If you work out of the house, I would recommend packing your lunch to take with you instead of eating out, ordering in, or running to a fast food restaurant. I found that you can spend a lot of money on a simple sandwiches and drinks for your middle meal.
For example, There is a coffee shop downtown in the city where I work. Sandwiches are almost $7, Panini's are $8, salads are between $6.75-$8. Then add a $2 drink and you are almost close to $10 for lunch. I would take the $10 and buy some really good staples at the store for lunch. I estimate that I probably spend around $3-$4 for lunch each day by taking my own lunch and snacks. Another benefit of making my own food, is that I can control the oil (fat) I eat.
You can get an amazing amount of food at the grocery store for $10When you shop at the grocery store for lunch, $10 will get you supplies for more than one day. I work 5 days a week, multiply $10 * 5 days and I could spend $50 a week on lunch. I can find creative ways to go grocery shopping and spend less than $50 for the week's lunch supplies.
- Spinach bag ($2-$3)
- baby carrots (less than $1.50)
- radishes ($1)
- cucumbers ($1)
- green onions ($1)
- 5 lbs of red potatoes ($2-$3)
- a bunch of bananas ($1-$2)
- whole wheat pasta (usually less then $2 a box)
- oats (I find these as low as $.70/# in bulk on sale)
OptionsThe options of what you take for lunch depends on if you have a thermos, cooler, office microwave, or office refrigerator. I use a personal cooler to carry all my lunch items to work with me each day. I do have access to a microwave. So heating up the dinner from the night before (having a hot lunch), is always an option for me. All of the Protective Diet recipes make multiple servings, so you can make a soup recipe and have lunch for at least three days from one recipe. When I worked in a building without a microwave, I would use my thermos to take hot soup from home.
Cold lunch/snack ideas
- Nice green salad with fixings you have in your fridge (I usually use spinach, but pick up mixed greens when they look fresh in the store).
- Salads: Greek Salad, Chickpea Cucumber Salad, Caesar Salad, Confetti Kale Salad
- Cold cooked potatoes (I snack on these or add salsa, beans, green onions, etc. on top)
- Whole wheat pita bread stuffed with greens and veggies
- Open Face Kale and Hummus Sandwich :Whole grain bread, hummus, onions and greens (I saw this in the documentary PlanEat. You can switch it up also to add what you like. I usually add tomato slices also, since I love tomato.)
- Happy Hummus Wrap (Happy Herbivore): Line a tortilla or wrap with red pepper hummus. Add fresh veggies such as sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, celery and white mushrooms, all sliced thin. (take everything in separate containers and make the wrap when you eat)
- Sides: Three Bean Salad, Creamy Mustard and Herb Potato Salad, Black Bean and Corn Summer Salad, Garlic Bread Sticks
- Pasta Salad: cook pasta then add beans and/or veggies you like such as tomato, onion, olives, cucumbers, celery. You can use a dressing like Garlic and Herb Balsamic for the dressing.
- Fresh Fruit Salad: Fruit Jar
- Oat and Yogurt parfait
- Oatmeal - if you have access to hot water from a coffee machine, you may be able to take oats and make oatmeal at your desk.