Breaking the Take-Out Lunch Habit
Buying lunch at work is a habit many people easily fall into. It's quick, easy, and doesn't require any planning ahead. You don't have to worry about where to store your food and there's usually a lot more exciting choices. Buying lunch at work can be healthy but when you've had a stressful morning and you walk into a room filled with delicious scents, it can become really difficult to resist the temptations! The best way to stick to your plan is to pack your own lunch!
The biggest complaint people have about packing lunch is that it requires planning and a little bit of prep. Yes, it's true you DO need to put together your lunch before you leave for work but it doesn't have to be time-consuming. Follow these simple tips for quick and easy lunch prep!
1. Plan your lunch BEFORE your alarm goes off.
If you wait until 6am on Monday morning to think about what you're going to have for lunch that day, there's a 90% chance you will end up buying lunch at work. Mornings can be stressful enough so you don't need the added stress of trying to figure out what to bring for lunch. Think about your lunch for the next day the night before. Or even better, plan out all of your lunches for the week on the weekend! Even if you don't have time to prep them, at least know what you are going to bring so you can portion it out into a container that morning or do some quick prep. Having a plan is the easiest and best place to start!
2. It's OK to be repetitive.
If you don't mind some repetition, then lunch can be a breeze! Choose one or two meals to have for lunches and alternate them Monday-Friday. You can even prep them on Sunday so all you have to do in the morning is grab and go! If you don't want to eat the exact same thing for lunch every day then come up with a base you like and vary the toppings/fillings. For example, plan to have salads every day but top them with different proteins and dressings. Or cook a basic soup and add in different proteins and veggies each day. These small changes can make it seem like a whole new meal!
3. Pack leftovers from the night before.
One of the easiest lunches you can prep is leftovers from the night before! After you're done with dinner, portion out the leftovers into individual Tupperware so you can just grab one the next morning! If you only have extra protein, add it to a salad or slice it up in a sandwich. If you have extra veggies but no protein, pack those up and just buy some grilled chicken or fish at work! Or mix it up with some canned beans or tuna.
4. Make a lunch that you want to eat.
If you aren't excited about your lunch then you aren't going to want to eat it when there's plenty of more appealing options around. Pack a lunch that you are excited to eat! Make it look visually appealing by adding plenty of color with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Slice up your wrap into pinwheels to make it look more interesting. Use fun containers like mason jars, bento boxes, or colorful salad bowls to make an instagram-worthy lunch!
So go ahead and enjoy your home-packed lunch today!