This summer I have been focusing on nutrition and exercise. Which means I decided to finally make a real effort to meal plan my work lunches more. It saves me time, money and helps me keep my nutrition on point. I still allow myself a lunch out during the week to catch up with a friend or grab my favorite BYO poke bowl, but this lunch packing system has really making bringing my own lunch fun, easy and stylish.
Built NY has a various collection of lunch bags, and they are my favorite that I found when shopping for my bag. I mean, if I am going to pack my lunch, let’s make it fashion. I picked this bag so that I can keep my food chilled and have room for snacks and a can of cold brew. I love that they sell their own glass bento boxes to pack your food in too! They are so cute and are very easy to open and close.
After working with a nutritionist for a consultation earlier this summer, I learned that my lunch should be some sort of lean protein with a side of carbs and a touch of fat. For protein, I usually do tuna or chicken salad. For carbs, I love fruit and some gluten-free crackers. For healthy fats, I sometimes add avocado into my salad or I pack these adorable olive snack packs.
I usually pack an easy tuna salad in the larger container, like our pear and avocado tuna salad, my favorite cucumber, tomato and avocado salad or this pictured variation with red apples. If I have chicken leftover from the night before, I love to whip up our tarragon chicken salad. I will throw in some gluten-free nut thins to snack the salad with (pecan is my favorite) and a piece of fruit. Lately I have been doing either mango or blueberries. I try to keep fresh cashews, pecans or salted almonds on hand too for later afternoon snacking. My hack is that I feel the smaller container up with enough nuts for the week so that I don’t have to refill them daily.
On days that I don’t want to take the effort to make something, I will either buy my favorite Sonoma chicken salad from Whole Foods. One small container is usually enough for two days. I am also a fan of a simple chicken wrap. I will get a Siete almond flour tortilla and fill it with three ounces of deli chicken, a spread of avocado oil mayonnaise and a sprinkle of spinach, salt and pepper. It is super simple but delicious. Another fun lunch option is to make your own antipasti platter. I get olives and goat cheese from Whole Foods and then add prosciutto, almonds and rice crackers. If you want to make a salad, I suggest keeping it simple with a greek salad. You can keep jarred olives in the fridge and cherry tomatoes don’t require much prep work. I use either simple grilled chicken or sometime even chicken deli meat for total ease. Primal Kitchen makes my favorite store bought dressings because they are avocado oil based instead of canola oil. Their greek dressing is legit.
Happy Artful Lunching!