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What are some healthy options for packing a lunch to take to work?

Apr 8, 2014

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist

"Think variety and color when packing a healthy lunch.

"Start with calcium-rich food such as fat-free yogurt, cheese sticks, fat-free milk or a dairy alternative.

"Add a sandwich on whole wheat bread or a whole grain pita filled with lean protein like turkey breast or hummus and veggies such as shredded carrots, dark leafy greens, and tomatoes with an avocado or hummus spread.

"Include fresh fruit such as berries, sliced pineapple, orange, banana or apple and some nuts like dry roasted, unsalted almonds.  Have some water for your beverage, and you're set!"

Sue Teoli
FT New Canaan

"The key is to prepare. We tell our clients to have a game plan and take the time to follow it. I take chicken and green beans every day because I prepare every Sunday.  Anything can be easy if you fit it into your schedule."

Josh Bate
FT East Greenwich

"When packing a lunch to bring to work a few questions must be first be taken into account, number one being how much time you have for lunch.  Not every job is always going to have the same duration for their lunch breaks.  This could be the deciding factor between a protein shake and an apple or a chicken breast and some brown rice.

"Another question you have to ask yourself is whether you'll actually eat the lunch you packed.  This sounds silly, but will you be able to resist going to lunch with your coworkers while your homemade healthy lunch sits alone? A large part of being successful in anything -- especially fitness and health -- is willpower.

"The third and final question is whether you have a place to heat or keep your lunch chilled.

Malik Stevens
FT Central Georgetown

"Some good options are chicken breast with carbs such as sweet potatoes or brown rice accompanied by a fruit, or even some whole wheat pasta mixed with one’s favorite proteins and tons of vegetables.  These are easy options and can easily come from leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

"Sandwiches are also very popular lunchtime meals.  In this case, wheat breads are the best options.  And instead of having a side of chips or fries, try carrot sticks or even a fresh fruit salad."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media

"Good lunch options include some obvious choices: grilled chicken or fish, salads (with dressing on the side), and nuts. Beverages should be unsweetened teas/coffees or water. Every meal should have a protein, a "green," and a good fat such as nuts or avocado. Watch the sweetened beverages as they are calorie bombs and can sabotage the best of intentions."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge

"There are many healthy options for taking a lunch to work. One could pack a six-ounce grilled chicken breast with a mashed sweet potato made with a little bit of lemon, coconut milk, and cinnamon. Another option is a seven-ounce sirloin steak grilled with garlic and lemon with a cup of brown rice and steamed spinach."


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