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Motivated Monday: Pack Lunch

Lunch for the week. 
Monday's get a bad rep. I, personally, love them. I have the whole week to be productive and healthy. A clean slate for eating well and exercising all week long. New week, new goals. A lot of dieters often start Monday off with a lot of motivation for making lifestyle changes only to have their plans crushed by a hectic mid-week snack binge. Stay motivated and on track this week by packing lunch ahead of time. 

You don't need a dietitian to tell you to eat more vegetables. That's obvious. What you do need is a plan and dietitian's can help with an individualized plan for you! The hardest part of healthy eating is planning. I always have healthy food with me so I don't get stuck starving in the middle of the day with no options other than the vending machine. Our brains run off of sugar, when we go more than 4 hours without eating, our brain starts to crave fast-acting sugar like sweets and desserts. 

Don't let that happen. 

On Sunday night, I pack a large bag full of groceries for the week at work. Yep, the week. Thankfully, I have a refrigerator available at work and I work 5 consecutive days so this works well for me. My dad, on the other hand, has no refrigerator and my friends who are nurses work inconsistently so this may not work well for them. 

If you are a five day a week-er like me, pack a full weeks worth of food at the beginning of the week. That way, you don't have to worry with packing/bringing foods every day. This week, I packed almonds, cranberries, spinach, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and blue cheese for an awesome salad. I keep 1/4 cup measuring cup in my desk drawer to help me with portions. I also packed an avocado, 4 light string cheeses, and 2 apples for snack times throughout the week. Finally, I keep some protein powder in my desk in case I forget snacks or get hungry before a post work run. In the past, I have kept Wasabi flavored almonds and other yummy, healthy snacks in my desk in large quantities but I ended up eating when I'm not truly hungry, so now, I limit the foods I will let myself keep (protein powder is only so tempting). Not only does packing ahead ensure I have a healthy lunch each week, it also helps me save money and calories because I never have to eat lunch out. 

So, great, you are ready to pack your lunch! Wait, what am I going to pack for the week? Check out some lunch ideas below and pick two or three of them to make well-rounded  Bento-Box style lunch. 
  • yogurt
  • almonds, other nuts or seeds
  • light cheese
  • apples, bananas, oranges, grapes or other fruit
  • PB2 or pre-portioned peanut butter
  • salad fixings
  • Turkey, light cheese + whole wheat bread for sandwiches
  • Progresso Light or other healthy soup option
  • Energy bites
  • cucumbers + hummus
If I want a sweet treat after lunch, I have my homemade hot cocoa (I keep my desk stocked with ingredients). Try it!

2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder + 2 packets Splenda + hot water = Healthy Office Cocoa!

Now, I'm off to watch Fed Up before finishing a study guide!

What's your favorite work lunch?

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