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No Crappy Lunches . . . .

Posted Aug 19 2014 9:29pm
Picture A REALLY Crappy Lunch
I HOPE this is NOT what your lunch looks like.  What is your lunch?  Is it a bite of this and that as you go through the day?  A few nibbles off of your child's plate?  Something you grab and eat at your desk at work?  Or worse, in your car?  Leftovers?  Or are you a luncher - someone who actually goes out to eat and/or meets other folks for lunch?  

Lunch is the time to make a choice.  A good one or a crappy one.  Lately, at the end of my fitness classes I have been reminding folks that they have worked too hard to have a crappy lunch.  I aggravatingly remind them, "No Crappy Lunches!".  There are so many great things out there to eat that nourish our bodies - there's just no need to waste a meal time putting crappy stuff in our bodies.  
Don't these examples look fabulous?  Filling, yet light.  Not so heavy you want to just take a nap!  They are full of the protein and carbs and fiber to get you through the day and not load you down with fat, sodium and calories.  If you are running out of ideas for lunch or need some inspiration take a look at some of these ideas - and all under 400 calories.  Since I often get into a rut of eating my same ol' salad, eggs and spinach, lettuce and hummus wrap or cottage cheese and fruit I'm up for trying a few of these myself.  They are all really quick, too, because who has time to actually cook a lunch these days?  I can't take any credit for this list.  I admit a few of these lunches are on my own rotation and a couple are at the top of my favorite list, but I'm simply sharing some that I found to be particularly mouthwatering for a quick lunch.

 1. Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich: 398 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 English muffin: 120 calories, ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese: 40 calories, 2 slices tomato: 10 calories, ¼ avocado, sliced: 68 calories, 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard: 5 calories, 1 leaf butter lettuce: 5 calories, 1 tablespoon chives, chopped: <1 calorie, Garlic powder to taste: <1 calorie

2. Turkey Wrap: 365 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories, 3 slices deli turkey: 90 calories, 2 tablespoons hummus: 60 calories, 1 tablespoon goat cheese: 60 calories, 1 handful baby spinach: 5 calories

3. Spiced Chickpea Pita: 350 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 whole-wheat pita: 80 calories, ½ a  chicken breast : 100 calories, ¼ cup chickpeas: 70 calories, ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories, 1 sprinkle parsley: <1 calorie, 1 sprinkle oregano: <1 calorie

4.  Spicy Black Bean Burrito: 365 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories, ¼ cup black beans: 60 calories, ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories, ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories, 1 teaspoon hot sauce: 5 calories

5. Grilled Cheese With Tomato and Turkey: 345 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories, 3 slices deli turkey: 90 calories, 1 slice provolone: 70 calories, 1 small spritz olive-oil spray (to grease pan panini press!): 5 calories

6. Veggie Sub: 380 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 half whole-wheat sub roll: 220 calories, 2 tablespoons hummus: 60 calories, ¼ cucumber, sliced: 15 calories, 1 small tomato, sliced: 10 calories, 5 black olives, halved: 40 calories, ½ carrot, shredded: 30 calories, 1 handful alfalfa sprouts: 5 calories

7. Caesar Salmon Wrap: 364 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 whole-wheat pita: 80 calories, 1 5oz.-can of salmon:  120 calories , 2 tablespoons light Ceasar dressing: 60 calories, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese: 25 calories, 1 handful spinach: 5 calories

8. Egg, Tomato, and Avocado Sandwich: 385 Calories  (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!)
Calorie breakdown: 1 English muffin: 120 calories, 1 large egg, fried: 75 calories, 1 teaspoon olive oil: 40 calories, ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories, 2 slices tomato: 10 calories

9. Ham, Pear, and Swiss Sandwich: 395 Calories  (USE LOW SODIUM HAM)
Calorie breakdown: 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories, 3 slices deli ham: 100 calories, 1 slice Swiss cheese: 70 calories, 1/2 pear, sliced: 45, 1 teaspoon honey mustard: 5 calories


10. Greek Pita Salad: 368 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 cup romaine lettuce: 8 calories, ½ whole-wheat pita, sliced: 40 calories, ¼ cup feta cheese: 100 calories, ¼ cup chickpeas: 70 calories, ½ cucumber, sliced: 30 calories, ¼ small red onion, chopped: 10 calories, 2 tablespoons Light Greek Dressing: 110 calories

11. Strawberry Spinach Salad: 382 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 cup spinach: 7 calories, 1 cup strawberries, sliced: 50 calories, 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories, 2 tablespoons pine nuts: 110 calories, 1 cup broccoli: 30 calories, 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories, 1 squeeze lemon juice: < 1 calorie

12. Tarragon Chicken Salad: 400 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 cup spinach: 7 calories, ½ a chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories, ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories, ¼ cup walnuts: 160 calories, ¼ cup dried cranberries: 90 calories, 1 stalk celery, chopped: 5 calories, 2 slices tomato: 10 calories, 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped: < 1 calorie, 1 squeeze lemon juice: < 1 calorie

13. 3-Bean Salad with Kale: 350 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 1 cup kale, 30 calories, 1 squeeze lime juice, < 1 calorie, 1 squeeze lemon juice, < 1 calorie, ¼ avocado, chopped: 60 calories, ¼ cup black beans: 55 calories, ¼ cup white beans: 50 calories, ¼ cup kidney beans: 50 calories

14. Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad: 345 Calories
Calorie breakdown: 3 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese: 210 calories, 2 plum tomatoes, sliced: 20 calories, 3 basil leaves: < 1 calorie, 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories

Now, there's not even one of these lunches that I don't want to try.  They are super cook, hardly any cooking required and so easy to pack up the night before if you are taking your lunch to work.  
All it takes is just a little planning and a little thinking and remembering that you work too hard and are too important to eat a crappy lunch.  
inspiration from Greatist

What do your lunches look like? Are you in a rut?  Do you skip lunch or is it your biggest meal of the day?  What is your healthiest lunch? 

Happy Lunches! 
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