Be prepared in the face of lunchtime temptation!
If you work in an office or are otherwise on the go, lunchtime can be one of the most difficult times to stick to your clean eating plan. The temptation of takeout is only a phone call away, and fast food is so easy to grab on the fly. However, you don’t have to sacrifice a clean eating lifestyle in favor of convenience; these low calorie lunch recipes are easy to make and even easier to bring with you as you head out the door.
If you frequently find yourself “hitting a wall” shortly after lunchtime, your midday meal choices could be to blame. Junk food is packed with carbs and sugar, which cause a peak-and-crash effect for our bodies and brains. Carbohydrates and sugars give us “quick burning” energy, which doesn’t last long and is to blame for that “crash” you feel a few hours later.
By opting for one of these 13 low-carb, low-calorie options, you’ll have more energy to power through the second half of your day and be less likely to feel the detrimental effects of the mid-afternoon slump.
1. Asian Style Beef and Broccoli
If you’re constantly caving to the takeout cravings, brown bag this low calorie, Asian-inspired dish in lieu of visiting your favorite Chinese restaurant.
2. Shrimp Tacos with Sweet and Tangy Slaw
Who says tacos have to be fattening? Two of these delicious shrimp tacos will cost you just 340 calories. Wrap them individually in tin foil for easy munching on the go.
3. Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken Soup
Combine the ingredients in a crockpot the night before, then spoon this hearty soup into a thermos for an easy lunch. At 192 calories per serving, you can have two helpings and still be under 399 calories!
4. Skinny Quinoa Stir Fry
This easy make-ahead meal combines healthy broccoli and 10 grams of protein. It’s perfect to whip up for dinner, then bring the leftovers along for lunch the next day.
5. Clean Eating Cobb Salad
Our clean eating cobb nixes the bacon in favor of fresh, healthful ingredients and a heart-healthy dressing.
6. Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes
This Mediterranean pasta salad is served cold and contains the perfect marriage of traditional Italian ingredients: ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and pesto.
7. Quinoa Fruit Salad
This fruity salad is a refreshing, light lunch to munch on between meetings. Just scoop it into a Tupperware container, and be sure to pack a spoon.
8. Asian Chicken Sandwich
Skip the pre-packaged deli meat filled with fat and preservatives and instead pack this hearty sandwich made with real sliced chicken on whole wheat baguette.
9. Sprouts, Veggies and Cheese Wrap
Tons of veggies and low fat cheese and rolled up in a spinach wrap in this easy, low-carb lunchtime recipe.
10. Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Sometimes, you have to revisit your inner child. Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Make a batch in the slow cooker to start the week and portion out individual servings to grab, heat and eat on the go.
11. Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Salad
When you think you can’t possibly eat another grilled chicken salad, try this unique twist. Blueberries and homemade dressing top this low carb lunchtime option.
12. Chicken Caesar Wrap
You might think you’re being healthy by opting for a wrap at your favorite sandwich place, but unfortunately most restaurant wraps are filled with added fat. Make this clean-eating wrap at home for a midday meal that doesn’t come with a side of regret!
13. Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp Salad
Bring oceanfront dining to the office with this delicious lunch salad filled with jumbo shrimp, fennel bulbs and cherry tomatoes.
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