Healthy workday lunch tips
By Jessica Tong, RD, Medisys Calgary
Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging when you don’t have access to a kitchen, like when you are at the office or travelling on business. When it comes to healthy workdays – it’s wise to bring what you can from home!
Stock your desk drawer and the office fridge with healthy snacks and lunches such as:
- Fresh cut fruit and veggies
- Hummus for dipping, try our homemade beet hummus
- Homemade egg salad, tuna salad, or chicken salad sandwiches (swap mayo with mashed ripe avocado or a yogurt-based dressing that is free of sugar and additives)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Cheese portions <20% MF (milk fat)
- Cottage cheese portions (no sugar added)
- Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds
- Homemade, low-sugar energy bars, energy balls or well selected commercial bars (e.g. many varieties of Kind Bars, simply Protein bars, or Vega One bars are great options).
Simple substitutions in your takeout lunch order can have a huge impact on your waistline! When you need to rely on eating out, simple substitutions can keep your meal from becoming a complete calorie, sugar, and sodium bomb. Here are some health tips to remember when dining out for lunch:
- Choose grilled versus fried meats or fish
- Order dressings on the side and choose vinaigrettes over creamy or sugary dressings
- Choose options like mustard, salsa, lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar instead of creamy and sugary sauces or condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, Caesar dressing, or ranch dressing
- Limit sodium by avoiding heavily processed/cured meats,processed cheese, and pickled veggies
- Pile on as many veggies as you can whenever possible (many food chains like PitaPit, Mucho Burrito, or Subway Sandwiches will let you turn wraps, pitas, or burritos into salad bowls)
- Choose salad or steamed veggies over French fries as your side, and when salad isn’t an option, skip the side altogether
- Choose the 1/2 size portion
- Choose still or sparkling water as your beverage – the extra, empty calories from pop, juice, and alcohol can really add up!
- Read online nutrition information before dining out