Many hard-working Americans lead insanely fast-paced lives, struggling to find the time to balance work, family and life in general. This tends to leave personal health goals on the back burner. With little time for meal planning and preparation, many reach for the most convenient food option, which is typically not the most nutritious option.
Below are a few time-saving techniques and quick, healthy lunch ideas. With just a little preparation and planning, anyone can be successful at staying on top of their nutrition and health goals without taking away too much time from daily life.
Time Saving Techniques:
- Prepare lunch the night before or cook dinner in bulk and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day.
- During the weekend, prepare healthy sides to pack in lunches to save time during the week. Pre-portion healthy sides into ziplock bags such as almonds, grapes and baby carrots.
- Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy, grab-on-the-go items such as yogurt, apples, and lara bars.
- Use reminder notes so that you don’t run out the door without your lunch! Many people aren’t in the habit of packing a lunch and often forget their lunch at home. Sometimes we need visual cues when we are forming new habits.
Quick, Easy, YUMMY Lunches
1.Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Grilled Chicken Breast
- 2 lb. chicken breasts
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 cup black beans (optional)
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup corn
- 2 vine tomatoes
- 2/3 bell pepper
- 3 green onions
- 1 zucchini
- 5 tbsp mozzarella (optional)
- Seasonings such as cayenne, paprika, sea salt, pepper, or Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
- Preheat the oven to 405 F.
- Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake until firm but soft, about 45-50 minutes.
- Season chicken with Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle, cayenne, paprika, and dash of sea salt, and cook in a nonstick skillet. Set aside.
- Chop vegetables into small pieces.
- Saute garlic and corn in a nonstick skillet using spray coconut oil. Once corn is seared, toss in vegetables and black beans.
- Slice sweet potatoes in half and carve out part of the insides. Set carved-out portions aside to be used later.
- Spray sweet potato halves with coconut oil, then place back in oven for 5 minutes.
- Fill sweet potatoes with vegetable mixture, then top with 1 tbsp mozzarella.
- Bake for another 8 minutes at 405 F.
- Serve chicken breasts on the side with stuffed sweet potatoes.
Serving Size (1 potato and chicken breast)
Recipe yields 5
Amount per serving
Total Fat 2 g
Total Carbs 50 g
Protein 48 g
2. Breakfast Omelet Roll-Ups
- 1 whole egg
- 4 egg whites
- 3 oz lean ground turkey
- 1 handful spinach
- 1/3 cup bell pepper
- 1 oz goat cheese
- Season and cook a lean ground turkey in skillet, drain.
- In a separate skillet, cook the whole egg and egg whites.
- Add goat cheese, spinach, bell peppers, and ground turkey.
- Roll mixture and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate, and heat up when ready to eat.
Serving Size (1 egg roll-up)
Recipe yields 3
Amount per serving
Total Fat 11 g
Total Carbs 1 g
Protein 50 g
Quick and Easy Side Options:
- 1 cup grapes + 100 calorie almond pack
- 1 cup berries + 6 oz. yogurt
- 1 apple + 1 peanut butter to-go cup
- 10 baby carrots + 2 tbsp. hummus
- ½ cup cottage cheese + ½ cup pineapple chunks