Becoming a Fit Bride: Start Packin’

… a lunch that is.

 

For many, life can get away from us in our free time and we find it easier to just run out and buy a lunch during the work week instead of preparing one.  I get it – I do it from time to time, but I try to be really conscious of how often I do it.  Grabbing lunch out affects two of my goals – saving money and gettin’ fit and skinny.  And because higher quality, healthier food comes at a premium, it can get really spendy – especially if eating out multiple times a week.

With that said, I try to think about lunches when planning my meals for the week.  By that, I mean I try to cook meals that ensure enough leftovers for lunch the next day [as well as a couple of other days during that week].   If we go out to eat, I try to order a meal that I can take home to bring in the next day for leftovers.  In addition to my “main course”, I try to pack snacks that I can eat with my lunch and throughout the day.  I do this so I don’t get too burnt out on eating the same thing over and over [who really wants to eat soup 4 days in a row?] and because snacking can be good if you’re eating the right things.

Let’s chat about snacks.  Below is a little collage I threw together of snacks I enjoy or want to try.  Most of these require little to no prep and those that do can usually be prepped in the morning or before bed the night before.  [The photo of the yogurt with chocolate chips is a recipe I have pinned on Pinterest – it’s a DIY cookie dough frozen yogurt recipe using 5 ingredients.  Check it out here.  I’ll be trying this one out this week!]

Healthy Snacks Vision Board[from top right: apples and peanut butter, cookie dough greek yogurt, carrot and celery sticks {add peanut butter for more flavor}, zucchini chips, pepperoni chips, yogurt dipped strawberries, pomegranate greek yogurt {trader joe’s is delish}, air-popped popcorn, bananas in peanut butter wrapped whole wheat tortillas]

 

Now that we’ve talked snacks, let’s talk lunch ideas.  While sandwiches are easy, they can quickly get boring if you eat them too often.

– Soup – try making your own [i.e. chicken noodle, chicken wild rice, potato chowder, beef stew]
– Sandwich and Salad – make a sandwich with all the fixings and spruce up your salad with some fresh veggies and your favorite dressing [I realize I said this is boring, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable… pair it with a salad and some some snacks to prevent boredom]
– Salad with fresh chicken or lunch meat and lots of veggies
– French Dip – buy some deli roast beef, buy a croissant and make your au jus sauce the night before… a delicious lunch your coworkers will sure envy [don’t indulge on this meal too much or you’ll feel it later!]
– Pizza this – this works best if your office has a toaster oven… simply buy some sandwich thins, add some sauce, cheese and mini pepperonis and you have a quick, yummy meal [another splurge, you probably don’t want to eat this every week!]
– Chicken Stir fry with Brown Rice or Quinoa – I usually make this for dinner and enjoy it for a couple of days after as leftovers
– Leftovers – make fajitas, tacos, casseroles, chicken breast, etc and bring it in.  You can always add taco meat or chicken breast to a salad, or reheat fajitas and casseroles/pastas… I guarantee they’ll still taste good!

…. and many, many, many more ideas!

So, what are we going to carry these lunches in?  If you’re going to bring your lunch in every day you deserve to treat yourself to a cute lunch bag or box!  And of course you’ll need some containers.  Check out some cute bags/totes/boxes I’ve found around the web… along with a book that will inspire NEW ideas for lunch meals… just in case you get sick of the options I listed above!

Get Packin' Vision Board

[Sources: book  |  chevron bag  |  crock pot  |  mint bag  |  pink bag  |  plastic containers  |  nom nom bag  |  red and white bag]

Don’t you just love those bags!  These are all reasonably cheap, ranging in price from $9-$25.  And that book – you really should check it out!  I added it to my wishlist on Amazon… I’m ALWAYS looking for new lunch ideas!

What are you favorite snacks and lunch meals to bring?  Do you find yourself eating out too much and wanting to change that habit?  Or did you recently – if so, how did you do it?

Xo,

Cammi

 

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