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I need ideas for healthier lunches...

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february2003bride

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 18, 2005
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Breakfast, dinner and snacks are not a problem but for some reason, I can not eat a healthy lunch. I generally have the same thing: sandwich (turkey/cheese/whitebread), chips, Coke or Snapple. It''s boring but quick, cheap and I''m making the same lunch for my kids. I really need healthy but easy lunch ideas, especially since I''m a stay at home mom.

Thanks!
 

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hlmr

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Oct 21, 2004
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My son had a tuna fish sandwich on ww for a very long time but now he loves a chicken ceasar salad wrap! Some carrot and celery sticks on the side with a piece of fruit and milk make it a healthy lunch for him.
 

eks6426

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Well, if you don''t want to deviate too much, I''d start with the turkey on whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Aunt Millie''s makes whole wheat bread that is soft and is close enough to white bread that even my picky 17 year old will eat it without comment. Make sure you''re using low-fat cheese or mix it up by adding things like spicey mustard or hummus. Then I''d switch to cut up veggies or soy crisps instead of the chips. Drink milk or water instead of the pop.

For a larger change, what about adding soups? It''s easy to make a big pot of healthy soup that will last all week. You can serve a cup of soup and half a turkey sandwich. Warm & filling and you can sneak in some veggies.
 

fire&ice

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Progresso 50% less sodium chicken noodle soup. Can't beat it.

edited to add: - plain walnuts (omega fatty acid) and a piece of low fat mozzerla cheese.
 

Giada

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My favorite thing for a quick and healthy lunch is a couple of hard-boiled eggs (whites only) on top of a pre-packaged Spring Mix Salad. I vary my veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, baby carrots) and sometimes I will use garbanzo beans, black beans, etc. Toss with some low cal dressing and you''re set!
 

Miranda

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I''m a SAHM, too and this is a problem for me! If I have leftovers, I''ll eat that for lunch. If I don''t I tend to nibble...granola bar, fruit, etc...and never get enough food. Giada''s salad idea is a great one.
 

Mara

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i love making egg white omelets at home with cheese and wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, it''s not lunch for some people but sometimes it''s a fun deviation from the lunch norms.

also soups from campbells, the hearty ones, are pretty healthy...i like vegetable beef and bean and ham. and they have fiber so it keeps you full longer.

i also have healthy stuff like granola bars, fresh granola, fiber cereal that tastes yummy to snack on at hand. or you can make a quick salad from fresh greens, some croutons, some fresh parm cheese and some lowfat caesar dressing. add some fresh grilled chicken (TJ''s sells ''just chicken'' in their fresh packed area which is basically just fresh grilled chicken sliced chicken breast!) for protein. or a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.

i''d nix the sodas and add more water. iced tea with no sugar for some flavor if you want. juices but only fresh and non-sugary stuff...sugars can really add up. milk. i also love 2% chocolate milk, it''s great as a snack. mozz sticks for a snack are great too. oh and a mozz and tomato salad with greens and vinaigrette would be fab for lunch too.

oh and the old standby, tuna sandwich, mixed with a bit of real full-fat mayo (goes a longer way for me than the low-fat stuff which doesnt taste as good), and chopped celery on toasted wheat bread. sometimes i add a slice of cheese and do a tuna melt in the oven if i have sourdough roll instead of wheat.

i can go on!!!
 

monarch64

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Yummo, glad Mara suggested those Campbell''s soups...I love the Healthy Request ones...less fat, sodium, etc... they also make a great cream of mushroom with roasted garlic that says great for cooking, but guesss what? It''s great by itself!

Also, I second (I think)Tybee''s suggestion of switching to wheat bread first and foremost. Or even doing a "wrap" thing and using a very thin whole wheat tortilla or flatbread to wrap sandwich contents in. Also try to limit the condiments (may in particular) to a tablespoon or less, or use only mustard...that always helps with the caloric content. Add more veggies, and you''re good to go!

I love lunch. I''ve always read it should be your biggest meal of the day, and I really subscribe to that. I like the sandwiches, the sides, the desserts, etc. Trouble is making sure they''re healthy...do you know what calorie limit you''d like to stay at? If you''re shooting for under 2,000 you have soooooooooo many options. Even if you''re looking to maintain or lose weight, you just have to try to shoot for 300-400 calories for lunch, and it''s not as hard as you might think. One thing I like to do when I get tempted to "go out" for lunch (fast food because everyone else at my office eats it) is go to a restaurant''s website and go on their nutition page. You''ll find out real quick how many calories/ grams of fat, etc. is in even a nutritious sounding salad. It even will telll you the facts on the dressing they give you with the salad!

Honestly, if you can watch your calories during breakfast and lunch, and keep them where you want them, and then work out every night (burning around 300 cals.), you will still be able to lose weight. Have you tried writing down what you eat throughout the day? Sometimes journaling food intake can be a major help...just write down in a notebook what you eat, the caloric content, etc., and the times of day you''re eating. Also note your mood when eating and soon you''ll notice a pattern and be able to change certain variables. You can do this!
 

diamondfan

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I never drink regular soda or chips or fruit juice.

I eat SALADS all the time, dressing on the side. Protein really helps keep you full. I only use egg whites if making eggs (one yolk added if making egg salad) and always use mustard or fat free mayo. I drink tons of Fruit 2 O or Aquafina flavor splash to curb my pangs. Any cheese is lowfat, chicken is white meat only and grilled, and I try to avoid bread at lunch if I can. Try also to eat slowly (hah) and not in front of the tv (another ha) but savor each bite and allow your brain to tell your stomach you are full, thank you very much. If I wolf it down, I way overeat because by the time my brain has gotten the message to my stomach I have just gorged myself.

It can cost a bit more, but get prepackaged cut up stuff, (but the lettuce I would still rewash after all this e coli) and I also love love love to take the leanest ground white turkey, brown it with Pam and salt free seasonings, take frozen chopped spinach and fire roasted diced tomatoes and cook it, then add a bit of parmesan and eat it. It fills me up and the parm gives a lot of flavor without a lot of calories...just use a little...
 

diamondfan

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Jun 17, 2005
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Monnie, I have been doing the ellipitcal, maybe 5 times a week if I can, and I do 45 mintues, burning about 500 calories if that machine is accurate...I am not a morning person so I do it in the evening and I like it, though it doesn''t help the insomnia!!!! Also drink tons of water...if I feel a bit hungry I just grab a flavored water and it usually gets me through for a while. If I am really busy, I find food takes a back seat, but if I am with my kids or at the movies I just shove it in and eat like a robot...I could be eating packing foam peanuts and not even notice...
 

february2003bride

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 18, 2005
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3,542
Thank you so much everyone! I''ve jotted all of this down. Between this thread and the WWT, I''ve got several food ideas. I did go yesterday and bought yogurt, granola, bottled water (no more Coke), chicken salad, whole wheat bread, pita chips, the Fiber One cereal Mara raves about (which was my breakfast this morning!) and Celestial Seasons green tea. I went to thy gym last night and ran/walked 2 miles and plan on going again tonight! I''ll have to make another grocery store trip tomorrow and will definitely get tuna, whole what wraps, etc. Thanks again!!! Now to go lurk on the WWT, lol.
 

elsie

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Sep 28, 2006
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This post is making me hungry!

One thing we loooove is to buy a bag of pre-packaged salad and mix it with a whole bunch of stuff -- different types of olives from the olive bar at the supermarket, small chunks of fresh mozzarella, cut-up tomatoes and red onions, and FI likes to add slices of Italian deli meats. Then, top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar/olive oil. We''ve found the salads can stay prepared in the fridge for about 2 days without going bad (as long as you keep the dressing on the side). Pretty filling too!
 

biblobaggins23

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Nov 25, 2006
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i make a caesar salad and grilled veggies every night for dinner and bring the leftovers to work in a microwaveable container. its soo good. i may bring a slice of bread. i''m trying to cut down on the meat. during the day i drink lots of h20 so i don''t eat too much for lunch. i''ll eat a zone bar after for a snack.
 

Christa

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Aug 15, 2006
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Kids shouldn''t really be having chips and Snapple every day, either. How about all of you switching over to whole wheat on the sandwich and fruit instead of chips? Adding soup is a great idea, too. It''s very filling and satisfying without a huge calorie load.
 
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