January means fresh starts, and when it comes to work lunches you’re probably aiming for more salad greens and less taco truck or food cart fare. Who even knows what’s in those meals? Yes, they taste great, but they’ve got to go because they don't align with your healthier goals.
So where does that leave you? Hopefully not bored, because you can definitely whip up some spectacular lunches without any culinary skills or crazy strategizing. Here’s how to up your office lunch game, so you feel better in the long run.
1. Stock Up
One of the biggest reasons for failure on a diet, whether it’s a loose commitment to eat less junk or a full-blown vegan overhaul, is lack of planning. Remember that old adage: fail to plan, plan to fail?
Create a menu in advance, complete with recipes and designated days, and then spend some time putting things together in bulk. Stock up and prepare so you don’t end up at the vending machine, hungry and out of options.
2. Think Outside the Bread Box
Tired of eating the same insipid sandwiches day after day? It’s time to shop around -- online, of course.
The World Wide Web really is a wonderful place for foodies, and that’s because there are some really talented food bloggers out there sweating it out in the kitchen, and posting their successes online -- with amazing pics! Take a peek at some of those websites, snag some simple recipes that appeal to you, and start making lunches that excite you.
Side note: Sign up for a Pinterest account (if you haven’t already) and create a work lunch recipe board. You can "pin” recipes you want to try, then revisit that board when you need ideas.
3. Stretch Your Dinner
Okay, so leftovers are not a new concept, but many people forget that cooking once and eating twice really is the easiest way to ensure you eat a healthy lunch. But take the next step to avoid redundancy…
4. Recycle with Flair
If eating the same meal for dinner and the very next day doesn’t fascinate you, try using leftover ingredients to make a whole new meal.
Top a bed of greens with last night’s beans, make a wrap of your main course, add some hot sauce, a tasty dressing, or avocado to your tuna to give it an entirely different taste. Don’t just pack the same old meal.
Recycle the contents and add some new flavor/flair.
5. Have Breakfast for Lunch
If a hearty bowl of your favorite cereal, oatmeal with organic honey and cinnamon, or a vegetable omelet sounds awesome to you, why limit this meal to the morning?
Have breakfast for lunch, lunch for breakfast, and a ton of fun with your food.
Do these simple tips make you want to join the brown bag lunch club? Tell us how you make your lunches healthy and hassle-free. Leave a note in the comments!