Hey What Runs Lori readers! I’m Leanne and I blog over at Healthful Pursuit. I’m a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for healthy treats, whole food eats, and balanced living.
I wasn’t always into the healthy treats and whole food eats. My favorite foods were red licorice, potato chips, anything takeout, jujubes and beer. Wait, what? Beer isn’t a food?
It wasn’t until I met with a local Nutritionist, that I realized the damage my food choices were making to my health. 3 months later, I found myself in a classroom learning about the impacts that an unbalanced diet can have on our health.
Sitting and listening to a professor talk about all the carcinogens we’re subjected to on a daily basis shook me up to say the least. I like to say I was scared into adapting a clean and balanced life.
I promise I wont scare you… today [I kid, I kid].
Packing your lunch
One of the first steps I took in creating a balanced diet, was to start to pack lunches for myself. I’m sure many of you have this preconceived notion that lunch packing is dreadfully boring, takes up too much time, and well, just sucks.
But I promise you, it doesn’t. In fact, packing your own lunch:
- keeps you on track with your health goals
- gets you excited about food
- saves money!
- helps to maintain a steady dose of energy throughout the day [the more little snacks you have, the better your energy]
- makes people jealous at the office. hehe
- gets you motivated to take care of your health
To make sure we only spend 10 minutes in the evening prepping our lunches for the following day, we could:
- cook a couple of cups of rice, quinoa, or millet on the weekend for quick grain consumption
- pre-cut veggie sticks and place in a ziploc in the fridge
- make a large casserole that can be divided up between you 5 weekday lunches
- have plenty of lettuce and homemade salad dressing on hand
- whip up a batch of hummus on the weekend
- make larger dinners and bring the leftovers with us to work the next day
For me personally, I like preparing everything on the weekend.
To keep on track with my health goals, as well as make sure that my lunch has a bit of everything and is easier to whip together, I follow this “lunch outline”:
After workout snack: grain + fat + fruit
- homemade granola, chia seeds, strawberries, almond milk
- overnight oats
- buckwheat bake + nut butter
- 5 minute quinoa flake bake
Snack: vegetable + protein
- hard boiled egg mashed with mustard and used as a dip with fresh veggies
- hummus and veggies
Lunch: vegetable + protein + grain
- stir fry with animal protein and loads of veggies
- luscious bowl
- salad with homemade dressing + precooked grains + tofu
- bean salad, precooked grains + cucumber
Snack: fruit + fat
- homemade trail mix
- Date balls aka “drops” [like the recipe below]
- Apple + almond butter
The less stress we can have around packing our lunches, the more excited we’ll be about trying new things.
Best new thing I’ve tried lately are these Mojito Drops. They have all the minty, limey taste, are quite the party, but don’t come with a hangover!
In my previous life I would have opted for the vodka drenched mojito, but you know, these drops are pretty darn tasty!
Raw Cashew Lemon Drops
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free
These fruit and nut balls make for a perfect [simple] sunny afternoon snack.
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup almond
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 8 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- zest of one lime
In a food processor, chop almonds until they’re the size of the eraser end of a pencil. Remove from food processor bowl and set aside.
Place remaining ingredients in the food processor and combine until dates are fully mashed [you’ll know when it’s ready when the dates clump together in one large ball] Add almonds back in and pulse quickly, just until incorporated.
Grab a scoop at a time [about a tablespoon size or a bit bigger] and roll into balls. Place completed balls on a freezer safe plate. Repeat with remaining dough. Place balls in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, remove and enjoy!
I like to keep them in the freezer for quick access. I prefer them cold, but they’re just as tasty at room temperature and will hold their form well.
Makes 8 drops.
All in all, this recipe took me 10 minutes from start to finish, including cleaning up the kitchen afterward. Best part? I had these to pack in my lunch all week long!
Do you pack your own lunches?
What’s your favorite go to lunch item?