A big thanks to Lisa for hosting all these wonderful Tuesday fit tips.
When making my breakfast, lunch and dinner I aim to focus on including five components: protein, fat, carbohydrate, greens and something fun.
I follow these guidelines in order to best nourish my body. Often when I leave out a component or if my portion isn’t large enough, I am hungry shortly thereafter.
Here is what I mean:
Black bean burger – protein
Avocado – fat
Sweet potato – carbohydrate*
Spinach salad – greens
Trail mix – something fun**
Nothing too complicated right? Keep it simple.
Protein, fat and greens are always components of my meals.
*I do not always include a carbohydrate source. This is dependent on my activity level and time of day.
**When I say “something fun“, I’m not talking about a Kit Kat bar or bag of cookies. (Oh darn!) I still ensure that my “fun” aspect is nutritious yet provide some balance (a piece of dark chocolate, dried fruit, etc). I also do not always include something fun.
When you’re working or on-the-go, the midday meal is often challenging. Sometimes people are “too busy” so they a) don’t eat at all or b) eat something kinda junky. Both aren’t great options. The biggest thing to combat this is to be prepared. “Oh here she goes again.” No but seriously. I highly recommend to make a plan (even if it is just a guide) and prep some food in advance.
To make lunches easier, I like to make one or two “big batch” meals per week. For me, since I am cooking for one, this means eating variations of the same meal (check out this post). If you figure out a way to avoid this, maintain your sanity and not spend hours in the kitchen, let me know :)
Lately I have been prepping veggies burgers, pre-cooking chicken, hard boiling eggs, baking sweet potatoes and chopping veggies to have for an easy lunch. I buy a few avocados each week and make sure I have nuts on hand for a complete meal. Tuna is also one of my go-to lunches because it is cheap, easy and nutritious, especially after Crossfit. This is what “my” section (thanks parents) of our fridge looks like on Sunday…
Full of food! I like to keep all of my prepped food in separate containers and then assemble them into a meal the night before (I find it stays fresher). Spinach, chopper pepper, cucumber, brussels, broccoli, hard boiled eggs, baked sweet potato, veggie burgers and defrosting salmon.
Here are a few “big batch” make-ahead-lunch ideas:
Bean & Veggie Ratatouille – Meal idea: serve with almonds or avocado for a healthy fat option, broccoli for greens, and a piece of fruit if you think fruit is fun.
Tuna Salad – Meal idea: add avocado & hemp seeds (fat), sweet potato (carbohydrate), cucumber (greens) and a handful of frozen grapes (fun)
Baked Falafel – Meal idea: serve with tahini (fat), quinoa (carbohydrate), spinach (greens) and a piece of dark chocolate (fun).
Chicken fingers and sweet potato fries – Meal idea: serve with roasted brussels sprouts (greens) and some nuts (more fat/fun)
A frittata is also a great idea. All of this can be made on the weekend and stored in the fridge for about 5 days. When packing your lunch, remember the components of a nutritious meal:
Protein: beans, lentils, tofu, eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, beef
Fat: avocado, fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, nuts – check out this post
Carbohydrate: sweet potato, squash, quinoa, brown rice, oats, millet, whole grain or gluten free bread
Greens: spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli, zucchini, brussels sprouts, — any/all veggies!
Something fun: dark chocolate, fresh fruit, dried fruit (apricots, dates, cranberries), trail mix, Larabar
Questions of the day…
What strategies do you employ when packing a lunch?
Was this helpful? Any requests for future Fit Tip Tuesday posts?
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