Eating a healthy lunch is important so you can feel and perform your best as you work, but also after you work. Do you wonder how to pack healthy lunches for work without it taking up too much time or effort? Let’s talk about why it’s so important and how you can pack healthy lunches more easily. Hint: meal prepping for lunch!
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Why You Should Pack Healthy Lunches for Work
You have lots to gain from packing healthy lunches, but let’s break down all the benefits. The more vested you are in your why, the more committed you will be!
Packing your lunch saves you money. This handy calculator shows that over 10 years, you could save more than $18,000 by bringing your lunch to work instead of dining out!
Get Your Macros
Packing your healthy lunch helps ensure you get the macronutrients you need. Let’s face it. Restaurants don’t always offer the combination of fat, carbs, and protein you want. Plus if you’re busy with other family or friend activities during breakfast or dinner hours, lunch may be your best opportunity for healthy!
Maintain Healthy Energy Levels
Packing healthy lunches also helps you maintain a stable blood sugar level, which will keep your energy steady so you don’t have that mid-afternoon crash.
Take a Mental Break
Packing your lunch provides a mental break. Sometimes if you need to leave to get lunch, you may decide you don’t have time and skip it altogether. So packing your lunch gives you a needed mental break if you eat away from your desk!
Get to Know Your Co-workers
Finally, packing your healthy lunches for work gives you more opportunities to bond with co-workers while setting a good example.
How To Pack Healthy Lunches For Work
So how do you make packing healthy lunches for work easier and less time-consuming? By meal prepping!
Pre-Cut Your Foods
Whether you choose to do it on a Sunday for the whole week or on a couple of different days, pre-cut your fruits and vegetables. Put them into separate containers for the different days of the week if you’d like. For berries or other foods that rot more quickly, consider rinsing them the day of rather than ahead of time – to prevent mold growth. Bonus tip: flip the containers you purchased your berries, lettuce, and other produce in every couple of days to allow them to breathe and deter mold growth.
Invest in Appliances
Purchase 1 or 2 appliances you would put to good use. Cooking with an air fryer allows you to cook from frozen and save time. Cooking with an Instant Pot or crockpot lets you multitask, cook in bulk, and freeze. Chopping or slicing bulk amounts of food with a food processor can also save you a lot of time.
Stash Your Leftovers
Immediately transfer any dinner leftovers into your lunch containers – call dibs as you’d like! Remember that it’s best to use leftovers within 24 hours though so don’t overdo your dibs. For ultra-healthy, use glass or stainless steel containers such as LunchBots.
Cook extra for dinner or when making meals like soup. Then freeze the extra in lunch-sized portions.
Order One to Go
If you go out to dinner and order an extra meal to go, you can bring those leftovers to work the next day for lunch and further support your favorite local establishment.
Examples of Healthy Work Lunches
Next, let’s look at a few examples to whet your appetite!
- Lettuce greens salad with grilled or air-fried chicken (either keep salad dressing at work or take a small container with you)
- Hard-boiled eggs, plantain chips with guacamole, raw vegetables such as celery or red peppers
- Cauliflower walnut taco meat, stir-fried vegetables, and your sauce (or salsa) of choice.
- For winter time, be sure to rotate in these mood foods, too!
As with dinner, packing lunches for work is easier if you have a meal plan or rotation. For example, pack the same meal for two alternating days of the week. Then pack something different on that day you tend to need a little boost. It’s also fun to throw leftovers into the rotation when you can.
Now you know about meal prepping for lunch! You can pack lunches for work in less time for fewer dollars, and can better fuel your body to function its best. Your healthy lunches will serve you throughout your day but also when you’re off work and ready for some serious play!