Make Your Damn Lunch.

Hey Busy Person.  I know, you’re SO busy. I don’t know how you do it. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to run that business / work those many hours / juggle that many jobs / walk your dog that often / knit that many hats / write all those webisodes / record all those guitar riffs / memorize all those lines / program all that functionality / save all those babies / etc.

Listen, Busy Person, I know you’re SO BUSY and trying to fitness on top of that (and first of all GOOD FOR YOU because that shit is HARD) but, there is one more thing to add to your list of all those things you do.

Make your damn lunch. Just do it.

I CAN’T I’M REALLY BUSY

I know, really, I know you are. But the 5 minutes (maybe 7?) it will take you to make your lunch will actually SAVE you time! If you prepare your own lunch (and snacks, if you’re into those, which I think you are, amiright?) then you WON’T need to:

  • go to the deli / Toasties / Chickpea / Chipotle / Lenny’s / Olive Garden (?) during the day to wait in line and buy stuff
  • work a side job to pay for all the money you didn’t save when you spent $13 on a salad everyday
  • spend another hour a week at the gym to make up for all the extra calories you ate (even when you ordered the “health wrap” which actually has 600 calories)

YES BUT I’M VERY BUSY, DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

Yes. Besides all those things I listed above, it gives you WAY more control over how many calories you eat, and where they come from. You can make sure your lunch is actually nutritious, instead of just advertised as nutritious (those bitches will say anything to make a sale y’all: be smart). Plus, lunch isn’t usually the kind of thing you ever want to splurge for — save those extra calories for a happy hour or dinner with friends.  You don’t really get that much enjoyment from eating a Chipotle burrito alone at your desk, so why not make something you know you’ll find tasty and filling and bring it, so you don’t have any urges to resist? We all know that by the time 2pm rolls around, we’ve used up a good amount of energy doing our job(s) and don’t have as much to make healthy choices.

WHAT CAN I MAKE THAT IS HEALTHY AND NOT TERRIBLE

First of all, c’mon. What are you, 8? Healthy stuff is pretty tasty.

Second of all, I have a bunch of options for you.  Typically for lunch you want to do 300 – 400 calories (for a shortcut calorie guide, just go by the 3-4-5 rule, 300 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch, 500 for dinner — those are good maximums). Try some of these things:

  • Sandwich and Fruit! For bread, sandwich thins are great, but if you’re like me and love you some grain bread, go for whatever awesome grainy choice you want. Use 3 or 4 slices of turkey or chicken (low sodium if you can — I love salt as much as the next 5 people put together do, but deli meats have SERIOUS sodium), some laughing cow light swiss wedges (so creamy), a little honey mustard, and all the extra veggies you want (kale, spinach, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, carrots, literally anything that fits on the bread will add crunch, taste good, and fill you up). Bring a bunch of grapes, an apple, orange, (you get the idea. fruit.)
  • Huge Effing Salad: Ordering a salad at a deli can leave plenty of room to accidentally order a bunch of cheese / dressing / fried noodles / etc, so bring yours and pack it with healthy stuff. Rather than lettuce as a base, which isn’t bad for you but doesn’t carry a lot of nutrients, try using kale or spinach (or a mix of those with lettuce). Then, again, load up all the raw veggies you want, and add a lean protein of either grilled chicken, deli turkey or chicken, dry tuna, tofu, edamame, or egg. Then top it with any low calorie oil-based dressing (creamy is not worth the calories y’all), or I just go with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Egg White Omelet: This is for if you work from home, or are at home around lunchtime (though, maybe it would be good with a quick microwave, but, doubtful). Egg whites are one of those easy substitutions that leave more calories for wine later, and if you aren’t doing some special dish with a runny yolk, there’s no reason not to go with just whites. Scramble ’em up (takes way less time to cook than regular eggs though, be aware) and add spinach, onion, broccoli, tomato, and maybe a laughing cow wedge if you can’t go a meal without cheese (which I totally get). Add a slice of toast or those Thomas’ multi-grain 100 calorie English muffins.
  • SOUP: Sometimes soup is just NOT gonna cut it, so feel free to breeze past this one, OR, do a small cup with 1/2 of the sandwich above. But, if you load up on veggies (I do onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, broccoli) and some chicken, it can be really filling. Make it at the beginning of the week and then all you have to do is grab a container and microwave it when it’s lunchtime. Broth-based only though, no cream soups. Duh.
  • That Bean Stew Thing I Told You About: This is the link. It’s really filling, and another thing you can make at the beginning of the week and have forever.
  • Veggies and Chicken: This is another thing you’d make at the beginning of the week. Roast ANY green veggie in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and bake some chicken breast. Now you have lunches. You can always buy some chicken sausages, which are already cooked, and throw that in the container instead (but watch the sodium on those) with raw broccoli. When you microwave it, keep the lid mostly on, and the broccoli will steam. See? You didn’t even have to cook.You can always add a light dressing to the veggies and / or chicken if you’re bored.

OK I know you have to get back to your Busy Life, but I just want to remind you to ALSO throw some snacks in your bag so you don’t do all this awesome lunch work and then buy chocolate covered pretzels at 4pm.  Have some of these handy:

  • Larabars (I’m a big advocate of the peanut cookie ones, the only ingredients are peanuts, dates, and salt)
  • Apples (bonus points if you pair with with Laughing Cow Light wedges or almond butter — protein, remember?)
  • 0% Greek yogurt with honey or jam (Greek yogurt is the shit, always and forever).
  • 2% cottage cheese, they come in little 4oz packs. So easy.

Anyway, you get the idea. Be prepared. Buying lunch everyday might not seem like a big calorie hike, but in the long run it can make a BIG difference. Just make your damn lunch.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING GET BACK TO WORK.

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9 comments
  1. jennifer johnson said:

    best headline to date. keep it up! xo

    ________________________________

    • chhandab said:

      Thanks Britt. You have been sooo… great. Thanks very much.
      I am also looking at the following.

      Self-Discipline is key here, hopefully it gets easier.

      http://www.rd.com/digestdiet

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