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How to Make a Better Lunch

Lunch is one area where many women could see improvements in their diets. Our choices include things like fast food lunches, or sandwiches. But lunch is a time that you can easily make more healthy choices.

Two things that your diet may not contain enough of are vegetables and protein. Lunch is a big culprit and a big opportunity. There are so many good and simple choices whether you are at home, at work or on the go.

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How to eat out

If you are trying to lose weight or just trying to eat healthier, then eating out is not the best choice. Portions are often way to big. Menu items are chosen for tastiness and ease of preparation, not for being healthy.

Unless it is absolutely necessary, make eating out a treat rather than a daily habit. When you do eat out, look for grilled meat, not breaded. Salads can be healthier, but are often made with greens that are wilted and too much dressing.

How to make a better sandwich

Sandwiches are often an easy choice. They are quick to make and pack easily. For many women they contain too many carbohydrates for weight loss.

If you make the sandwich at home, it might be made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread. If you are eating out, then it is likely a large bun, thick bread or a sub. And likely it is bread made mostly with white flour so you are not getting fibre. Try an open faced sandwich on thinly sliced whole grain bread, or have half a sandwich and a salad, soup or vegetables.

For sandwich fillings try to limit processed meats. Instead choose things like sliced grilled beef or chicken, avocado, canned salmon or tuna (not mixed with mayo), cucumbers, sliced onions, peppers and thinly sliced good cheese.

Wraps may not be the healthy alternative to sandwiches they are advertised as. The tortillas or pita bread they are made with can have more carbs than two slices of bread and the fillings may be less than healthy.

Make your own salads

Salads are a good way to eat a healthy lunch. Use this formula to make a great salad:
Start with leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, chard or kale. Make it easier by buying the pre-washed varieties.

  • Add a protein - grilled chicken or beef, legumes, cheese
  • Add a healthy fat - avocado, olive oil, nuts, pumpkin seeds
  • Add some interest - crunchy vegetables like cucumber or celery, roasted sweet potatoes or beets, dried cranberries,
  • Dress lightly if your healthy fat isn’t an oil. Apple cider vinegar with olive oil, garlic and mustard makes a great dressing.

Soup for lunch

Home made soup is a good option for lunch. You can make it just for lunch or have leftovers from dinner. Ideally the soup contains vegetables and a protein. Soup and sandwich is a classic combination. A half sandwich is probably plenty. If your soup doesn’t contain much protein, make sure your sandwich does. Add some healthy fat and you are set.

Smoothie for lunch

Smoothies are a great healthy lunch on the go. If possible stay away from the sugar filled store made smoothies and make your own. A great green smoothie is spinach, banana, mango and protein powder with water or green tea to adjust the consistency.

Other options

When you start to get away from the sandwich, dessert and fruit model of lunches, you can open up a variety of options. Think veggies, protein and healthy fat. Try one of these or a combination to make a healthier lunch:

  • Raw vegetables like snow peas or bell peppers with hummus
  • Greek yoghurt with berries
  • Raw vegetables mixed with nuts
  • Tuna or salmon salad with whole grain crackers

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