The Home Office Entrepreneur’s Healthy Lunch List
If you are lucky enough to work from home, you have the opportunity to expand your food options at lunchtime. Having access to a refrigerator, stovetop, oven and/or microwave will allow you to prepare healthy lunches in a short amount of time.
Taking time out for lunch will give you a needed break, help you stay healthy, avoid weight gain, keep your brain alert and focused, and ultimately allow you to be more accomplished at the end of the day.
Before you can begin preparing a healthy lunch, you’ll need to have the products on hand to do so. Early in the week, a trip to the grocery store, or a call into your market’s delivery service, will assure you have the ingredients on hand you need. Here is a sample list of what I want in my kitchen to keep it well stocked with lunch choices and healthy snacks. You’ll need to adjust this list to your food preferences, allergies, and taste.
Produce (varies with the season):
- pre-cut baby carrots
- sugar snap peas
- grape tomatoes
- romaine lettuce
- pre-cleaned & packaged baby spinach
- plain greek yogurt
- lite cottage cheese
- part-skim ricotta cheese
- low-fat shredded cheeses & cheese sticks
- skim milk
- unsweetened almond milk
- whipped cream cheese
- organic, cage-free eggs
- container of egg white
- Assorted veggie burgers (my favorite brand is Morning Star Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger)
- Individually wrapped white meat turkey burgers
- Tabachnik frozen soups
- Bags of frozen veggies (Trader Jo’s are the best!)
- Bags of frozen berries
- Roasted turkey breast
- Roasted chicken breast
- Rotisserie chicken
- Poached salmon
Canned and/or carton-packed soups (Trader Jo’s, Amy’s, and Pacific Brand are my favorites.)
Canned tuna packed in water
Mary’s Gone Cracker Brand Crackers
Nuts (TJ has several types in individual portion-controlled bags.)
Whole grain cereals
Cereal and Power Bars
Variety of mustards
All natural (no sugar added) Apple Sauce- individually packed
- Thomas’ 100 Calorie English Muffins
- Thomas’ Toaster Whole Wheat Bagels
- Arnold’s Flat Breads
- Whole wheat pita
- Whole wheat bread
Here are a few things I try to do over the weekend, right after shopping, or at dinner time:
Hard boil a half dozen eggs
Clean & cut romaine lettuce. Line a gallon-size plastic bag with paper toweling (to absorb moisture) and store.
Clean and cut peppers into strips and keep them in produce-preserving Tupperware containers (Rubbermaid makes them too!)
About once a month, I prepare Turkey Chili for dinner, doubling the amount needed for that night. Then I freeze individual size containers.
Double prep the amount of salad needed for one night and store leftovers in a Tupperware salad container.
Grill or broil extra chicken and/or turkey cutlets.
From my grocery list, I am sure you can begin to guess many things I eat for lunch. But I’ll share with you many of my favorites that might not be so apparent or can help jump-start your creative ideas for at-home healthy lunches during your work week. Please email me at email@example.com with any of your favorites that might not be on this list so I can add them and share them with other entrepreneurs.
My favorite lunches:
- Leftover salad with added protein (chopped egg, tuna, turkey, salmon, cheese or chicken)
- Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
- Leftovers from restaurant meals (Since almost every restaurant’s portions are at least double a normal serving size, I always take home half. My friends say, “If Ellen’s not walking out with a take-home container, the food was lousy, or the place served really small portions.” Luckily, this hardly ever happens.)
- Egg white veggie & cheese omelets. I either use packaged spinach or left-over prepared veggies from the previous night’s dinner.
- Mexican omelet made with salsa, avocado, and lo-fat shredded cheese.
- Veggie or Turkey burger on English Muffin or flatbread.
- Hummus and pepper strips on pita bread.
- Turkey or chicken sandwiches.
- Tuna Salad or Egg Salad sandwich or platter with leftover salad.
- Yogurt with fruit and cereal.
- Turkey chili defrosted the night before.
- Soup and salad or half sandwich.