Breakfast I can usually handle and dinner I love to cook. Lunch for me is the hardest meal to make time for, enjoy and make healthy choices. This past year I put a new focus on my lunch and work snacks and I have found a rhythm and saved myself quite a few dollars in my weekly food budget as well.
Making time for a lunch – who has time?
I have to schedule my lunch. That is my big secret. No matter the day or the workload, if I see that it is 1pm and I haven’t eaten lunch I have to stop what I am doing and make that time. We are all busy and some of us are easily distracted and forget to eat. Time is not going to present itself, we have to make it. Another hint is to make your lunch something you can handle eating at your desk if you have to. If my lunch feels like a process to make or sit and eat, I will find excuses to not eat it.
Enjoying your lunch – doesn’t mean fast food
I enjoy pizza, it is easy, convenient and affordable but pizza and I had to breakup. There are other things I enjoy eating too, but the thought of preparing those foods each day was too much. I found that by preparing a few things in bulk or ahead of time, I can make lots of healthy lunches much faster. My household is just my husband and myself but we buy family packs of chicken each week. We make chicken for dinner once a week and grill off the rest of the package and keep it handy in the fridge. We also always have in our fridge a good amount of pre-hardboiled eggs. We also make sure produce is readily available in our kitchen. I can prepare a hearty, protein rich and healthy salad in minutes any day of the week.
Healthy lunches don’t have to come prepackaged
The first time I tried eating ‘healthy lunches’ I was drawn to the frozen prepackaged food section. These meals are usually high in sodium but low in fiber and protein so I was usually craving a giant cookie by 2pm. I think the biggest change and motivator has been preparing or pre-preparing lunches the night before. If we have pasta for dinner, I will cook extra pasta and toss in some veggies and dressing for an easy, healthy and yummy pasta salad.
I am a workaholic (I will work on that maybe next year), this year I focused on my lunches. I saved money, ate healthier and didn’t overeat at dinner all with just a few minor changes and some preplanning.