Are you still finishing your holiday shopping list? If so, you probably plan on hitting the mall and boutiques this weekend. There’s something fun about shopping, solo or with family and friends, that can really put you in the spirit. And all that rushing around can really make you work up an appetite that leaves you ready for lunch! You’ll be out and about and likely inconveniently far from your own kitchen, plus it’s just fun to grab a weekend lunch with your girls once in a while. So we’ve made lunch plans for you, or least found a few places where you won’t wreck your diet while you’re out putting dents in your wallet.
There are plenty of great healthy options at some of the largest chain restaurants, likely those placed just near the shopping centers where you’ll be this weekend. These locations are easy to find in most cities and have some great items to help you stay on track. Let us be your menu guide!
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle is easily a very healthy option. The meats are all very fresh, grilled, and most are organic and hormone free. One could get a bowl loaded with lean meat, brown rice, fresh peppers and onions, and pico for around 400 calories and be completely satisfied. A fully loaded steak burrito with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole is more than 1200 calories! Order wise and enjoy the good deed you’re doing for you body. And at 400 calories, you can probably splurge for a little cup of guacamole, too! (more…)
If meals were children, lunch would have a full-on case of middle child syndrome. If you look at breakfast as the eldest child showered with praise and endorsements as the most important meal of the day, and then dinner handled with care and doted on like the youngest, lunch is left with little to hold up its head about. Instead, you see it brooding at fast food lines or in the empty wrappers of candy bars tossed aside on desks. Poor lunch. Can’t it get any love?
The truth is it should. Lunch deserves as much respect as breakfast, if not a little more.
“Even though a morning meal is very important to let your body know it’s not starving and to energize you as you start your day, lunch may be even more important — especially if we’re doing errands and are on the go, chasing after our children, or working hard at our desks,” said Elisa Zied, RD, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. She continued to praise lunch saying, “We need to keep energy levels high throughout the day, and having a healthful lunch packed with protein and fiber can help you stay energized and alert to perform optimally both physically and mentally. It also provides a great opportunity to supply our brain and muscles with key nutrients to keep us healthy.”
Talk about a self-esteem boost for this mid-day meal! Breakfast might get you going but lunch will keep you going. That 3:00 lull that has you inhaling Doritos? Kiss it good-bye. If you eat lunch, especially a healthful lunch, you’ll forget 3:00 even happened. (more…)
My office mates and I recently held a lunch hour sandwich-making party. We had all of the fixings, but not a lot of the standards. Mini croissants, Orowheat sandwich rounds, and whole grain bread was piled high with black bean dip, roasted red pepper hummus, almond butter, avocados, sprouts, and Craisins. What we ended up with was a colorful collection of some of the tastiest, boldest, freshest sandwiches any of us have had in a while.
The Simple Mediterranean Sandwich and the Strawberry and PB Sandwich were two stand-out favorites, and all of the vegetarians loved the Bold Black Bean Sandwich. We’re sure you’ll find at least one favorite in our collection of nine new summer sandwich recipes because they’re all winners. They’re healthy, they’re simple, and many of the ingredients could be found on a well-stocked grocery store salad bar during your lunch hour. (more…)
Kids are no different than adults, and it doesn’t take much for their lunch to become pretty same-ole-same-ole. Another Tuesday, another turkey sandwich. We’ll admit, making 365 lunches every year can be pretty monotonous for the preparer and the eater, so take inspiration where you can.
This week, surprise your little love bunnies with a lunch hidden inside plastic Easter eggs. It’s kind of a fun spin on a Bento-style lunch, and will no doubt make them feel very special when they see what’s inside!
This lunch idea works well to get them excited about the Easter holiday on Sunday, or to make the fun last a little longer in lunches packed following the holiday weekend.
Start by getting about a dozen plastic Easter eggs. We used a smaller size, but any will work. While you certainly don’t have to, filling their lunch pail with Easter grass makes it a lot more festive and obviously makes a safe nest for all of the eggs.
Then, organize the foods you want to put inside each egg. Keep size in mind; for instance a cheese stick won’t fit but chopping it in to bite-sized pieces will. You’re not too limited in what you can put inside; although, chicken soup and applesauce probably aren’t going to work! We made a pretty filling lunch with foods we already had: grapes, strawberries, peas, cheese, grilled chicken, olives, and sweet peppers. (more…)
There’s so much to love when it comes to GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals! Kids love them, parents love to serve them, parents love to eat them, they are healthy, and many are even gluten free.
These little boxes are a perfect replacement for the unhealthy cheese, meat and cracker meals found in the deli section. They are portable and fun, but they are loaded with good for you options. GoPicnic meals come in a variety of flavors such as salami and cheese, turkey stick and crunch, turkey pepperoni and cheese, sunbutter and crackers, hummus and crackers, salmon and crackers, tuna and cracker, and peanut butter and crackers.
Each box is nutritionally balanced with protein, fiber, and fruit. All products, even the dark chocolate found in some varieties, is made from whole ingredients. GoPicnic defines that by meaning no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no added monosodium glutamate, and no artificial flavors or colors.
The meals are shelf stable but not because they use preservatives. GoPicnic uses high performance packaging methods that may cost more but ensure their products stay fresh without compromising the health factor.