One of the questions I get asked a lot is “What should I take for lunch?” It can be hard to figure out what to take for lunches if you’re working or a student. Also a lot of people think it’s too time consuming to plan and make lunches to take with them. I thought it would be fun to share a week of lunches so you can see what I ate this week. Some of these lunches were ones I brought to school and others were eaten at home. Hopefully they will give you some inspiration on what to take for lunch!
Now some people just opt to buy their lunches out, and I don’t usually do this for a few reasons. One being that it’s expensive, if you’re spending $5-10/day on lunch that adds up over time. Another reason is it’s time consuming, if you have an hour for lunch and have to go somewhere to get your lunch that’s time commuting and waiting in line. I would rather bring my lunch to save time and money. Another good point is that usually bringing your own lunch will be the healthier option. Now I say if you really want to go out to lunch, then get what you want and enjoy it, but if you’re going out regularly then you probably want to choose healthier options most of the time.
So now onto this weeks lunches:
So whenever I spend the weekend in Austin and have to drive back to Galveston on Sunday’s, usually Monday lunches are a little random. I don’t always have time to meal prep on Sunday nights when I get home, but I do always go to HEB on my way back to Galveston so I will usually get something there that’s easy to prepare specifically to take for lunch the next day. A lot of the times I get a bagged salad, but this time I decided to get this garlic pesto salmon meal. It was already prepared with the sauce, all I had to do was stick it in the oven. Then I put it into a glass container and took it to school the next day and heated it up in the microwave and voila- easy and satisfying lunch! I think I paid $7 for this, and if it was at a restaurant it would have been at least $10 (probably more).
Alright next up we have an at-home lunch. Since I spent Sunday driving/getting ready for the week. I came home from class on Monday and meal prepped some chicken, roasted veggies, and potatoes. For lunch this day I just threw together what I had prepped and topped the chicken with my sweet chili Sriracha sauce I love. Pro tip: if you meal prep roasted veggies or potatoes, such as my Roasted Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts if you’re at home reheat them in the oven versus the microwave so they can get crispy again.
My favorite way to prep lunches for the next day is just make extra at dinner time and take that. I will admit that might not be as easy if you cook for a family, but I just cook for myself so it’s easy to make a few servings at a time. Tuesday night I had pasta for dinner, so I put the rest into a container to eat at school the next day. Here I have protein pasta, broccoli, and roasted peppers, topped with pasta sauce and mozzarella, Pasta is also one of the best things to reheat since it’s just as good as when you first made it.
This day we got out of class early (yay) so I ate my lunch earlier than usual. I was already starting to get hungry again before my next class so I ate a piece of this greek yogurt pumpkin banana bread.
Thursday & Friday
Both Thursday and Friday I ate my favorite bagged salad from HEB. It’s a sesame ginger asian chopped salad kit. It truly has been one of my favorite food discoveries this semester as it taste amazing and is so freakin easy and convenient. I buy bagged shelled frozen edamame (another one of my fave food discoveries this semester) which I boil to throw into salads and stir fries. I also prep quinoa (it’s hidden at the bottom) to go into these salads to add some staying power to them (aka help you feel fuller longer).
On Friday I took this same salad to school, which is really easy to do. I can put the salad mix, quinoa, and edamame in a container then bring the baggies which have the dressing and the wonton strips and assemble the salad right before I eat it.
For Saturday, I wanted something that would fill me up before I left to study at the library for the rest of the day/night. I have been loving these style salads lately that incorporate all my fave roasted veggies. I have chicken, acorn squash, baby potatoes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and avocado on top of spinach. This was so yummy and kept me full for hours.
Alright so Sunday’s lunch is a tad bit different than the rest of the week. My plan for Sunday was to eat breakfast, get some work done, eat lunch at home then head to the library. I guess the breakfast I ate filled me up more than normal, because around 1:30 I still wasn’t hungry for lunch. I decided to just take some stuff to snack on at the library instead of bringing a typical lunch to eat. For some reason once I get in the zone at the library, I don’t end up wanting to eat a big lunch so this should work instead. Yeah this might not be a typical lunch, but it works. I have a protein bar, leftovers of my sesame ginger asian salad + edamame, spicy protein popcorn, a clementine, and granola + chia seeds to eat with my siggi’s yogurt (favorite yogurt hands down).
And there you have a full week of lunches. I hope this helps to give you some ideas of what to take for lunch!
Oh and P.S. I only have two finals left until i’m done with my first semester of grad school (YAY!) So excited to go back home to Austin for the break, celebrate christmas with my family, go to Palm Springs for my brothers wedding, and then start my dietetic internship in the spring!!
Thanks for reading!