Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is there lunch beyond frozen meals?

So how many of you can name every Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice Meal out there?

Did Miramar Landfill open up a new section to dedicate to your plastic meal trays?

Are you concerned about your sodium intake, but gag at the thought of a turkey sandwich for lunch every day?

I think my best suggestion is to think outside of the lunch (box). Don't get stuck in the idea of a sandwich or entree, think instead of nutritional needs. You essentially need protein, a healthy carb, a veggie, and a healthy fat (to keep you satisfied past 2pm).

*Think brown rice and leftover meat from dinner the night before with some veggie mix thrown in the bowl for good measure, topped with some almonds.

*Think fiber filled whole grain crackers (like Triscuits or Rye crisp) with 1-2oz of lowfat cheese or cottage cheese, and raw veggies with lowfat ranch.

*Consider foods you would normally reserve for breakfast- scrambled or boiled eggs go great with sliced bell peppers.

*Homemade healthy muffins are easy to make and freeze well.

*Another easy standby is to set aside a portion of dinner for yourself to eat as lunch the next day. Not too repetitive, but you don't have to think about two meals which is a bonus. A leftover favorite for me is to take leftover pasta (whole wheat) chop up some lowfat turkey pepperoni, toss in some low fat mozzarella and whatever else is around and looks good with a little olive oil (and garlic if you are working from home!) and eat with a salad. Easy, yummy, and cheap.

Just take a little time to wander the isles of Henry's or Trader Joe's (I only say them because they are smaller and more manageable than a big grocery store. Oh and the fact that Trader Joe's is AWESOME) and look at what is out there. So often our grocery shopping is so rushed that we just grab what we always get and need at that moment. There are some fun, rich cheeses out there, and maybe a new type of whole grain bread you have not tried (I recommend sprouted wheat bread if you have not had the pleasure- high fiber, flour free and very flavorful!).

Hope this helps a little.

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