I will wholeheartedly admit that, while on my “spring break,” my lunches haven’t exactly been great. While it was nice to be home for lunch each day, it also led me to eating a lot of leftovers, frozen foods, and far more mac and cheese than I probably should have. We also have been trying to save money on groceries lately, which doesn’t always lead to having a well-stocked kitchen full of super healthy options.
So, in honor of my going back to a regular work schedule this week, I decided to buck up and try pre-packaging my lunch this week. I realize that the finished lunches look like a lot of food…and they are…but they have to include both my lunch and a mid-afternoon snack. I find that if I don’t eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than one big lunch, I don’t make it without needing some kind of pick me up around 4pm (especially on days when my lunch is at 11am, and dinner isn’t until almost 8pm). I’m also going to be doing student-teacher conferences this week, which means on most days, I won’t even have a lunch break – I’ll be stuck chowing down between schools, or between student meetings. So any plan right now is a good one, just so long as it keeps me away from the student food court, and their plethora of cupcakes and Pizza Hut.
I decided to head out to Trader Joe’s this weekend to pick up stuff for a trail mix, which will serve as my mid-afternoon snack. I’m very picky about trail mixes (mostly I hate raisins), so I went with lightly salted almonds, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate. I find that the mix ratio I enjoy the most is 2 parts almonds, 1 part cranberries, and 1/2 part chocolate. In the end, a 1/3 heaping cup of this is around 200 calories, and more than enough to serve as a small snack to keep me going until dinner! It also has the right combination of sweet, salty, and sour for my taste buds!I even tried some this weekend as a snack, and it was perfect. The 200-calorie amount is just enough for me, and it tastes amazing!
After making the trail mix, I decided to go with my usual pasta salad as my main lunch meal for the week. I mostly did this because it’s easy to make, stores well, and I had everything I needed already. I also went out and bought these plastic containers that store everything I’ll need for lunch this week, so that I’m not using all the plastic containers we have already, and it keeps things super easy in the morning – just throw it in my lunchbox and I’m all set!My lunch for this week includes:
1. Pasta salad
2. Trail mix
3. Hummus (not shown is a small baggie of pretzel thins for dipping)
4. Large bottle of water 🙂So there you have it – an easy, refrigerator-friendly, packed lunch that will hopefully keep me healthy and happy this week!
What are you planning to do for lunches this week? Packing up ahead of time like me? Eating at an amazing restaurant? Chilling out at home?
Have a great week!