Not a Sad Desk Lunch: Tips for Stellar Work Lunches

We’ve all been there: It’s Sunday evening, and the thought of assembling lunch for Monday is extremely daunting. When you can put your feet up and enjoy the remainder of the weekend, why spend an hour or so putting together a lunch, which will only get soggy and sad by the time you’re ready to eat? So, when Monday’s lunch hour rolls around, you’ll instead go out with coworkers, spend too much money on food and end up eating something far too unhealthy, simply because it’s there.

Well, a sad sandwich or some wilted lettuce is not the only way to eat meals brought from home during the workday. Here are some helpful tips to make lunchtime more delicious and fun to plan on the weekends – and not another chore:

Invest in a good lunchbox
If My Little Pony is your thing, good for you, but there are a wide range of more suitable lunch boxes for those taking their midday meal to work. Look for something that will keep your food cool and fresh – and that has plenty of small containers for food items included. This way, your salads won’t wilt and your sandwiches won’t smash up against your apple slices.

“Look for a lunchbox that will keep your food cool and fresh.”

Don’t be afraid of leftovers
If you’re watching your portions, chances are you will have leftover food from dinner on occasion. Why not bring it for lunch? Of course, you will have to be mindful of how much food you’re bringing, but a sensible, lunch-sized portion of last night’s dinner can make a delectable, healthy meal. As a bonus, you know the ingredients exactly, unlike that questionable chicken sub …

Make it appealing
Familiar with bento boxes? This visually-appealing manner of assembling lunch hails from Japan, where employees bring their rice, sushi, vegetables and other accoutrements to work to eat midday. It’s a pretty way of parceling out all the elements of a good lunch meal and mostly keeping them separate. Use small containers for fruit, yogurt, lettuce, olives and quinoa, for example, and arrange them in your lunchbox. This way, you know what you’re eating, and – most importantly – it looks delicious and fresh when you pull your lunchbox out of the communal fridge.

Meal prep during the week for quick assembly
If you’re grilling zucchini for dinner, double the amount. Same goes for cooking rice, chicken, pasta and for chopping up veggies. Store the extras in your fridge, so when it comes time to put together your work lunch, every item you could possibly want is at your fingertips. By taking the chore out of deciding what to eat, you will make healthier choices and can feel your best inside and out.

Take your lunch away from your desk
It’s all too easy to inhale a meal while working, but this doesn’t promote mindful eating. Even if you only have 10 minutes, step away from your desk to enjoy your meal mindfully. It might taste better too! You’ll really get a break during the day, with the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your planning, and may be less likely to overeat if you are present and mentally appreciative of your meal.

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