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10 Quick And Healthy Lunch Ideas That Fit Your Busy Schedule

10 Quick And Healthy Lunch Ideas That Fit Your Busy Schedule

In today’s society we are all overworked, pressed for time, and stressed. We all want to be more healthy and most people make a concerted effort by eating better, moving more, and getting to bed earlier. But if you’re like me– it’s an uphill battle.

How often do you find yourself working through lunch? And when you do get a chance to eat, you have to scurry to the nearest quick-market or take-out spot, grab something barely edible, only to scarf it down in front of your computer screen. I know the dilemma– you have got to eat to keep your brain functioning, however quick and healthy options during lunch madness are pretty scarce.

The answer to this dilemma is pretty simple: pack a lunch. It really is the best option for busy people who skip lunch, are crunched for time, and who have “working lunches” frequently.

Benefits of bagging your own lunch

The benefits of bringing your own lunch from home are numerous. Here are just a few:

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  1. You can track and control your nutrients
  2. You can prevent yourself from over-eating and consuming large, calorie dense meals
  3. You save money
  4. You have more time to actually eat your lunch (you don’t have to leave your building or area, and stand in long lines).

By now, I know you are convinced that you should bring your own lunch. Now comes the issue of what to pack. The time saver in you– once you do make it to the grocery store– will try and talk you into buying a bunch of prepackaged processed mess. Don’t do it!

Processed foods are almost as bad as restaurant food:

Here are a few reasons why you should pass on the prepackaged processed meals:

  1. Processed foods contain unhealthy additives and preservatives to give it a longer shelf life
  2. Processed foods contain ingredients that lead to overconsumption and weight gain
  3. Research shows that process foods contain ingredients that make them addicting

It’s never easy to stay healthy with a busy schedule. That’s why you need a program to keep yourself motivated to achieve this goal. Our goal system offers a program that delivers FREE and tailor-made materials to keep you updated with simple and healthy living ideas so you don’t need to spare much time and effort to stay healthy. Click in to learn more!

10 easy practical lunch ideas

1. Quinoa veggie bowl

Mexican-Quinoa-Bowl
    Photo: courtesy of http://www.foodmatters.com/recipe/mexican-quinoa-bowl

    Toss together your choice of fresh or cooked vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a dressing such as tahini, apple cider vinegar, cashew, cheese, or mashed avocado.

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    2. Chicken for meals, wraps and salads

    Chicken-seasoning
      Photo: Kevin / Fit Men Cook http://fitmencook.com/time-saving-chicken-meal-prep/

      Save time while keeping variety and spice by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once, using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Sriracha, BBQ, honey mustard — you can have it all. Three birds, one pan.

      3. Chicken, rice or roasted potatoes with veggies.

      Veggie-bowls
        Photo: Jenny / http://picky-palate.com/2013/09/11/grilled-chicken-veggie-bowls-meal-prep/

        Quick, simple, and to the point. Using your different chicken flavor options (from above) you can have different variations of this meal all week without boring your taste buds to death.

        4. Cold cajun chicken 

        Take a piece of grilled or blackened chicken the night before and rub in a homemade cajun spice mix using things you already have in your pantry (or try this recipe.) Serve on top of a green salad, or slice it, and add it to a whole-wheat wrap filled with crunchy veggies.

        5. Desk salad

        Cold desk salad
          Photo: Instagram @orangesandavocados / http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/12-meal-prep-ideas-arent-sad-chicken-and-rice

          Pack bowls with radishes, tomatoes, feta, and hard-boiled eggs (or whatever protein you prefer). A quick tip for hard boiling multiple eggs at once is to place the eggs in a muffin tin, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes– Magic!

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          6. Steak fajita salad

          Fajita salad
            Photo and Recipe: Chungah/ http://damndelicious.net/2015/03/06/steak-fajita-salad/

            All the amazing flavors of a fajita conveniently assembled in a salad and topped off with the creamiest cilantro lime dressing.

            7. Pesto pasta with sun dried tomatoes and roasted asparagus

            Pesto Pasta
              Photo and Recipe by: Chungah/ http://damndelicious.net/2012/07/21/pesto-pasta-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-roasted/

              This is a delightfully light, yet filling meat that will definitely add a twist to the working lunch. Make it for dinner the night before and use the left overs for tomorrow’s lunch.

               8. Fruit and vegetable smoothies

              Smoothie-Baggies
                Photo: Rachel/ http://www.thechicsite.com/2014/02/03/pre-packed-smoothies/

                Buy all of the ingredients in bulk, blend, and then freeze in ice cube trays, plastic bags or muffin tins.

                9. Lettuce Wraps

                lettuce wraps
                  Photo: stu_spivack / https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/410844249

                  Use large leafy green lettuce leaves as a nutrient-rich alternative to a regular wrap. Simply add your favorite fillings. Try vegetables with fish/egg, curried lentils, chilli beans, or falafels.

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                  10. Healthy Left Overs

                  The quickest way to prepare a healthy lunch, is to make more of your healthy dinner. When dishing out your nighttime meal, put some away in a container for the next day’s lunch.

                  Don’t let your busy lifestyle impede your progress towards gaining optimal health. A healthy lunch can help keep you focused, prevent the 3 PM energy slump, boost your mood, and save you time and money in the long run.

                  Find the content useful to you? Click into the goal box below for more time-saving and effortless tips on exercise and diets. By taking this simple act, living a healthy life is no longer a mission impossible for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Kaboom Pics via kaboompics.com

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                  Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                  1. Exercise Daily

                  It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                  If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                  Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                  If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                  2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                  Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                  One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                  This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                  3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                  Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                  Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                  Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                  4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                  Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                  The basic nutritional advice includes:

                  • Eat unprocessed foods
                  • Eat more veggies
                  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                  Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                    5. Watch Out for Travel

                    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                    6. Start Slow

                    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                    More Tips on Getting in Shape

                    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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