healthy snacks

Light Carb Snacks and Lunches

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:

Lunches

Lunch #1

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.)

 

Lunch #2

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.

Lunch #3

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.)

Lunch #4

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!).

 

Lunch #5

Kind of of a hodge-podge of things. A hardboiled egg, some chopped ham, and roasted veggies.

Snacks

Snack #1

Plain Greek Yogurt with sliced strawberries.

Snack #2

Sliced apple with string cheese.

Snack #3

Pickles, black olives, jalapeno stuffed olives and some pistachios.

Snack #4

Cheese, Salami, olives.

Snack #5

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.

Thoughts

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?

How to Eat on the Go

How do you eat on the go?

Our lives are so busy. I don’t know about you guys, but my days are busier than ever. I tend to over-schedule myself, too. I make plans weeks in advance, I work out 5 days a week, and I try to find down time for myself here and there. When things get really crazy busy, it’s hard to spend a ton of time on cooking complicated meals–or even healthy meals some days!

Recently I had to take Michael to urgent care. He was really sick (he’s okay now) and I knew there was a possibility that we’d be in the waiting room for several hours. It was right after work, I’d been hungry for several hours and dinner was going to be late. I grabbed a few things to take along just in case. I took some beef jerky, a string cheese and half a bottle of orange juice. Thankfully our visit was very short but the snacks helped curb the hunger I was feeling in a stressful situation.

So what kind of things are good “grab and go” meals and snacks? These are just a few that come to my mind. I’d love it if you guys would share your ideas, too!

Breakfast burritos. These are fast to make and you can throw anything you want in them. Scrambled eggs with spinach, black beans and corn, or sausage and eggs. Then wrap it in foil to keep it warm and mess-free while you eat it.

Breakfast quesadillas are the same concept as the burritos, maybe a little messier to eat on the go.

String cheese is a favorite of mine. We buy them at Costco so we always have them on hand and they’re only 80 calories. If that doesn’t satisfy my hunger, I can add some nuts to it.

Cottage cheese is a another favorite of mine because it’s so healthy, packed with protein, fills me up and is usually low in calories. I often measure out a serving in a small tupperware container and store them in the fridge for lunches and snacks. It’s quick and easy. There are also small packages at the store that are a serving size.

Greek yogurt is also a good one. Like the cottage cheese, I measure it out in small containers to make it simple on myself. I’ve been buying the plain Greek yogurt at Costco because it’s a better deal than the regular grocery store. I’ll add some honey or agave syrup or fresh fruit to it.

Carrots and hummus are another snack you can assemble ahead of time. Maybe on a weekend? Cut up a bunch of carrots, put them in ziplocks and get the single serving hummus to go.

Cut up some fresh fruit and store it for fast snacks. I eat an apple almost every day and I cut it up into slices because it’s easier to eat and it takes longer to eat! In the summer time I get fresh fruit and eat tons of that, or I’ll get watermelon and cut it up into easy serving sizes.

Protein shakes are also great for “grab and go.” You can throw together whatever you have on hand and get great benefits from the smoothie! Need some recipe ideas? Check out this site and this site. Chocolate milk is also an option if you don’t have time to make a shake.

I’ve been wanting to make these mini quiches forever now. I just need to do it! They look so good! It’s something that could be made on the weekend and would be a great breakfast for the week.

Protein bars are good in a pinch. Be careful though, some of them are really high in calories and sugar. I like the Luna bars, they are usually the only brand I buy. They run between 160-180 calories per bar and they taste great!

Laughing cow cheese with some crackers are great because it’s portion controlled, easy to bring along as a snack in the car and taste great.  In the same realm, a serving size package of tuna and crackers are good, too.

Making it Work

Most of these ideas take just a few minutes to prepare and assemble and then you’re set (and don’t forget your crockpot!). Having things like this on hand in the fridge make it so much simpler to eat something healthy instead of falling into the fast food trap. If you do have to go to a fast food place, try getting a salad or their soup.

Something else I do is: I make ziplock bags with measured out serving sizes of trail mix, nuts, dried fruit and keep it stocked for easy snacking. Then I can just snag a ziplock on the way out the door. This trick also keeps me from eating more than one serving!

Just remember: protein and fiber fills you up more than carbs. It’s also a good idea to avoid things with a lot of sugar in it because if you’re like me, you’ll just crash from it!

QUESTION: So what are your “eat and go” ideas?