What’s for lunch?

As a graduate student, I understand a busy schedule. It can be hard to eat a healthy lunch when you barely have time to think. Last semester, I drove to campus (an hour each way), went to class all day, ate dinner, studied, and went to sleep. It took me a while to develop a routine but once I did, life became easier.  Before I went to bed each night, I packed my lunch and snacks for the next day. I also gave myself time in the morning to put together items that I didn’t want to get soggy overnight.

Here’s some tips to get you started!

1. Buy an insulated lunch box and freezer packs.
-It took me a while to buy one but once I did, so many more options opened up for me.

2. Stackable tupperware.
-I pack a lot of food so it can be a Tetris game fitting it all in. These make it easier

3. Pack what you can the night before.
-Put food into sandwich bags and put in fridge. Pack up plastic-ware and napkins.

4.Set out everything you need to make a meal the next morning.
-For PB&J’s, I set out the peanut butter, plate and knife so I don’t need to do any more thinking at 5 am.

5. Fill up your water bottle and place it in the fridge.
-Get a big one that shows the liters on the side so you can keep track of your intake. Get an infuser to mix it up!

So what I do I put in my lunch? I know if its early and I haven’t prepared, I’m going to make poor nutritional choices. I might end up buying lunch too which I try to avoid doing as much as possible. Here are some ideas.

First and foremost, leftovers are your best friend. Nothing is easier than just putting last nights enchiladas in tupperware. Try making more than usual for dinner so you can have some for the next day.

Sandwiches and wraps are fairly simple too. You can pretty much throw whatever you have in the fridge together. Here’s some ideas:

Chicken Avocado Pita- found at The Cookie Rookie

Grilled Chicken with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes- found at Foodie with Family

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad- found at Damn Delicious

Avocado, Turkey, and Provolone Wrap- found at Recipe Van

Homemade soup- just add hot water! Try this recipe here at Veggie Belly

Sides and snacks:

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– Greek yogurt with cinnamon honey nuts and fruit- I eat this almost every day.
– Hummus and veggies. Carrots, peppers, broccoli, whatever you like. Or just raw veggies if you prefer!
– Fruit. Banana, apple, peach, orange, kiwi, watermelon. I could go on forever.
– Hard boiled eggs. This requires a little more planning but if you make a batch you’re set for the week.
– Roasted chick peas, pretzels, pita chips. Here is a recipe for Roasted Chickpeas that I love!
– Smoothie to go. Try the Island Green Smoothie from an earlier post or Berry Green Smoothie
 Salads. You can buy Dole Salad kits or I like to take broccoli slaw and combine with spinach.
– Avocado, feta, chickpea salad found here at Homegrown and Healthy. This is so fresh and easy to make.

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– Almonds or other nuts.
– Cheese. I just cut slices off a block and pair it with pita chips.
– Energy bites like these at Crunchy Creamy Sweet or these at Gimme Some Oven.

I hope you are inspired to take control of your lunch! If you have more ideas to share for feel free to comment below!

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