I Didn't Pack My Lunch!
5 Tips to Tackling Lunch On-the-Go
One of the biggest topics that comes up amongst me and my friends is how to eat healthy while balancing a busy work and social life. Ideally, we would all like to make time on a Sunday afternoon to meal prep for the work week so that we have one less thing to think about Monday through Friday, but for the majority of us that doesn’t always happen. What actually happens, is we get stuck running to the closest chipotle during lunch and ordering uber eats once we get home. In light of this, I want to arm you with a five tips before you order your next burrito bowl on your lunch break:
Veggie Up - Whether you are getting a sandwich at subway or a bowl at Cava, make sure you pile on those veggies! Filling up on a variety of vegetables will never steer you wrong (unless they are deep fried….), and will provide you with nutrients that will keep you energized through the second half of your day. So next time you are in the to-go line, feel confident that you are making a better choice for you by asking for a double side of vegetables instead of the fries, or adding a few extra veggies to your bowl order.
Choose Whole - Request 100% whole-wheat breads, rolls, and pasta when choosing sandwiches, burgers, or main dishes. Whole grains are important sources of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. The fiber, however, is the key to helping you stay full and satisfied to your next meal. Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, bulgur, are all popular whole grains that you will see on menus, so choose these as your grain base when building a bowl or selecting a side. When selecting your sandwich bread, be sure to ask for “whole grain bread” because those that are labeled “multi-grain,” “100% wheat,” “high fiber,” or are just brown in color may not actually be whole grain.
The Fork Dip- Salad dressings can be the secret culprit for sodium and saturated fat if you don’t choose the type and amount of dressing wisely!I love that Sweetgreen and Chopt ask you how much dressing you prefer before drowning your greens, but that’s not the case everywhere! To be on the safe side, request your salad dressing on the side and dip your empty fork into the dressing before picking up a forkful of salad. You’ll be surprised at how this tastes just right, and how little dressing you’ll use. Plus, your lettuce won’t wilt and drown in a sea of oil.
The secret is in the ingredients - Be sure to look at the menu description for key words such as creamy, breaded, crisp, sauced, or stuffed. Dishes with these descriptions are most often packed with hidden saturated and trans fat, as well as mounds of sodium. I just want to say thank you to all of the food spots that now post the nutrition information in plane sight on the menu, you are the real MVP. For the menus that have it posted, look for items that are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
Quit before you clean your plate! - Decide to save some for another meal! This will not only help you avoid the afternoon "itis", but it will stretch the dollars you spent on your lunch to another meal, as well as the calories!