A healthy lifestyle blog by ACE Certified Group Exercise Trainer.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Not having a plan for lunch is like a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off. Before you know it, that unsatiable hunger has set in and you are in the drive thru at the McDonalds attempting to order a semi-healthy wrap only to find out the sauces and crispy chicken result in a 600 calorie meal anyway. So what's a busy girl to do?

The best option for success during lunch time is to plan your meals ahead. Know what you will be having every. single. day. 

I will share some of my go-to recipes for lunch. Of course dinner left-overs are always an option, but for our family we rarely have leftovers, and if we do my husband takes them to work, so I am always scrambling for quick healthy lunch ideas!

Rachel Beller
12 hard-boiled egg whites
3 hard-boiled egg yolks
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (canola/olive oil-based preferred)
1 tablespoon deli mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Optional: 1/2 cup fresh chopped red onion or Chives
Grate eggs into a bowl. Mix in light mayonnaise, mustard and optional onions/ chives. Top with paprika. Enjoy!

Lunch: 3/4 cup (160 calories, 17 grams of protein) OR 1 cup (214 calories, 22 grams of protein) 

Snack: 1/4 cup (53.5 calories, 5.5 grams of protein)

Skinny Mom's Kitchen
Mason Jar Salads (from Skinny Mom's Kitchen Blog)
The key to mason jar salads is in the assembly of the ingredients. To keep the lettuce crisp you have to keep it separate from the dressing or other liquid. Also, you need to make sure the jar is completely dry before you start filling them. I add this tip because more than likely you will wash your jars or ingredients prior to using so there might be a chance of moisture. Give the jar a quick wipe with a paper towel and completely dry all ingredients before you start to assembly.
Layers should go like this.
  1. Bottom layer is dressing or other wet ingredient. Again, this is key. You need to keep the dressing away from the lettuce to keep it from getting soggy.
  2. Second layer needs to be a hearty vegetable like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc. Think about veggies that would taste good marinated in dressing. You will need a good amount of these vegetables to keep the dressing and lettuce separate.
  3. Third layer is proteins or grains. This could be eggs, beans, rice, quinoa, pasta, etc. Next add the lettuce or greens.

Last you would add seeds or nuts. Sample Salad- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar dressing, grape tomatoes (sliced in half), hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon, sunflower seeds, and baby spinach.

From Clean & Delicious Blog
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

Jamie Eason's recipe and one of my go-to favorites. These can be made ahead and kept in the fridge or frozen. Heat them up, or eat cold. Eat them on top of a salad or alone. Truly an easy way to get quick protein.

2 lbs. ground turkey 90/10 or better
3 egg whites
1 cup quick cooking oats
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dry yellow mustard
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chipotle pepper spice
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp garic powder
1 diced onion
2 diced celery stalks


Preheat oven to 375 and spray muffin pay with some cooking spray (or coat with a little olive oil). Mix all the ingredients in one large bowl until well combined.  Roll the mixture into balls and place each one in the muffin pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Makes 12 muffins.


Chicken Salad- Calories: 369; Carbs: 24; Fat: 13; Protein: 38; Sodium: 756; Sugar: 15
3 oz cooked chicken breast, 2 tbsp nayonaisse or greek yogurt, ¼ c celery, served on lettuce of your choice 1 c. melon or grapes, 10 almonds

Soup & Salad – Cal 109; Carb 22; Fat 0; Prot 4; Sodium 681; Sug 12
2 cups low sodium, broth-based veggie soup with a tossed salad (2 c greens, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 tbs dressing)

Mexican Chickpea Salad (serves 3) - Cal 213; Carb 22; Fat 11; Sod 389; Sug 2
Dice up a Roma tomato, some cilantro, 1/4 red onion if you like, add some lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and a can of chickpeas.

Tone it Up Chickpea Spinach salad – Cal 288; Carb 33; Fat 15; Prot 8 Sod 406; Sug 1
Half can of chickpeas, 2 cups spinach, and a lemon juice/olive oil dressing.

Pizza QuesadillaCal 239; Carb 17; Fat 12; Prot 22; Sod 1038; Sug 1
A low carb tortilla or wrap, add 1/4 c of tomato or pizza sauce (I just use Hunts Pasta sauce from can), 1/4 c low fat mozzarella shredded, about 6-10 turkey pepperoni, and spinach if you like.

Peanut Butter Banana roll up – Calories: 250; Carbs: 50; Fat: 2; Protein: 11; Sodium: 445; Sugar: 25
Low carb wrap, 1/2 banana slices, and drizzle with agave. Add a few dark chocolate chips.

Avocado, cottage cheese, tomato – Cal: 428; Carbs 29; Fat 39; Protein: 20; Sodium: 413; Sugar: 4
Half an avocado sliced, add 1/4-1/2 c low fat cottage cheese, tomatoes, and salt & pepper. I add a bit of lime or lemon juice to keep the avocado from turning and give it a little kick.

Open Face Tuna Melt- Cal 362; Carb 18; Fat 8; Prot 49; Sod 806; Sug 1
Mix can tuna in water with low fat or olive oil mayo, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Top on a slice of wheat, add a slice of skinny 40 calorie cheese and a tomato slice. Heat on skillet. Yummy.

Greek Salad – Calories: 342; Carbs: 24; Fat: 24; Protein 10; Sodium 600; Sugar: 13
Mix a cucumber sliced, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper diced, with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper, top with feta. Eat on top of bed of lettuce or put in a wrap or pita pocket.

Deli Turkey salad- Calories: 406; Carbs: 29; Fat: 25; Protein: 12; Sodium: 744; Sugar: 18
Add a few slices of turkey, some sliced apples, berries if you have them, and walnuts or pecans to a bed of lettuce. Serve with a raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Spring Rolls- Calories: 372; Carbs: 50; Fat: 2; Protein: 36; Sodium 975; Sugar: 6
Cook up 2-3 oz tofu or frozen cooked chicken. Get rice paper wrap, and dip on a plate of water. Set aside. Add lettuce or spinach, veggies of your choice (cucumbers, cabbage, carrots). Top with tofu or chicken, 1 squirt sriracha chili sauce or tabasco, and roll. Dip in soy sauce or sriracha. Make 2-3 rolls for lunch.

Salmon Salad Open faced SandwichCal 270; Carb 28; Fat 6; Prot 28; Sod 613; Sug 10
3 oz. canned salmon, 1 tsp. light mayo, 2 tsp. lemon juice, ½ chopped celery, ½ cup chopped bell peppers, 1 slice whole-wheat bread, arugula, red onion. Mix salmon and; add the rest. Place salmon mixture on bread for an open-faced sandwich; top with arugula and red onion.

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