Lunch is a meal that shouldn't be messed with.
It can make or break an afternoon and just the anticipation of it can get you through from 11am when you're in the office. But all too often, you can end up making the wrong choices and end up feeling bloated and unsatisfied from sandwiches or hungry and sulky after a bowl a soup.
I gave you some healthy and hearty breakfasts ideas last month so here are some ideas of what you can eat for lunch without ruin the diet. Yum!
If you are one of those super organised people who takes a packed lunch into the office with them, here are a few suggestions:
1. The Filling Ham Sandwich
Make sure you get a good quality ham from the deli counter rather than out of a packet. Use 2 slices.
Use wholemeal, multi grain or sourdough bread to make the sandwich as this will also keep you feeling full for longer than white bread.
Add a small spread of mustard instead of mayo.
Add two sliced tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper to season.
2. Hummus and pitta bread
At the supermarket, select a large tub of reduced-fat hummus so you can have this 2/3 times during the week.
Chop up some crudites - cucumber, carrots, spring onions. Take one standard sized pitta (warm this at work if you have a microwave -15 seconds) and slice into thin slices for dipping.
3. Tuna tortilla wrap
Buy a packet of tortilla wraps from the supermarket (they also have wholemeal versions now but white would be OK).
Spread a thin layer of low fat plain yogurt and season a little.
Add a generous spoonful of tuna from a can and top with some finely shopped tomatoes and red pepper.
Roll up and wrap tightly in foil - ready to go.
Eating out options
4. Soup and Roll
Don't pick a light soup though or you'll be hungry within the hour. Go for a hearty choice like mixed bean, french onion or lentils. Have this with a wholemeal roll.
5. Baked potato with tuna and sweetcorn or cottage cheese or baked beans.
Choose a medium sized potato - don't go over the top and accept one of those monster sized ones you see!
Add no butter. You won't miss it once you start eating.
Have a small side salad if you fancy some more greens with just a squeeze of lemon for dressing.
Most supermarkets sell trays of sushi nowadays.
Get a medium sized tray (approx 9 pieces)
Avoid the trays with the deep fried in batter options.
Drink plenty of water with this lunch as soy sauce is salty and the wasabi is wonderfully fiery.
7. Turkey Salad
Go for the works when it comes to the salad - aim for a good mix of colour on your plate.
Avoid the dressings that are creamy and oily even if they claim to be low fat. A dash of balsamic vinegar is perfect.
Top the salad with a generous portion of chopped roast turkey (or chicken).
I'm sure there are some new ideas there for you to try and remember, all these lunches will not add to your waistline and will give you enough energy to get through the afternoon without that sleepy lull that an over sized meal can cause.
Remember to have a small snack around 4pm. A banana or orange is ideal.
Look out for Best Ideas for Dinner coming soon.
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Photograph by WordRidden (Flickr)