Friday, June 11, 2010

Healthy Brown Baggin' Ideas

Happy Friday to all! TGIF!

I had a recent request for lunch ideas. I know we can get bored with the same old Turkey or PB & J about some variation!
First we want to make sure our lunches are well-rounded and satisfying; this will help us get through the 3 o'clock energy slump and keep us from jumping into a convenience shop for a chocolate bar! Not only is this going to trim your waist, it will also trim your budget! A well-rounded lunch will have a tid-bit from every macronutrient group- some healthy fats, lean protein and complex, whole grain carbohydrates! Check out some examples below...

Healthy Fats:
Olive oil, avocado, nuts (walnuts), seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds), nut butters
Lean Proteins:
Turkey, fish and seafood, tofu, sliced eggs, fat free or low fat cheese, skinless chicken, skim or low-fat milk, skim or low-fat yogurt, lean pork (tenderloin), beans

Complex, Whole Grain Carbohydrates:
Whole wheat and whole grain bread, pasta, rice, bagels, cereals, oatmeal

Sandwich lovers: to get out of a boredom rut use a variety of whole-grain breads, pitas, and wraps to spice up your meals. When filling your sandwiches choose lean fillings like sliced eggs, tuna fish, cheese or lean meats. Add some pizzazz with different veggies; cucumbers, sprouts, pesto spreads, hummus, sun-dried tomato, carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs. The options are endless...this is where you need to be creative!

Rabbits: love a salad filled to the brim of the bowl with veggies? Just because your on the go doesn't mean you can't nibble on one! Build it at home! Use dark leafy greens for the base (spinach, spring mix), top with avocado, seeds, any kind of bean you like, hummus, corn, cucumber, carrot...whatever you like. Make it a taco salad, mediterranean or fruit inspired (I'm thinking Panera)! Splash it with a Tbsp or 2 of your favorite flavored vinegar. My newest favorite is white balsamic vinegar! Lip smacking good!

Seriously, Quick: If your really pinched for time and cannot find a second to sit and eat a meal, pair whole pieces of fruit (apple, orange, banana, peach) with a bar (with less than 12 gm of sugar) and some veggie sticks (peppers, carrots, celery all travel well).
-A couple of crackers with a laughing cow cheese wedge and a piece of fruit
-Nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew) smeared on an apple or banana and a yogurt
-String cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and dried cereal (low sugar) are all great go to items too.
*Again, make sure you pair a fat, carbohydrate and protein for ultimate satiety.

Leftovers: This is my favorite kind of lunch. It is great for variation and portion control! Anything you make at home can be transported to the office : )

Keep it safe! Can't throw your food in the fridge when you get to the office? Invest in a lunchbox, Thermos, reusable plastic containers, plastic baggies, and ice packs to keep your lunch at the proper temperature.

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