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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

So, what's for lunch?

What do you eat for lunch?

Do you bring lunch to work every day to save money? To eat healthier?

Or is lunch a mid-day after-thought? Like, you suddenly realize you haven’t eaten and you’re starving! So what do you do? Grab a bag of chips and candy from the vending machine? Run out and buy an expensive grab-and-go meal?

I’ve been there.

Feeling irritable and hangry was “normal.” I never took the time to plan or think about what was good for me.

I recognized this was not the way I wanted to feel and decided to make a change.

I had to learn how to prioritize caring for myself.

I learned it’s critical to be prepared when it comes to eating and fueling my body; that sets you up for improved mood, nourishing food, increased energy, and overall success.

Prepping lunch the night before saves you time, energy, and money. I’m excited to share the fabulous formula of my favorite, simple, and healthy go-to on-the-go lunch:

Power-Packed Salad! Fresh greens, roasted veggies, canned fish, or sausage, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

That’s it! It’s simple and oh-so-yummy. Plus, it includes all 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) for one easy, balanced, and nutritious meal.

Fresh greens: I generally have a few types of greens on hand in my refrigerator (I love baby kale, arugula, and bok choy, for example).

Roasted veggies: I always have roasted veggies in my fridge. I generally make a few batches every week with about 3 different kinds of vegetables at a time. I liberally add a healthy fat such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or duck fat along with fresh herbs and spices. Some of my favorite veggies to roast are leeks, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, fennel, brussels sprouts, and radishes. How to roast veggies.

Mix and match to your liking! I recommend to continually rotate and mix up the types of greens and veggies you eat as food diversity is key to gut health. Keep your gut bacteria on its toes with the wide variety of the vitamins and nutrients you’re feeding it.

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, a few cloves diced fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice from ½ lemon, and a few dashes sea salt. Sometimes I add a Tbsp of mustard and raw honey. Mix well. I keep adding to the jar when it gets low.

Canned fish: Get in those supremely healthful omega-3 fatty acids! I like the Wild Planet brand for sardines* and mackerel, which I get at Whole Foods, and you can find online. I always get canned fish in olive oil and look for bone and skin as that’s where the nutrients are! The tiny bones and skin are edible and have four times the amount of calcium as skinless, boneless. For canned oysters I like Crown Prince (you can find at Trader Joe’s). Any brand of wild-caught canned salmon or tuna is good.

Here’s my recipe for salmon salad: 1 15oz. can wild-caught salmon (or two smaller cans) and about 1/3-1/2 cup avocado oil mayo (I like Primal Kitchen) or my homemade vinaigrette. Add a few chopped celery stalks, 3 diced scallions or 1/2 of a red onion, diced, capers and/or chopped pickles, to taste, ¼ cup chopped fresh dill or parsley. Sometimes I add ¼ cup unsweetened dried cranberries for a little pizazz!

*I love sardines and it’s my mission to show you the sardine way. 8 Benefits of Sardines.

Sausage: I like to get sausage from my local butcher as it’s sugar and additive-free. Or, a few recommended brands are U.S. Wellness Meats, Bilinski’s, and Applegate Farms. I cook the sausage the night before, cut into bite-size pieces, and add it to the veggies in my lunch container so it’s ready to go in the AM!

Healthful add-in ideas: sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, avocado, fresh dill or parsley, blueberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and broccoli sprouts (a nutrient-dense powerhouse!).

How to: The night before I put a few big handful of greens and a hefty serving of roasted veggies in one of my eco-friendly stainless steel containers (I love LunchBots and U-Konserve) in the fridge. I keep a little bottle of vinaigrette on the side. I put a can of fish on top so I don’t forget it. If I’m adding salmon salad, I do that in the morning so it doesn’t make the veggies soggy. Then, when I’m heading out the door, I put my lunch container in my bag and I’m off to conquer the day with nourishing goodness at my fingertips!

I’m here to help you set yourself up for improved mood, nourishing food, increased energy and overall success. With just a little prep time, you too can have budget-friendly, wholesome, and nutritious lunches every day. Are you in?

September 17, 2019

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