When you’re working a full-time job, you quickly find your free time after work is limited. You get stuck in traffic, have to take the dog for a walk or even work on projects you brought from your desk because you didn’t have enough time to finish them during the day. Soon, the sun is setting and you’re getting ready to rest before a new day tomorrow.
The last thing you want to think about during your hectic schedule is eating healthy because everyone knows that takes even more time and money than you already have. But when you’re opening up your lunchbox at work and staring at yet another ham sandwich, healthy eating starts to sound a little better.
It is totally possible to pack healthy lunches for work! With a little time, thought and dedication, you’ll be eating better foods on your lunch break in no time. Check out our tips for packing better lunches and feeling better by tomorrow.
1. Get Excited
Changing how you eat is a big deal, and you should celebrate! You’re doing something good for your body and mind, and that should thrill you. You won’t have to deal with not feeling full enough or getting sleepy from sugar crashes around 3 p.m. every day. You’re about to invigorate your work life by packing healthier lunches. Get pumped!
2. Plan Your Meals Out
What do you like to eat? Think about what you’re currently eating and try to make your new healthy lunches something you can look forward to. If you’re switching from eating a burger and fries from down the street every afternoon to crunching on broccoli and carrots, you’re probably going to lose some of the drive you have right now to eat better.
Planning your meals out can help avoid this situation. Look around online or flip through your favorite cookbook to see which foods would make a great lunch. Write those meals down on a calendar or chart, however you work best. Then, read up on how other meal preppers built their routines to make sure you don’t make common mistakes while you’re planning your lunches out.
3. Meal Prep
OK, once you’ve got your recipes together, it’s time to prep! That means you’re going to have to read through every recipe and write down the ingredients you’ll need. Don’t forget to look through your pantry to double-check if you already have some of them. Then, after you grocery shop, start prepping! Food prep will be different for each meal. For some, you’ll need to wash and peel vegetables, and for others, you might flash-freeze meat or pre-cook pasta.
If your recipe requires you to prep by doing something you’ve never done before, just look up a video! You can get endless help online so you can make your lunches like a pro. Just always make sure to follow directions and not rush through things to stay safe while you’re having fun in the kitchen.
4. Get the Right Equipment
The tools you’ll need for meal prepping will be different depending on what you make, but there are still some common meal-prep tools you can stock up on. First, you’ll need storage containers. These could be Tupperware or sectioned containers. If you’re eating salads, get a mini salad dressing container. Think ahead about what you’re making and what you’ll need so your food is ready to eat by lunch.
5. Research for Inspiration
Even if your cooking experience is relatively limited, you can still meal prep like a champ. There are food blogs all over the Internet to visit for inspiration on what to make for lunch. Sometimes, you won’t even need an entire recipe. Just look around for pictures of foods you might like and recreate them for yourself.
And recipes for meal prepping don’t have to be complicated, either. Don’t count out those trusty sandwiches! If you know what you like, stick with it, but don’t be afraid to try something new sometimes too. You could try to make a delicious wrap or a dressed-up salad. Simple foods are sometimes the best foods.
6. Remember Your Motivations
There’s always a reason people get into meal prepping or eating healthier. Maybe you want more time in the evenings, or you want to take control of your weight or other risk factors by ensuring healthier lunches. No matter what drove you to stepping up your lunches and eating better, don’t lose sight of it.
At some point, you’ll get tired of your new meals. It’s just a fact of life. Routines get boring fast, so try putting your motivations somewhere you won’t forget them. You could make a board in your kitchen with motivational quotes or photos of your goals, or leave yourself notes around your house or workspace. Whatever is going to help keep you on track, you should go for it. When you’re feeling lazy on your next meal prep day, you’ll thank yourself.
Eating healthier at lunch isn’t as impossible as it can feel sometimes. Even though it’s tempting to deal with work stress by going to nearby restaurants and buying whatever fried meal is the special of the day, you’ll feel better in the long run by eating healthier foods you packed from home.
All it takes is motivation, and if you’re reading this article, you’re halfway there! Take the next steps and keep the ball rolling. Look up some great recipes you want to try, then write down everything you’ll need to make those meals happen. Spend some time making your lunches in bulk so you can grab them and go in the mornings.
The next time you sit down on your lunch break, you’ll feel better while you’re eating healthier foods, and you’ll find your confidence level rising. So why not try? What are your lunch goals? Comment below with ideas for your next healthy lunches and share so your friends can be inspired to join you! The more support you have, the faster this new way of living will become routine. And don’t forget to subscribe for more tips on how to eat healthier and feel better every day.
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