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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 August 20, 2019

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                  The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                  3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                  This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                  Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                  For example:

                  If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tension

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                  Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  For the Sleep Depriver

                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                  • Shut down your thinking.
                  • Calm your feelings.
                  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                  The Bottom Line

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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