HOW TO MEAL PREP FOR EASY + HEALTHY WEEKS
So recently, the hashtag #saddesklunch has been blowing up on Instagram. Most of us end up eating lunch at our desks to keep the day running smoothly (and to avoid going outside in the freezing cold!). Whether you bring a can of soup, leftovers from the night before, or resort to ordering in, we've all had our fair share of sad desk lunches—and it's time for that to stop.
Once you figure out what you actually like to eat at lunch (something that satisfies the taste buds and keeps you full through the afternoon), you should stick to that. Don't bring a flimsy salad or chicken and rice just because you see other coworkers doing it—bring something you're not going to "accidentally" forget is in the fridge. Then, buy the ingredients to make it—or some variation on it—at least 4 days out of the week.
I really like greens-and-grains bowls, so I picked up arugula (lots of nutrients and flavor!), quinoa (filling AND a superfood), shredded carrots, avocado, and eggs. The kale was in case I ran out of (or got bored of) the wild arugula. For added flavor (acidity really pulls a dish together!), lemon, lime, and garlic. Sunflower seeds add good fats and crunch. Not pictured: feta. I add a few crumbles for more flavor and calcium.
All that you see in this photo cost $17. And it lasts over a week for lunch and some dinners. That's about $2/meal.
The only thing you need to prep (on Sunday, or whenever you have a spare hour or two) is quinoa and hard-boiled eggs.
If you've never made quinoa or just need a refresher, you'll want to rinse it first to get rid of any bitterness. Then, just cook one part quinoa to two parts water—1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water, or 2 cups quinoa to 4 cups water. For my purposes of enjoying it lunch and dinner, I did the latter. While your quinoa is cooking, boil some eggs. These make a great green/grain bowl topper or afternoon snack.
My personal favorite for layering this bowl: a hefty bed of arugula, half a cup of quinoa, shredded carrots—then I drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked pepper—then crumbled feta, sunflower seeds, and half a sliced avocado. I'll bring the avocado to work with my lemon, and add both of those just before eating. The half lemon I don't squeeze onto the bowl goes into my water bottle. This meal keeps me super full and energized for an afternoon of hard work AND a great workout.
What's your favorite lunch to bring to work? Let me know in the comments!