5 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work
A healthy lunch leads to mega short and long-term benefits, especially for excelling at work and reaching health goals. Find 5 delicious and simple high-protein lunch ideas here!
We have all been there…
It is an hour before lunchtime and the stomach starts to already growl. By the time lunch rolls around, making healthy choices often takes the back seat. (While gravitating to any available sustenance takes the front.)
Something quick to satisfy that intense hunger in a hurry usually wins over waiting for a healthy option! However, eating a well-balanced lunch is important for physical and mental health.
The Importance of a Well-Balanced Lunch
Eating a protein-packed breakfast is the first step to keeping hunger levels at bay throughout the morning. This is because protein adds greater satiety to meals and helps regulate hunger hormones.
So, naturally, the next step is taking a high-protein lunch to work. Like breakfast, eating these balanced meals can offer many health benefits, including:
• Greater satiety
• Lesser risk of overeating come dinnertime
• Heightened energy levels
• Increased concentration and other cognitive processes
Really, eating these balanced meals can benefit the latter half of the workday! They also can lead to mega benefits in regards to long-term weight loss and health goals.
5 Healthy Work Lunch Ideas
From a light chicken salad to pizza pita pockets, do not miss out on these high-protein lunch ideas for work. Oh, and they are simple to make and bursting with flavor!
1. Waldorf Chicken Salad
Most chicken salad recipes are heavy in saturated fat and calories. But this variation is light and packed with protein and healthy fat. It is also sure to keep hunger eased for the rest of the afternoon!
What's more, it is made in batch to last for multiple lunches or even as a nutritious snack!
• 2 cups shredded chicken
• 1 apple of choice, diced
• ½ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
• ½ cup red grapes, halved
• ½ cup celery, roughly chopped
• ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
• ¼ cup honey mustard
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
2. Ration ¼ of the chicken salad packing for lunch.
3. Enjoy as is, smear onto whole grain crackers, or top onto a bed of lettuce leaves. Also use as a dip for veggie slices, including carrot, cucumber, and bell pepper.
2. Pizza Pita Pockets
Who says lunchtime is designated to a standard sandwich? Shake up the lunchtime by stuffing a pita with fresh and satisfying ingredients.
Need some inspiration? Give this pizza-style pita a try.
• 1, 8" pita
• 10 turkey pepperoni slices
• ½ green bell pepper, sliced
• ¼ cup marinara sauce
• ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1. Slice the pita into two halves and open into "pockets".
2. Stuff the pockets with pizza toppings, also adjusting the ingredients to preference, and pack for lunch.
3. When ready to enjoy, nook briefly in the microwave to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with a light dusting of parmesan as desired.
4. Serve with a small side salad or steamed broccoli for a completely balanced lunch.
Want a plant-based option? Stuff with a chickpea salad by combining chickpeas, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes.
Try it rustic with sliced turkey, goat cheese, and thin slices of pear. Give a Philly cheesesteak a healthy makeover with roast beef, onion, bell pepper, and a wedge of provolone.
There are endless possibilities for pita pockets to embrace fresh ingredients and flavors!
3. Cucumber Sushi
Cucumber sushi is one of the most fun lunch ideas for work! They are also versatile to take on favorite sushi flavors, including the inspiration from a California roll detailed below.
However, feel free to adjust ingredients, including using salmon, shrimp, tuna, and other favorite fish.
• 1 cucumber
• 3 ounces crabmeat, real or imitation
• ¼ cup sushi rice, cooked
• ¼ avocado, sliced
• ¼ red pepper, sliced
1. Cut cucumber in half. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds of each half so it forms a hollow tube.
2. Spoon in sushi rice, crabmeat, avocado, and red pepper into each cucumber half until full.
3. Cut the filled cucumber into thick pieces, in which the toppings should be visible in the center.
4. Pack then dress with Sriracha and soy sauce as desired when ready to enjoy.
4. Thai Lettuce Wraps
Boston lettuce is surprisingly strong and their wide leaves are truly begging to be filled with this Thai-inspired recipe!
Ingredients for the filling:
• 1 Tbsp sesame oil
• 1 package of ground turkey
• 3 green onions, thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp minced garlic
• ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or adjusted to spice preference)
1. In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil and cook turkey until crumbled, brown, and no longer pink. Add the green onions and garlic.
2. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, and Sriracha until combined. Add the mixture to turkey and increase to medium-high heat. Allow turkey and sauce mixture heat and combine for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. When taking this healthy lunch for work, pack ¼ of the filling. Also pack Boston lettuce separately. When lunch rolls around, simply spoon in the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, wrap, and enjoy!
Boston lettuce also perfectly houses this light, yet satisfying tuna salad.
Ingredients for tuna salad:
• 5-ounce can of wild albacore tuna with a small avocado
• 1 large carrot, diced
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix all ingredients until combined in a sealable container.
2. Pack tuna salad mixture and lettuce separately and assemble come lunchtime as indicated above.
5. Southwestern Zucchini Noodle Bowl
This lunch idea can be prepped ahead of time and stores well in a meal prep bowl or mason jar. It also comes perfectly together in less than 20 minutes!
• 1 medium zucchini
• 3 ounces cubed chicken breast
• 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
• ¼ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
• ¼ cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
• ½ avocado, sliced
• ¼ tsp cayenne
• ¼ tsp cumin
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the zucchini noodles by spiralizing the zucchini. Add to a storage container of choice.
2. Layer with chicken, lettuce black beans, corn, and avocado. Season with cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper.
3. Also feel free to add other favorite toppings, including tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos, and salsa.
Bonus Healthy Lunch Tips
Let that healthy dinner prepared last night spill over to healthy lunches for work! Because if you are already preparing a meal, why not make a little more for lunch the next day?
Make a few extra meatballs and a little extra side of sautéed veggies. Also take advantage of making a big batch of slow-cookers soups, chilis, and casseroles. Not only can this help save on money, but ease the workday and ensure a satisfying lunch hour!
But with busy schedules, preparing a balanced dinner and packing a lunch day-in and day-out can be a challenge. If looking for healthy lunch options without the hassle of meal prep, look to a meal delivery service such as bistroMD!
BistroMD offers a delivery program that takes out the guesswork to help develop healthy eating habits. All meals are balanced and personalized to ensure nutrition needs for weight loss and overall health are being met.
Also offering 200 recipes and a customizable menu, there is always a meal to satisfy all lunchtime cravings. Enjoy the appealing meal selections of:
• Chicken meatball marinara wrap
• Moroccan lentil and sweet potato stew
• Sliced ham with mustard maple sauce
• Beef chipotle chili with corn pudding
• Southwest bison meatloaf with smoky tomato glaze
• Tilapia with smoky tomato sauce
• Eggplant lasagna casserole
• Chicken noodle soup
• Stuffed shells with vodka marinara sauce
(Just to name a delicious and nutritious few…)
Truly, making healthy food and lunch choices has never been so convenient, simple, and delicious!