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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 15, 2018

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                  Video Summary

                  Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                  There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                  This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                  Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                  In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                  One Exercise, multiple benefits

                  There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                  By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                  When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                  Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                  In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                  What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                  What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                          5. You’ll improve overall balance

                            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                How to hold a plank position

                                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                  • Prolapse
                                  • After prolapse surgery
                                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                  • Previous childbirth
                                  • Overweight

                                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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