Do you buy lunch most days because you don’t have time to make it? Or maybe you succumb to a few sweet temptations especially at 3pm…Many people do and while you can sometimes find healthy options, often temptation gets the better of us or what may seem healthy, isn’t as healthy as we though. Also buying lunch everyday can get a bit expensive…But lunch doesn’t have to be complicated, elaborate, time consuming nor does it have to break the bank balance. Try these tips.
- Have the ingredients you need available
This may sound obvious but half the time we don’t have the ingredients or foods we need so when it comes to making a quick healthy meal, we don’t bother. Make up a simple weekly meal plan and put together a shopping list, then go shopping and stock up with all the ingredients you need. This may sound time consuming but after a week or 2 you’ll be in the routine and it will save you time and money too.
- Prepare in advance
Having the right ingredients available is a good start but sometimes a little advance planning can go a long way to getting us into good habits. For example, why not take 1-2 hours on a sunday afternoon to wash and chop vegetables, boil some eggs, grill some meat or even make a few meals and freeze them. That way you can simply throw some ingredients together quickly during the week or heat a ready made healthy meal.
- Make lunch the night before
If you have to get up at 5am to get ready for work, it can be a good idea to make lunch the night before when you have more time. This is also useful if the ‘snooze button’ is your best friend in the mornings and you like to get as much sleep as possible. This guarantees you’ll have lunch ready and you get to sleep as long as you need to.
- Have healthy snacks and lunch ingredients at work
Having a supply of healthy snacks at work is essential and can help prevent the 3pm muffin and coffee run… Try having yoghurt, low fat cheese and boiled eggs in the fridge, and tinned fish, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, nut bars and tinned beans in your draw. If you lack time to make lunch at home, keep a supply of salad leaves, and quick salad ingredients e.g. cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots at work and throw it together for a quick salad. Add some tinned fish or beans for protein. Or get some SteamFresh frozen vegetables and leave this in the work freezer, then you just have to microwave this and add your protein and a splash of balsamic vinegar. To make a healthy lunch more interesting add 1-2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds and sultanas. You can also add a little chopped feta cheese or grilled sweet potato / pumpkin (pictured salad).
Overall, while it can take a bit of time, preparing your own meals will enable you to keep them healthy and can even save you money in the long run. Once you are in the habit, you’ll find this less time consuming too.