What a Dietitian Really Eats, Part 2: Lunch
It seems like lunch ends up being the most overlooked meal, for myself and my clients, especially if schedules vary from day to day or are unpredictable. Instead of planning to "grab something" or trying to make it between breakfast and dinner without a mid-day meal, try some of these options to keep energized throughout the day and not fall victim to the drive thru:
Making leftovers into a new meal by adding other stuff or packing lunch right after dinner makes brown bagging it quick and easy, with no additional planning or effort (my favorite type of meal prep!). I intentionally cook extra meat/protein such as grilled chicken, pork loin, or wild game, rice or quinoa, and veggies to have something on hand.
My favorite way to turn dinner leftovers into a seemingly new meal is by mixing everything together with salad greens and topping with a different type of dressing and healthy fat that I didn't have with dinner. One or two small tweaks and you feel like you have a completely different meal! Here are a few examples:
Original dinner meal: Fajitas on corn tortillas with side salad.
New lunch meal: Fajita meat with sautéed peppers, onions, and corn over salad greens topped with salsa and avocado.
Original dinner meal: Grilled Pork Loin with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans.
New lunch meal: Sliced Pork, roasted sweet potatoes, and green beans over salad greens topped with sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar.
Flatout Wrap + Piece of Fruit
For just 100 calories, these wraps are filling and can be stuffed full of meat and veggies for a nutrition-packed hand held lunch. My fav: Turkey with spinach, shredded carrots, pickle, and tomato. I like adding roasted red peppers or a thin layer of hummus to mix things up.
Nuts, Protein Bar, + Apple or Banana
For days when I'm short on time, know I might end up eating in the car, at my desk, or in between training sessions at the gym, this is the perfect on-the-go lunch not requiring refrigeration, heating up, or a fork. It also pairs nicely with iced coffee. Have an on-the go option in your repertoire for those crazy days!