Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 14, 2018

25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work

25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work

Preparing and bringing meals to work can feel awkward when you’re accustomed to running out and grabbing a meal on break. This habit can really start to put a dent in your wallet and your health when choices are limited to cheap fast food or fresh but expensive, made-for-you meals.

Try balancing the scale a bit and prepping a couple meals for lunch each week.

If you’re stuck on what to make, here are 25 ideas of healthy lunches you can bring to work without breaking the bank or sucking too much time from your routine.

1. Sweet Potato Hummus

    Hummus is a nutritious dip or spread that can go with just about anything! Making your own gives you the know over exactly what’s in your meal.

    Pack a small dish with your homemade dip, fresh carrots, celery, and grapes, with whole grain chips, pitas, or sliced bread for a cafe-style lunch box.

    ~ Get the recipe here!

    2. Chicken, Rice & Veggies

      It sounds all too easy, but why pay for a rice bowl when you can make one fresh from home? Simply cook your rice and steam your favorite vegetables ahead of time.

      Add chicken, steak, or grilled tofu on top. Sprinkle with parsley, cumin, or curry according to your palate.

      ~ Get the recipe here!

      3. Slow Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Stew

        Curry is a profound spice with a multitude of health benefits. With this stew, you give your digestive system a bit of a break from heavy meats and meals.

        It’s a great option if you’re trying to stick to a cleanse or reset before Fall arrives. This recipe makes it easy on you to prep and let the crockpot do the rest!

        ~ Get the recipe here!

        4. Spicy Tuna Sandwiches

          Only a few ingredients are needed to complete this quick mix in under 15 minutes.

          Tuna is a good source for protein and essential fatty acids. This recipe kicks it up a notch with protein powered beans and a little heat.

          All that’s left is to choose your favorite bread or hoagie, (whole grain is recommended). Top with fresh tomato, avocado, and even bacon to take this everyday sandwich over the top.

          ~ Get the recipe here!

          5. Steak Fajita Salad

            Fajitas are fun to eat and simple to cook. Using fresh produce for your meal utilizes the powerful effects they have when freshly ripened.

            Onions are strong detoxifiers and bell peppers are hydrating and provide vitamins unique to their colors. Steak is a great source for protein, but try to go grass-fed if you can!

            Advertising

            The same dish can be made with alternative proteins, and even salmon or shrimp if you’re craving seafood.

            ~ Get the recipe here!

            6. Turkey and Mashed Potato Casserole

              This nontraditional casserole is great for when the weather starts to cool down.

              Potatoes catch a bad carb reputation, however if you’re really busting your tail during the week, extra carbs will support your efforts, not kill them.

              For variety, mix in seasonal veggies before you bake it. Then, you can enjoy leftovers or bring it to share with your coworkers!

              ~ Get the recipe here!

              7. Tofu Lettuce Wraps

                This easy lunch barely requires any cooking and serves your body with lightweight nutrients to keep you running through the rest of your day.

                You can also swap the tofu for grilled chicken, or add lightly diced and grilled veggies to mix up your leftovers for the following day.

                ~ Get the recipe here!

                8. Thanksgiving Waffles

                  This dish will be sure to satisfy a few up and coming cravings as we welcome Fall season and holidays.

                  Turkey naturally boosts your body’s happy chemical- serotonin, and cranberries are a powerfully cleansing fruit packed with vitamin C. I’d recommend making your own waffle mix with gluten-free flour, like coconut or almond flour. All around, this may be one of the best recipe ideas ever.

                  Get the recipe here!

                  9. Southwest Chicken Wrap

                    Wraps are perfect options for a busy day. They are easy to make, store, and eat on the go while providing you with enough fuel to conquer your schedule.

                    For really fresh flavor, I’d hit the farmer’s market to buy your corn and peppers. But if needed, frozen veggies work just fine!

                    You can grab a cooked rotisserie chicken to make it even easier on yourself, too! Vegans may enjoy the same dish with a creamy garlic and almond cream dressing and alternative cheese.

                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                    10. Lemon Chicken & Asparagus Stir-Fry

                      With only a couple of ingredients, this dish is fairly quick to make. Lemon juice helps to preserve foods and keep them fresh longer.

                      You can change out and mix up your rice for couscous, quinoa, or noodles.

                      Advertising

                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                      11. Apple, Almond Butter, & Granola Sandwiches

                        If you ever find yourself craving sweets at lunch time, these sandwiches may be your new best friend.

                        Apples are energizing and contain cleansing properties to boost your metabolism, while almond butter is a rich source for healthy fats. Pairing these with whole grain granola provides a balanced and inexpensive meal for your lunch hour.

                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                        12. Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

                          Hummus spreads have caught a lot of hype, and for good reason! It’s a delicious way to get in protein and fiber, as well as minerals that support your nervous system.

                          If you’re not a fan of sprouts, try using fresh bell peppers or sliced cucumbers for a refreshing pop.

                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                          13. Taco Salad in a Jar

                            Made with ground turkey rather than beef, this recipe is much lighter on your stomach and easy to pack the night before.

                            You can also add fresh salsa with mango and parsley, baby Kale instead of romaine lettuce for a superfood boost, and alternative cheese for an allergen friendly choice.

                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                            14. Apricot & Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich

                              Chicken salad is an easy go-to when you’re short on time or want to prep for the week.

                              Apricots pack a serious punch when it comes to digestive and circulatory health. They are especially great for women’s reproductive health.

                              Almonds help to burn excess fats and rebuild muscles mass, making them a perfect blend of nutrients as well.

                              For a vegan option, use grilled tofu instead of chicken.

                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                              15. Shrimp and Grits

                                Shrimp are a light source of protein and are easy to prepare for this slow-cooker idea.

                                You can change out a few ingredients to make it dairy-free, using nut-milk alternatives for the butter and creams.

                                You can also add hearty veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes instead of grits for a rich source of healthy carbs to keep you full and focused.

                                Advertising

                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                16. Sesame-Ginger Noodles

                                  Another light dish with multiple choices to mix and match ingredients to your liking.

                                  You could use veggie noodles for extra nutritional boost and top with various seeds, almonds, avocado.

                                  Add lightly grilled chicken, tofu, or steak on top for satisfying protein and you’re good to go!

                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                  17. Sun-Dried-Tomato & Pasta Salad

                                    Tomatoes are an excellent source for vitamin C. Pair them with a delicious pasta, whether its whole grain, brown rice pasta, or even zucchini noodles, and you’ve got a meal that will help you stay lean without missing a beat.

                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                    18. Wheat Berry & Citrus Salad

                                      This lunch recipe can go just about anywhere with you. It doesn’t require much to make and can be cooked in larger batches so you can get the most from your leftovers.

                                      A dairy-free version can be made without the Feta cheese, or by swapping for a vegan alternative.

                                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                                      19. Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl

                                        Sweet potatoes are great sources for carbs because they are rich in vitamins and minerals that support your digestive system and a healthy metabolism.

                                        Broccoli provides rich green nutrients and helps to cleanse your body and support your immune system.

                                        Combining the two creates a delicious, guilt-free lunch that works to keep you operating at your best and brightest!

                                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                                        20. Chickpea, Cherry Tomato & Feta Salad

                                          Chickpea contains muscle-building amino acids, protein, and healthy fats that also support weight goals and mental performance.

                                          To make this dish totally vegan or vegetarian, simply nix the feta and go with a vegan cheese for the creamy effect.

                                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                                          21. One-Pot Pesto & Pea Pasta

                                          Advertising

                                            If you’ve only got one pot to spare, it’s all you need to cook this dish in under 30 minutes.

                                            You can purchase pesto from the store or try your hand at homemade. Making your own pesto with freshly picked Basil leaves is a wonderful way to connect with your food.

                                            Still feel like it needs a little something more? Add cherry tomatoes, olives, and chicken for an even more fulfilling meal.

                                            For gluten-free options, you can also try the same recipe with brown rice pasta or veggie noodles.

                                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                                            22. Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

                                              Mix up your traditional pasta salad with homemade avocado spread!

                                              You can definitely stretch this as a side for a few lunches, pairing each with a different protein like a garlic-lemon chicken or top it off with baked salmon!

                                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                                              23. No-Bake Oat, Peanut Butter, & Granola Bars

                                                If you know your day is going to be non-stop, these easy granola bars may be your saving grace! You only need to mix together 4 ingredients and chill the bars to firm.

                                                Delicious, healthy, and easy for any day of the week. And the kids love them, too!

                                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                24. Cucumber-Lox Toast

                                                  Here’s another quick fix made with only five ingredients! This recipe gives you about 12 grams of protein, plus the health benefits found in yogurt like natural probiotics.

                                                  If you choose whole grain bread, the whole meal with remain very low in fat and boost your energy for the second half of your day.

                                                  If you only want to bring one or two slices, it would pair well with a side of fresh berries, sliced apples, or banana chips.

                                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                  25. Blueberry-Orange Parfait

                                                    Parfaits don’t have to be just breakfast or dessert, they can make filling lunches. This one is made with fresh and energizing fruit.

                                                    You can add almonds, granola, and even more fruit for a larger portion.

                                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                    With these 25 healthy lunch recipes, you can spice up your lunch break without breaking the bank. From now on, you can get the most from your lunch break with fresh and healthy lunches!

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                    More by this author

                                                    Alexa Sponaugle

                                                    Holistic Health Coach

                                                    25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work 25 Easy Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try (And Go Paleo) This Week 25 Healthy Summer Recipes to Enhance Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body 25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                                                    Trending in Physical Strength

                                                    1 17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious 2 How to Prevent Neck Pain from Sleeping (And Quick Fixes to Help You) 3 Do Essential Oils for Weight Loss Actually Work? 4 3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation 5 Understanding Intermittent Fasting Benefits: More Than Just Weight Loss

                                                    Read Next

                                                    Advertising
                                                    Advertising
                                                    Advertising

                                                    Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                                    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                                    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                                    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                                    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                                    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                                    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                                    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                                    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                                    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                                    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                                    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                                    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                                    Listen carefully:

                                                    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                                    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                                    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                                    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                                    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                                    1. Pray Daily

                                                    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                                    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                                    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                                    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                                    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                                    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                                    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                                    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                                    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                                    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                                    3. Smile Often

                                                    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                                    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                                    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                                    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                                    4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                                    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                                    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                                    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                                    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                                    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                                    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                                    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                                    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                                    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                                    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                                    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                                    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                                    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                                    How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                                    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                                    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                                    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                                    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                                    8. Go Exercise

                                                    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                                    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                                    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                                    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                                    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                                    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                                    More Resources About Mindfulness

                                                    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    Read Next