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Anadi Misra, February 4 2019

It Did What? 10 Secrets About Healthy Lunches

The Struggle With Healthy Lunches

Never know what to eat for a lunch that's satisfying, delicious, and good for your body? Well hopefully not any longer after reading this post!

The world “healthy” unfortunately has such a negative connotation when it comes to food. Thinking of healthy food should encourage people to make a lifestyle change, but instead they become petrified and don’t bother. 

Tell me, why would somebody want to indulge in a lifestyle which appears to have bland, boiled food or a bowl of rabbit food? Nobody wants that! 

BUT if you take a look at the picture below, does that look boring to you? What if I said you can eat like this every single day and never struggle with what to have for lunch again?

Let me uncover 10 secrets which I have uncovered over the years of being immersed in the world of culinary arts to help lift the veil from the myth that it’s healthy food. Not only has it helped transform my life, but it fits perfectly like two pieces of a puzzle into my fitness goals. What more do you need? Tasty food, which you crave, which is healthy and helps keep you in shape, sign me up for that! 

So today, let’s focus on lunches so all your meals at work, school or home not only please your tastebuds, but keeps you coming back for more. So what are you waiting for, let the list begin! (in no particular order)

#1 Let's Toss That Leafy Bowl!

I absolutely hate this preconceived notion that people have (including me) before I discovered what healthy lunches actually looks like. Yes, if you like salad, go ahead, salad is not bad at all! But this is not where healthy lunches end. If you're looking for bowls, they don't have to just contain lettuce? How about a beef taco bowl with ground beef, black beans, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese? Or if you're feeling like Indian food you can make a lightened up chicken tikka masala! Check out the video below for that recipe!

#2 Plenty of Variety!

As I just mentioned, if you really plan, almost anything for lunch can be healthy! A typical lunch for me includes anything along the lines of burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. Don't believe me? Well, take a look at this amazing chicken schnitzel sandwich I had! 

Weekends are extra special because as I am writing this, I'm thrilled about the pancakes I’m about to have for today’s lunch! What, pancakes for lunch? Yes, I’ll come back to that a bit lower down the list, so keep reading!

#3 Nutritionally Balanced 

Most people believe that just because a meal is green, it is the healthiest option out there. Although greens contain plenty of vitamins, essential macronutrients are lacking in a leafy salad. So beef up your salad with lean protein in meat or plants for that extra punch of protein. For some healthy fats, add in eggs, avocado or cheese. In fact, you can achieve a balanced meal not only in salads! Wraps, sandwiches and pasta salads can all be tailored to be balanced and delicious! Check out this healthy deli meat guacamole lunch wrap for a great example! 

#4 Protein Packed

According to Very Well Fit, a 6 OZ chicken breast contains almost 40 grams of protein. This fulfills almost 70% of an average man’s dietary requirements and almost all of an average woman’s requirement. 6 oz of steak has 48 grams of protein and 3 oz of shrimp has 18 grams of protein. Lunch is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate protein, and don’t think that you don’t have the time! A quick beef taco bowl or a shrimp salad adds variety to your meals and bring in that extra nutrition! If you’re a vegetarian, you can easily find some great protein sources from cottage cheese, milk, or hard boiled eggs. Having a protein-packed lunch is delicious and will keep you full so you won’t feel the need to snack on junk in the day. 

#5 Fun and Exciting 

How does a spicy crispy chicken sandwich sound for lunch? Well if not, how about some chicken nuggets, or a seekh kebab wrap? The answer lies in your oven. You can use your oven to make the best crispy and juicy nuggets or kebabs without the extra oil. So you can enjoy your favourite meals guilt free!

#6 Please Come Back to Pancakes

Remember what I said in the first tip about pancakes? Yes you read that right. Pancakes are amazing for lunch and has been a set menu item at home for Saturday lunches for as long as I can remember. My trick to making these much better than regular pancakes nutrition-wise is to use oat flour instead of regular all purpose flour. 

Oats are full of fibre and keep you feeling full for longer. 

If you’re used to making pancakes with all purpose flour, there’s not much to change! For a cup of all purpose flour, simply use a cup of oat flour. That will yield the same number of pancakes! 

Speaking of pancakes, if you want some pancake inspiration, check out my recipes here (shown above is my latest recipe for Double Stuff & Cookies Oreo Cookies and Cream Pancakes!)

#7 Lunch is Ready in a Blink of an Eye! 

Enjoying a healthy lunch just needs a few minutes of thought to plan. Something that everyone should devote since eating healthy is a lifestyle, not a fad. A few minutes of conscious thought is all it takes. Let's say, you enjoy that Spicy KFC Zinger for your lunch (I know I do). Well you can make it at home and probably a thousand time healthier, and better than that, have it everyday if you want. All you need to do is bread some chicken breasts with panko and have a couple portions ready in the freezer. Substitute the spicy mayo for spicy buffalo sauce. Pop the cutlets in the oven and put together a much lighter and healthier sandwich for yourself! Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a recipe for this burger. Check it out from this Instagram post! 

#8 Transform The Classics

Let's assume your eating habits are currently not up to par. 

Don't feel bad, that's completely fine! 

If you're only eating a bagel with butter or cream cheese for lunch, consider some more variety with nutritional options. This article by Spoon University gives some awesome ideas! 

#9 Salad + Pasta = <3 

Pasta salads are simply the best and I think they make one of the best lunches to go! Pasta is actually great for you, and there are so many amazing recipes. This creamy avocado pasta salad absolutely blew me away, in addition to this spring pasta salad with asparagus and fresh peas. 

#10 Just relax 

Eating healthy should not be something you force yourself to pursue. 

The best diet to stick to is one you enjoy!

If I had to eat boiled chicken, vegetables or bland salad, I wouldn't last a week. Variety that is tasty and gets me excited to eat and enjoy is key! You won't get it perfect to begin, but the fact that you're here looking for tips to make a change is a wonderful first start! Everything takes time, so enjoy the process and experimenting with awesome recipes! :) 

Let's Wrap It Up

Pardon the pun! So go ahead, get out there and don’t be afraid when you think of healthy options for lunch. Healthy lunches can be delicious, easy and not just a bowl of greens. If you want plenty of amazing lunch inspiration, be sure to enter your email in the box below so you'll get notified whenever I post a tasty recipe! 

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Anadi Misra

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