Okay, so, I wanted to continue our conversation about breakfast but move onto lunch. I’ve gotta be honest here and say that lunch is a really hard one for me. Mainly because it takes more time to actually plan and pack for. Breakfast is pretty easy and doesn’t require much thinking, dinner I have all the time in the world to prepare, so I guess lunch is kind of the redheaded step-child. Poor little guy, gets no love.
Lunch is all over the place for me. For example, I’ve yet to do this but today I’m having a frozen lunch. I know, I know, they’re not the best thing for you, but it’s still low-calorie (270 cals) and I had zero time last night to pack up lunch. I thought about bringing my turkey meatballs and whole wheat spaghetti, but realized I’d rather have that for dinner tonight. (Speaking of which, it was delicious and I will most definitely post the recipe next time I make it. I have no pictures of the process since I was home alone and just wanted to eat after a long day at work.)
Other days I’ll go the soup route. My turkey chowder got me through Monday and Tuesday for leftovers. If I don’t have time to make my own soup, I’ll usually grab a Progresso Light can of soup. Number one, they taste delicious and number two, they’re really low-calorie. You can have an entire large can of chicken noodle for 140 calories. If I didn’t pack soup or ran out, I’ll grab a cup from downstairs. They’re nice enough to have the calories for all of their soups out on display, so I can grab a cup of tortilla soup or something and know it’s only 120 calories. Filling, easy to heat up, and great to have on the side with a half of a sandwich.
Speaking of sandwiches… I love me a sandwich. However, I don’t love the calories in the bread. I went on a mission to find a solid substitute that wouldn’t make me ashamed to have some bread on my sandwich.
1. Sandwich Thins. These things are pretty awesome in that they’re only 100 calories (for the 2 slices total) and keep your sandwich together. I don’t actually use them often because I’m a more of a fan of some of my other options, but I highly suggest these as an alternative to high-calorie bread.
2. Pita Bread. Oh man, I lovelovelove pita bread. It’s so tasty and can be used for pita pizzas, sandwiches, chips… They’re tasty and low-cal. A half of a large pita is 80 calories and will do a good job of holding your sandwich together!
3. La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb High Fiber Tortillas. Okay, these are my absolutely favorite. I could go on and on as to why I love these.
- 80 calories for a pretty big tortilla.
- They don’t taste like cardboard and are nice and soft.
- 12g of fiber (!!!) and 8g of protein.
We buy these at Costco in a pack of 20. We go through them so quick between using them for turkey tacos, sandwiches, wraps, cheese and bean burritos, the list goes on. I will swear by these no matter what as the best option for your bread substitute.
So now that I’ve thoroughly discussed bread, I’ll talk about what in between the slices (or I guess tortilla flaps?). I’m obsessed with turkey. I will and could eat it all the time. So turkey is what I always put in there. It’s healthy, it’s lean, and it’s filling, and around 50-60 calories. I have made myself a deal when it comes to cheese and mayo. Pick one, and only one. If I’m at work and am lunch-less, I’ll run downstairs to the deli place and get a half sandwich on multi-grain (90 calories for the bread, not bad!), turkey, pickles, lettuce, no cheese, and light mayo.
I love mayonnaise, it’s something that makes or breaks a sandwich for me. I don’t like the light mayo you find in stores… that is until I stumbled across mayo made with olive oil. It’s 45 calories and doesn’t taste like someone threw sugar and other weird things into my mayo. I enjoy it, and don’t have to feel horrible about putting it on my sandwiches. If I do want cheese, I have the deli slice my American cheese thin so it’s only around 50 calories a slice.
Well, how about something on the side? Especially with a sandwich, I like to pair it up with chips. However, potato chips are ridiculously high-calorie and not good for you so I avoided them at all costs. But then I was at Target and noticed Pop Chips. Made with real potatoes, but not in a crappy way and.. 22 chips for 120 calories? I decided to give them a shot and uhh.. they’re so good. SO GOOD. They’ve got lots of different flavors, you feel like you’re eating something you shouldn’t be. Great for when you’re in the mood for potato chips with your sandwich but want to skip the calories.
OH! I always try to get a vegetable or fruit in there, so I’ll often have a pear or orange on the side if my food is lacking veggies.
Tell me about what you’re eating for lunch. As you can see, my lunches can be a little bit boring. Soup, sandwiches, sometimes leftovers… though I’m pretty content with my food right now, I’m always open for suggestions. We’ll talk about snacks/desserts in another post (which I’m totally pumped for by the way!), but sell me on some of your lunch ideas!