The hard part of any diet is being creative. It’s so easy to get into a rut and eat the same thing for days and days…Before you know it, you’re completely burned out on eating salads every day and all you want is a big burrito or slice of pizza!
When I decided to try limiting my carb intake, I struggled to find quick and easy lunches I could take to work. When I’m home it’s easy to figure out something but I needed stuff that was easily packed ahead of time.
I bought some containers that have compartments to make it easier to transport several different things without a big mess. I love this and this! So far they work great! No leaks, no mess. The dual compartment ones I have are fabulous. In one side I put some roasted veggies, the other side hummus or tuna salad.
So here are a few of my lunches and snacks I’ve been enjoying lately:
I do these “rollup” things. I take some sliced deli meat (it varies, ham, roast beef, turkey or pastrami, and sometimes I mix and match them together) with a slice of cheese and a little mustard and roll it up. I usually pack 2 for lunch. Sometimes I have pickles and olives with it.
Then I had some roasted veggies on the side. I love roasted veggies! And they are surprisingly filling. I usually do broccoli, onion, Brussels Sprouts, and carrots. (Sometimes I’ll add some sweet potatoes or butternut squash but I’m trying not do that right now.)
I made some tuna salad. I took a can of tuna, added some mayo and mustard, diced carrots, diced onion, diced pickles and some seasoning. Instead of crackers I took cucumber slices. One day I had some cheddar slices with it and another day I had string cheese.
I got some chile lime chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s that are super low in carbs and calories. I have a patty with cheese and some roasted veggies.
I also got butternut squash to add to my roasted veggies.
Also, some riced cauliflower and turkey meatballs. Yum! (Although the above photo is more for dinner than lunch.)
Big salad with lettuce, carrots, avocado, Chipotle dressing and the pre-cooked chicken fajita strips (bought on a whim because they were marked down and they were actually pretty good!).
Kind of of a hodge-podge of things. A hardboiled egg, some chopped ham, and roasted veggies.
Plain Greek Yogurt with sliced strawberries.
Sliced apple with string cheese.
Pickles, black olives, jalapeno stuffed olives and some pistachios.
Cheese, Salami, olives.
I got a package of the Sargento Balanced Breaks–cheese, nuts and dried fruit. I could have easily made my own, but they were on sale so I picked up a package. They are a little higher in carbs than I’m looking for (12grams) but they are good for workout days.
I also had some celery and peanut butter that day.
I’ve gotten some pretty good ideas for more lunches and snacks that I’m going to try in the coming weeks. I think it’s important to switch things up each week so it doesn’t get monotonous and boring. When I was trying to lose 100 pounds 10 years ago I ate the same damn lunch every single day. Every day. No deviation–a turkey and cheese sandwich on low calorie bread with a serving of wheat thins. Man was I sick of that!!!
So I will do another post in a few weeks with other ideas I’ve tried!
QUESTION: What are your favorite snacks and lunches right now?
I do roll ups with low sodium turkey like you showed #1. And I put slivered onion, cucumber, yellow mustard in mine. (I can’t do dairy, can’t do tomato but someone else could add them).
I make tuna salad with tuna, walnuts, yellow mustard, chunked apple, onion, cucumber, celery, carrots. (Could add tomato or hard boiled egg).
I use spinach instead of lettuce in salads.
I make a hash of sorts with green beans, mixed frozen veggies, onion, tuna with two eggs on top.
I like the onion and cucumber! I will try that in my wrap next week. Thanks for the idea!
A veggie hash is also a great idea instead of hashbrowns.
Something about the tuna makes it hash like with no potato. And helps even out the macros.
Consider – be careful with sodium. You had a lot of things listed that are higher in sodium.
I batch cook plain, skinless/boneless chicken breasts as soon as I get home from the store. Can cook in oven, grill, crock pot. I then can slice or dice. Replaces deli meat. Makes things simple. Also economical.
When I buy deli meat, I look at labels. I compare sodium levels. Actually I take a picture of them. Then I have the data. Deli staff is helpful about this.
I too use pickles, a little pickle goes a long way in brightening flavors. Have to really read labels with pickles too. Sodium levels and also added sugars.
Really good post. Thanks.
Agreed. The deli meat can sometimes be really salty. I did turkey pastrami a few weeks ago and it was a bit too salty for me. But oven roasted turkey seems to be ok.
Can give self a sodium intolerance if consume too much. And that often causes dizziness issues/inner ear problems. I notice it most often with women. I did it to myself years ago and now have to really watch my sodium intake. (There are a lot of women with dizziness issues who do not understand.)
So have to be careful not to trade carbs for sodium. It is easy to do.
Interesting! I didn’t know that.
I love putting what I call “plcky plates” together. Have you tried taking shrimp cocktail to work? I like making shrimp, some hummus and veggies for a dip, sliced apple, cheese – such a great way to use up random shit in your fridge!
Sounds good! I like “snack” meals like that. I’m not sure about taking shrimp to work for lunch…I made the mistake one time of taking wonton soup leftovers for lunch and didn’t realize it had fish sauce in the broth…when I reheated the soup I was THAT asshole at work that made the whole place smell like fish!!! 🙁