Avoiding the Lunch Time Fast Food Trap
The lunch hour is approaching and your co-workers are ordering pizza or going out for a quick burger and fries. The aroma of onion rings and oregano waft your way. There you are, heating up your leftovers from last night's dinner. You're bored and hungry and tempted to give in. What to do?
This question is asked so frequently by Calorie Count members, that I thought it would be a good topic to discuss here. I've tried to gather recipes for things that you can make at home and have ready to take to work. So get ready to plan ahead for happy, satisfying, nutritious lunches that will make converts of your taco munching colleagues.
Planning ahead is very important. When you shop, make a careful list of all the things you'll need for workplace lunches. Invest in a good insulated lunch bag and some containers with tight, leakproof lids. I especially like the inexpensive ones with a screw on top. If your workplace allows it, take your own utensils from home. Wouldn't you rather eat with a real fork?
Include a fruit for each lunch and try to get a variety so you won't get bored. Buy several kinds of whole grain bread for the freezer so that you can take out just the amount for a sandwich. Have salad ingredients prewashed and dried, stored in the crisper so salads are a snap. You'll need a serving of protein and this doesn't have to be deli meat, although sliced turkey breast is a good low calorie choice. Try to vary your protein by having beans, tuna, or eggs. The key is variety.
- Lime and Cumin Bean Salad - A great high protein, high fiber choice. It can be eaten cold or at room temperature. The flavor is mild and delicious.
- Waldorf Chicken Salad - A new take on an old favorite. It has the crunchy apples, celery and walnuts of the traditional Waldorf Salad, and adds chicken and shredded cheese to include all the food groups except grains. Tossed in a light mayonnaise and mustard dressing instead of heavy, full fat mayonnaise keeps it low in calories.
- Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich Spread - What a great idea to spread on bread, a whole wheat pita, or a tortilla. Instead of salty mustard and fatty spreads, use this and then stuff your sandwich with lots of lettuce and tomato slices, and anything else that tickles your fancy.