We all know the importance of breakfast, but what about its often-forgotten counterpart, lunch? Lunch as a meal has its own interesting characteristics. We’re often forced to do a little planning when we are on-the-go or eating at a restaurant. Also, lunch is the meal that needs to nourish us and keep us going until dinner (and sometimes that seems like a LONG way.)
If you eat too much, you can become sluggish physically and mentally. If you eat too little, four or five o’clock rolls around and the hanger sets in. This is the most common time that people find it challenging to eat clean. To help, I recommend you either break your lunch meal into two smaller meals or have a later afternoon snack.
These clean lunch templates are the meal ideas that are satisfying and easy to bring to work or find in a local restaurant or cafe.
#1 Protein + Vegetables
You can’t go wrong with this combination. In coconut oil, cook a protein like salmon, chicken, potatoes, or quinoa with vegetables (i.e. spinach, chard, carrots, onions, etc) Add some salt and spices and you’re ready to go.
#2 Wrap or Tacos
These are filling and be packed with anything from chicken and fish to rice, beans and vegetables. And there is no quicker way to make a meal out of leftovers than throwing them in to a wrap or taco; even leftover salads work great. Make sure to use a brown rice or organic corn tortilla!
#3 Rice + Vegetables
Simple and tasty, rice with veggies is a great meal to make in bulk. Use it for multiple lunches each week, creating variety by switching seasonings. Mustards, hot sauces, gluten-free tamari, curry paste and spices work well. Rice and veggies can also be used to fill up your wrap or tacos.
#4 Main-Sized Salads
Salads are excellent bases for clean meals. But we’re not talking about small salads you get as appetizers at restaurants, the ones with a lonely tomato slice, limp iceberf lettuce, and a few carrot shavings. We mean a salad that is a satisfying meal.
To do this, you need to layer it. Start with your dark leafy greens, then add your veggies, protein (i.e. chicken, salmon, sardines, quinoa, beans), and fats (i.e. avocado, nuts, seeds, dressings).