another small breakfast that normally consists of protein and fiber will a small amount of carbs. Something that I have been loving recently is quinoa “oatmeal.” I don’t have a photo of it, but here is the recipe I normally make after my workout:

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup coconut/almond milk (I used a mixture of the two but any milk will do)
1 packet Truvia (any sweetener works)
Sliced almonds
Blueberries
Banana

In a saucepan, combine quinoa and milk. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked all the way through. Top with almonds and fruit. You can drizzle more milk over the top if desired.

Figuring what works for you takes some time. Eating healthy is not always easy but it should be a lifelong thing for all of you. It is not that difficult to just cut back on the processed foods and opt for more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Once you make the small changes, you will see such a difference not only in your appearance, but your overall energy will improve dramatically!

If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding healthy eating, I would love to hear from you!! I am always eager to learn and share with you as much as I can about eating well!!

15 days of sandwiches: Day 8 – Broccoli and white cheddar quesadilla (vegetarian)

Broccoli cheddar soup is so good. It’s creamy. It’s cheesy. It’s comforting. But, it is one of the most unhealthy soups out there. I never order it out at restaurants because I know it is packed with butter, cream, and full fat cheese. For me, there are just too many unhealthy calories to make it worth indulging.

But, that doesn’t mean I will never indulge in that awesome combination! This “sandwich” is really easy and quick to prepare and tastes so good! It has all the great flavors of broccoli cheese soup without all the fat and calories! And the best part of all of this? It’s only THREE ingredients!!! YAY!

Ingredients

1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup steamed broccoli
1/3 cup shredded light white cheddar cheese

Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Place tortilla in pan and spread cheese over the entire tortilla. Place steamed broccoli on 1/2 of the tortilla. Once cheese has melted slightly, fold non-broccoli side of the tortilla over the side that has the broccoli on it. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bottom of the quesadilla is crispy.

Enjoy!

15 days of sandwiches: Day 7 – 253 calorie peanut butter banana and jelly sandwich

Peanut butter and jelly is the quintessential lunch time sandwich. I can remember eating this from when I was in elementary school, and I still eat it for lunch today. It’s so easy to prepare and because of the protein in the peanut butter, it keeps me full for hours!

Only problem is, peanut butter is super high in fat and calories. One regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich is about 500 calories! Personally, I feel like that is way too many calories to eat for such a small amount of food.

I have tallied up all the calories for this version and it is almost HALF of what a regular PB&J is! Plus, you get to add banana to this one which makes it so much better!! At only 253 calories, this is a super easy and really healthy lunchtime sandwich that I know you all will love.

Ingredients

1 Tbls prepared PB2 (you can find this in some Whole Foods grocery stores or some specialty health food storess)
2 tsp. raspberry preserves (you can use reduced sugar jam and it would be even less cals!)
1/2 banana, sliced
1 slice of 10 grain bread
1 1/2 tsp flax meal

Spread PB2 and preserves down on bread. Top with banana slices and flax meal.