When lunchtime rolls around, you want to be able to put together a simple meal that is nutritious, filling, and doesn’t take a lot of time. The following lunch ideas will fit all of these requirements.
Pita, Hummus, and Veggies
This Meditteranean inspired lunch is such a fun and easy to put together that, and you can even gather ingredients the morning before work and not spend too much time on it. Get a bag of whole wheat pita bread and a container of hummus. Since you are reducing your processed foods, making your hummus is preferred, and it is easy to make with a food processor. If you don't have one, at least choose your container hummus wisely and look at the ingredients. Open up the pita, add some hummus, and layer the veggies. That's all you need to do.
Sandwich or Wrap
You can still eat sandwiches for lunch while clean eating, but re-think the ingredients you are using. To start with, stop using pre-sliced or processed meat and cheese for your sandwiches. Go to your grocery store’s deli section and get meat sliced right there. It will be fresh, much better for you, not processed and fewer preservatives, and you will be amazed by how much better it tastes. You can also get your cheese sliced in the deli, or you can buy a block of cheese and slice it up yourself. Remember that dairy is a borderline approved food with clean eating, so try to find cheese from grass-fed cows if you can.
If you don’t want to have cheese with your sandwich, homemade hummus is another great addition. Pile on the veggies onto your sandwich and use whole grain bread when you can. Wraps will be lower in carbs and only require a big lettuce leaf.
No-Mayo Chicken or Tuna Salad
With clean eating, mayonnaise isn't necessarily a big no-no, but dairy in general needs to be ‘from the farm' as much as possible. Many people make their own, or you can try to look at the ingredients of organic mayonnaise. Another option is to make tuna or chicken salad with no mayonnaise at all. Another option is to use mashed-up avocado. This healthy fat is approved on a clean eating diet. Chicken is better than tuna since it doesn't come in a can and you can even prep it ahead of time to use for lunches. Cut your chicken into small pieces, add your avocado and any other veggies or seasonings. You can have it in a wrap, on its own, or alongside some fruits or veggies.
Lisa Ann de Garcia, MA, MEd.