We can all agree that the hustle and bustle of the workweek may have you skimping on meals or overpaying for lunch when eating out. But did you know that preparing easy weekday lunches can help defray the costs of buying lunch?
If you pack lunches for a week, it gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into your lunch as far as ingredients go. By prepping meals ahead of time, you can keep track of what you are eating and the portion of each serving.
Here are some important tips to remember as you’re prepping your lunches.
Meal planning vs. meal prepping
Is meal planning vs. meal prepping the same?
They’re not exactly the same. When you say meal planning, this is where you plan the meals that you will prepare, the ingredients that you will buy, and how many portions you will make.
Meal prepping is the process of preparing the dish ahead of time. You cut the vegetables, sauté, and cook each meal. You can then freeze them in a sealed container.
When preparing meals ahead of time, you need to know how long is meal prep good for. We don’t want to waste food.
Research How it Works
Summer meal prep and winter meal prep can be different because of the ingredients that are in season.
It’s true that high protein lunch meal prep for work can be a daunting task when you’re starting. You need to think about the ingredients, the container, and even the smell of the dish.
Remember that you’re in a workplace, and some food may have a stronger smell than others. Think of skipping more smelly items like broccoli and fish if you plan to heat them in the break room microwave.
Preparing Meals and Ingredients Ahead of Time
You may be wondering, does meal prep food taste good? Of course, after all, you’re the one preparing it.
The next decision is to decide if any of your lunch elements will be prepared ahead of time. There are many foods you can prepare the weekend before the work week starts, and prep everything in containers.
This is going to save you a lot of time during the week. Some things you can prep include:
• Making pasta or rice
• Chopping veggies and fruits
• Chopping garlic, onion, and ginger
• Cooking protein – like chicken, fish, or tofu
• Putting sides into individual containers
Packing Your Easy Weekday Lunches
Choose containers that are microwave-safe when bringing items to heat.
You can choose mason jars, which are super easy to work with if you plan on packing a salad, layering the dressing on the bottom, and filling with tomatoes, corn black beans — whatever you fancy.
Just make sure the lettuce is packed at the top of the jar to keep it from becoming soggy. You can also invest in containers with dividers for those days when you just don’t know what you would like to eat or prefer a variety of items.
Here’s a bonus:
Try packing fresh vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots with a side of low-fat ranch dressing and some pita slices for a light and healthy lunch.
The possibilities are endless!
If you are short on ideas, many websites offer tips and recipes designed especially for the workplace.
Staying motivated and keeping your health goals in focus by packing your easy weekday lunches is a great step toward a healthier lifestyle and a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables and lowering calories and fat.