Healthy Lunch Ideas

The new semester starts tomorrow which means it’s time to start packing lunches again. I’ve got several 12+ hour days ahead of me once travel time is factored in. Going without lunch isn’t an option and grabbing something to eat on campus does work well either. While there are some healthy options available such as prepackaged salad, yogurt parfaits (sooo not a yogurt fan) and fruit cups, the majority of the food available isn’t very weight loss surgery friendly. It’s the usual college fair…..hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, sandwiches, etc. They have a pretty neat grill where they will sautee up your favorite mix of veggies and meat but they are served over your choice of rice or noodles. Besides the not so WLS friendly reason there’s also the added cost of purchasing food to think about. If most college students are strapped for cash try being a college student who also has to rasie a family as well.

I use to pack all my lunch items up into plastic baggies until I found the EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers. I bought each of my kids a Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag and got an extra order of the containers. This way I don’t have to wash them as soon as they come home in order to pack the next days lunch. I also started to use the containers myself. One of these days I’ll buy a bag. Until then I use an old insulated bag that’s made to carry a 6 pack of soda.

Here’s tomorrow lunch:

First Day of school lunch

Salad made with romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, red peppers, carrots and cheese topped with half of a hamburger patty. There’s also dressing in the smaller compartment and a blueberry muffin in the larger one. I’ll have to post the recipe for the muffins. I made them with pureed beans. I started making them this way after last semesters research project. I also have a small thermos that I’m bringing along for lunch.

First day lunch2

The thermos contains red grapefruit slices topped with a drizzle of sugarfree maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Sounds weird but it tastes great!

Here’s a few more healthy lunch ideas:

Leftover salad: use your favorite salad greens or a bag of salad mix and top with leftovers. Made a roast the other night? When not top the salad with diced roast and carrots. Made fajitas? Use the filling mix to add to your salad greens. Don’t forget to include some olives and guacomole. Got one lone hamburger sitting around? I did! Dice it and use it in your salad.

Use leftover rotissere chicken to make chicken salad. Use lettuce leaves instead of bread to create a roll up. Works great for tuna salad and shrimp salad too.

Just about anything you can put on a sandwich you can put in a salad. Here’s an idea for a Big Mac salad or how about a Cuban salad.

Go Mediterranean with your favorite hummus and sliced sweet peppers, carrot sticks or even slightly steamed string beans as dippers. If you want pita chips remember to not over do it. The chips and the hummus can easily become a slider food. Add some olives and grapes to round out the meal.

If your lucky enough to have a microwave then bring homemade chili or soup. Pack chili toppings such as diced onion, shredded cheese and a bit of sour cream. Make a batch of corn muffins (watch the size) and keep them in the freezer until needed. Pop a muffin in your bag and by the time you get to work it will be thawed.

How about Caprese salad of sliced mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of basil (if you have fresh basil to use even better). Bring some thinly sliced pieces of bagette to place the mozzarella and tomato on top.

Just a few ideas to get you started. What are some of your favorite WLS friendly lunches that you enjoy?

 

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