Pack it Up: Healthy Workweek Lunches!

21 Jul

The other day at work, my CEO ordered the entire team lunch from a local deli. A few of us chose from the “green” section of the menu, including myself. When a section claims it’s “green,” usually people assume the food is lighter, healthier, and well, a good option for lunch. But I usually keep my guard up, as I’m always a bit weary with these claims. After all, many people go to Panera when they want to eat light, not realizing that a good portion of their dishes are well over 1,000 calories-eek. Anyway, I ordered a field green salad with chicken salad on top. The menu said chicken with walnuts, onions and “just a touch of mayo,” so I thought: decent choice. Luckily, I felt OK after my not-too-healthy “healthy” meal, especially because I only drizzled on a little bit of light Balsamic. However, one of my coworkers was not as pleased. He ordered an Egg White Omelet with veggies and cantaloupe instead of home fries. You’d think something that comes with CANTALOUPE instead of home fries would be the cream of the crop in the world of healthy. However, that was not the case. He said it tasted greasy…probably because it was loaded with oils and fatty butters.

The lesson learned from all of this? BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH. COOK YOUR OWN MEALS. Not only will your hips and stomach be thanking you, but your energy levels will soar and you’ll save loads of money! Honestly, it’s seriously the best thing you can do for your health, your mind and your budget all in 1! I know so many friends and family members who buy lunch nearly every day of the workweek, including my dad. And my dad’s a pretty smart, rational healthy guy but he does it for the most obvious reason: it’s easy. So instead he settles for greasy, not even tasty cafeteria food-blah.

Well you know what else is even easier? Making your own lunch and crafting your own meals. It honestly takes me about five minutes in the morning to whip up a quick, healthy lunch before I head out the door to work. And that’s all the time you need really! Today, for instance, I made a salad with spinach, chopped red apple, sweet onion and tuna with a little olive oil, celery salt, dill and pepper on top. I didn’t plan to make that for lunch, but I made the best out of what I had in the fridge. Some days that’s mixing up leftover brown rice, veggies and turkey burger from the night before. Other day’s it’s making a summery salad out of mozzarella cheese, tomato and fresh basil.

It’s fun to be creative, and cooking for yourself allows you do to that. When you order from a menu at a restaurant, you’re constrained by what’s on their menu, with no room to alter anything according to your diet. It’s no fun to just order something and have that be your meal. What ever happened to pick ‘n’ choosing and adding a little extra zest? I promise you if you start to get in the habit of doing it yourself, you’ll reap all those delicious benefits ☺

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