Depending on your occupation, lunchtime can be something you look forward to or just an inconvenience. Many days I find that my lunch meal is an afterthought. It might be 11:30 and I’m starving but I don’t have lunch. In that moment, I’ll take anything to eat regardless of how healthy it might be! THAT is the danger in not planning.
In a previous post I talked about cancer fighting breakfast meals. Today I’ll give you some ideas about stocking your kitchen with the right foods to pack a cancer fighting lunch. It used to be called brown bagging. Now, I don’t think I see anyone bringing lunch in a brown bag, except my dad!
What to Include:
No matter what container you use, it’s important to bring the right things for lunch. Remember that even at lunch time it’s important; I’ll go so far as to say necessary, to include vegetables.
The lunches that I see often have a lot of protein and grain or other starch. A lot of times, there is no fruit or vegetable present. It’s like people are eating meat on starch with a side of fatty starch and a sweet, fatty starch for dessert. Where’s the vegetable?
Where’s the fruit? All we have is too many calories and not enough nutrients!
To make for a healthier lunch, here are the essentials:
- 1-2 vegetables (1 cup or more)
- Starch (1-2 servings)
- Protein (2 ounces)
- Dairy (milk or yogurt)
Here are some sample meals that would make a healthy lunch:
- Leftovers with fruit and yogurt. (I find this to be the easiest one!)
- Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, carrots and red peppers, apple and 1% milk
- Hummus, Raw veggies, Triscuits, banana and yogurt
- Trail mix, salad, chocolate 1% milk
- Tuna salad with celery and cherry tomatoes, vegetable soup and fruit
- Turkey wrap, yogurt, orange, carrot sticks
- Healthy choice frozen meal, salad, fruit and soy milk.
Many times, I have some of these ingredients in my work cabinet, fridge or drawer. That way, if I’ve forgotten my lunch, I have some food on standby to fall back on.
Don’t know if you need to improve your lunch or not? Try keeping a food log at lunch time to see how you’re doing.
Have a great week and be sure to pack your lunch!