It’s perfectly fine for a lazy Sunday afternoon, but not so much when you need to meet deadlines and attend meetings that already make you nod off.
The heavier or more processed the lunch, the sleepier you’re going to feel. It’s because all your body’s soldiers are focused on digesting what you’ve just eaten. The more work they need to do, the worse you feel.
But if you keep it simple and healthy, your food provides the nutrients you need to keep going with gusto.
This article gives you 5 fuss-free, healthy work lunch ideas you can use with what’s already in your fridge.
It’s all about making life simpler.
1) Smoothies or freshly extracted fruit/veg juices
1.5 cups liquid (water/milk/orange juice)
1 soft fruit (like banana/raspberries/kiwi/apricot/mango)
1/4 cup any frozen or fresh fruit
2-4 Tbsp. protein powder
2 Tbsp. oats or an egg
1.5 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Optional superfoods, greens, and other ingredients.
6 ice cubes (you don’t need this if the soft fruit of your choice is frozen).
Fuss-free freshly extracted juices No recipe required. Fuss-free formula:
Most of the juice should consist of something sweet like fruit or a combination of fruit, a little less of something extra-juicy like cucumber, celery, melons, a little less of something earthy like beetroot, spinach or carrots, and maybe something herby (basil, parsley, mint) or spicy, like ginger or hot peppers and a little of something tart like limes or lemons. In that order.
2) Left-over pasta salad
Good left-over lunches that can be eaten cold (because you don’t want to spend time heating it the next day) are foods like pasta salad. Here’s a general formula for a great pasta salad you can prepare for dinner and use as a left-over work lunch the following day:
Use-what-you’ve-got pasta salad formula
- Pasta for 1
- Up to 1.5 cups veggies, a maximum of 3 varieties
- 1 cup of 1 type of protein
- Up to 1/4 cup of up to 3 types of flavor boosters (herbs, olives, cheese, nuts, seeds)
- Salt and pepper to taste, with a dressing of your choice
3) The good ‘ol sandwich
- Choose your bread, perhaps wholemeal or seeded
- Use butter to avoid the bread going soggy.
- Select a base – this could be meat, fish, cheese or vegetables like roast aubergine or mushrooms.
- Fruits and veggies that can be sliced flat. A sandwich is often made outstanding with a thin slice of something sweet, like apple or gherkins.
- Spreads – the spread is what’s going to tie it all together. Often something sweet does the trick, especially if you use cheese. To keep it mess-free, use a spread instead of a sauce.
4) Stay crisp salad-in-a-jar
Simply build a salad by putting the dressing and juicy ingredients at the bottom of a jar, and ending it by placing the lettuce on the top after the heavier ingredients. Your layers should look something like this:
- Bottom layer: tomatoes/cucumber/gherkin and dressing/salt/pepper.
- Layer on top of bottom layer: cheese/tuna/chicken.
- Next layer: peppers/onion/carrot/olives.
- Top layer: lettuce/spinach/herbs.
When you want to eat it, simply shake it up and voila!
5) Fruit and veg platter
Popular choices for raw veggies are:
- Mange tout
Make-in-less-than-10-minutes cheese dip idea for 3:
1/2 cup mature yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup very mature white cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup drained and finely chopped roasted red and yellow peppers (bought, not homemade)
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
With a bit of for-thought, healthy work lunches can be made with the least amount of fuss, and eaten on-the-go.
Brought from home instead of bought as a takeaway, you’ll save money and time while you give your body the nutrients it needs for optimum performance and alertness.