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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

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                                                    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                                                    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                                                    1. Create a Daily Plan

                                                    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                                                    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                                                    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                                                    3. Use a Calendar

                                                    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                                                    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                                                    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                                                    4. Use an Organizer

                                                    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                                                    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                                                    5. Know Your Deadlines

                                                    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                                                    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                                                    6. Learn to Say “No”

                                                    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                                                    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                                    7. Target to Be Early

                                                    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                                                    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                                                    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                                                    8. Time Box Your Activities

                                                    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                                                    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                                                    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                                                    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                                                    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                                                    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                                                    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                                                    11. Focus

                                                    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                                                    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                                                    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                                    12. Block out Distractions

                                                    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                                                    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                                                    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                                                    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                                                    13. Track Your Time Spent

                                                    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                                                    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                                                    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                                                    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                                                    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                                                    15. Prioritize

                                                    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                                                    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                                    16. Delegate

                                                    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                                                    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                                                    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                                                    For related work, batch them together.

                                                    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                                                    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                                                    2. coaching
                                                    3. workshop development
                                                    4. business development
                                                    5. administrative

                                                    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                                                    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                                                    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                                                    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                                                    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                                                    19. Cut off When You Need To

                                                    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                                                    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                                                    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                                                    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                                                    More Time Management Techniques

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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