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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!

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            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.

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                      ~ 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.

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                                ~ 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

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                                            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

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                                                    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

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                                                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                                    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                                    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                                    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                                    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                                    Boundaries are limits

                                                    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                                    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                                    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                                    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                                    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                                    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                                    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                                    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                                    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                                    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                                    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                                    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                                    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                                    • When do you feel disrespected?
                                                    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                                    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                                    • When do you want to be alone?
                                                    • How much space do you need?

                                                    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                                    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                                    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                                    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                                    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                                    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                                    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                                    Sample language:

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                                                    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                                    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                                    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                                    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                                    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                                    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                                    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                                    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                                    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                                    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                                    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                                    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                                    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                                    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                                    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                                    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                                    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                                    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                                    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                                    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                                    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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