I have been meal-planning now for almost a year. I’m not the BEST at it, but I’ve noticed that it really does help me keep on track- financially and physically. If I can plan ahead and know what I’m going to be eating for every meal for the next week, then there are no excuses to eat at McDonald’s or something equally as unhealthy.
Lunches are the hardest part to meal plan in my opinion. For awhile, my office didn’t have a microwave so I was literally eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and turkey sandwiches every day. It was miserable. Then, when we got a microwave, I was so happy, that I ate frozen meals for a month. Ew. (Note to self: frozen meals never EVER look like the picture on the box). Now I’m hooked on to salads. There are so many different ways to eat them, and they are good for you. Here’s a look at how I’ve been eating my salads lately:
Every salad starts off with good lettuce. I can never figure out how to cut iceberg lettuce properly, so I just buy it in the bag. Sue me. 1 serving size is about 1.5 cups and is 10 calories. Not to shabby- and that’s about all the lettuce I can fit in my tupperware anyway. I’m sure you could start with spinach or other kinds of lettuce, but I like iceberg.
Next up – add some veggies. Again, I’m cheap and lazy, so I just buy them in the bag. Last week I bought a bag of broccoli slaw, and this week I’m trying Rainbow Slaw. It’s pretty good. It’s basically shredded carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and red cabbage. I honestly don’t really like vegetables very much, so the smaller they are the better! I dump them on top of my salad, and I don’t know the difference because it blends in with the lettuce.
Sometimes I also add shredded cheese if I have some on hand. This week I haven’t been.
Next – add the protein. The Kroger by our apartment has these already prepared chicken breasts. They are baked and gluten-free. It’s about $3 for a pack of 9 chicken breasts. They are seasoned very well and so delicious. I love that they are just refridgerated so I don’t have to worry about de-thawing them. I typically cut them up into really small pieces and microwave them for about 1 minute before adding them into the salad.
As for salad dressing, I don’t really like it. It always waters down my lettuce and makes it soggy. I prefer to add a smidge of guacamole to the top of my salad for a little kick. My Kroger has individual 100 calorie packs of guac which makes preparation that much easier. I love it.
Put it all together, and…..
I know it’s not the prettiest meal, but it comes out to be about 300 calories. It would be a lot less if I didn’t add the chicken, but I like my meat.
Typically I top off my lunch with a 90 calorie Yoplait light yogurt and a granola bar. Not too shabby.
What do y’all bring for lunches at work? I’ll need some new ideas when I get tired of salads!