Even after eating a good and healthy breakfast, your body is going to be ready for another nourishing meal. A meal that just so happens to fall in the middle of the day.
You know. Lunch.
Personally, lunch tends to be a fend for yourself meal around our home, but I do try and come up with a basic meal plan for the week to make sure it’s always balanced. And while breakfast is important because it’s your first meal of the day, lunch is equally important as it helps keep your insulin levels stable and gives you energy throughout the afternoon. So even if you’re busy, make sure you eat something!
My few lunch rules:
- No white bread. Ever. White flour is completely stripped of all nutritional value, so either buy a nice wheat bread (look at the labels though!) or make your own. Personally, I make my own.
- No pop. I’ll get into the whole pop thing later, but just don’t drink it.
- No fast food. Unless you are at work and totally forgot your lunch. (yea, I did that a few times while I was working:-)
- No sweets. Brush your teeth if you don’t care for the aftertaste of lunch, just stay away from all things sugar.
- Eat your veggies. At least one, preferably two servings.
- Include protein.
- and a serving of dairy.
I’m also pretty basic when it comes to my meals. As in, I can be rather picky and standoff-ish about eating foods I think are weird! So we do stick to more traditional foods around here. I also don’t normally plan each day specifically, but I always have a list of meals I know I have on hand.
Some of my weekly meals:
- Salad. No better way to easily get in a couple servings of vegetables! My salads normally consist of both iceberg and romaine lettuce, along with baby spinach (great for folic acid!), as well as cut up veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and celery. For protein, I’ll also add in any cut up meat that was leftover from a previous dinner, or a chopped egg. For some dairy, add a bit of un-dyed (as in not yellow or orange) cheese. And it’s topped off with a nice organic dressing. (always choose an organic dressing as they don’t have any msg or high fructose corn syrup) I have tried to make my own, but have not liked one enough to make it again. In other words – if you have one you like, pass it on to me!
- Egg or tuna salad sandwiches. If I don’t have eggs for breakfast, and I’ve got a busy day, I’ll make a nice egg salad sandwich with some chopped veggies. And I usually have tuna once a week, as fish (in moderation) is a source of healthy fats. On the side are always a pile of veggies, either leftovers from dinner or cut up and fresh.
- Chicken and rice. I love when I have them both leftover from dinner and don’t actually have to cook them for lunch. But either way, chicken and a nice brown rice along with a healthy bit of steamed veggies (my favorite is broccoli!) makes for a nice ‘comfort food’ lunch.
- Omelets. Another easy meal. Easy to make, and easy to fill full of everything I need to eat, like lots of veggies and cheese.
- Potatoes and steamed veggies. And of course I eat them both with real butter!
- Chicken noodle soup. Another great way to eat most of your nutritional needs in one big bowl. And I’m not talking about that nasty Campbells stuff either. It’s easy to make at home, and you can even buy organic stock for a reasonable price. Just load it up with chicken, carrots, and celery, along with a nice healthy wheat noodle and it’s a great meal.
Hope this gave you some ideas for your own healthy lunches!