Raw Salads are an excellent way to enjoy a wide variety of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and fruits. For a protein side you can add line caught fish or grass fed lean meat, avoid processed, chemical laden meat like bacon, sausages or hamburgers. As with all food, it is preferable to select organically grown, locally sourced varieties, whenever possible. A lunch of pre-cut crudités from the market (carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery, etc), a can of salmon, sardines or tuna, some homemade dressing or hummus, and some buckwheat crackers or milled oat cakes is another delicious option.
Sandwiches can be a healthy lunch choice if you make them with nutrient-rich, 100% whole grain bread and include fresh vegetables and a healthy protein source such as organic chicken or turkey breast, baked tofu, or hummus - and hold the mayonnaise (avocadoes can be a great substitute for mayonnaise) In terms of bread, 100% whole wheat and multi-grain varieties are good choices and they combine well with tuna salad, peanut butter or cashew butter. Pocket sandwiches made with organic whole wheat pita bread and your favourite filling can also represent a balanced, healthy meal.
Most varieties of fresh fruit, which are easy to transport and are concentrated sources of many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, can be great portable snacks. If you are insulin resistant or have concerns about fruit negatively affecting your blood sugar level, select those with a lower glycaemic index such as apples, pears, oranges, berries or plums and stay away from all dried fruit.
Nuts and seeds make delicious snacks and are a convenient way to include some extra protein in your diet while you are at work. Sunflower seeds and walnuts also provide rich sources of vitamin E and those hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, respectively – add desiccated coconut, flaxseeds, or goji berries. Yoghurt can also serve as a snack and a decent source of protein if you are able to tolerate dairy products. If you like yoghurt mixed with fruit, it is best to add your own fresh fruit to plain yoghurt rather than purchase already prepared yoghurt mixed with fruit as these can be high in added sugars and preservatives.
If you have to grab lunch on the run, opt for a fresh salad bar salad. Not only will you get a cornucopia of nutrients from the many vegetables that are featured - salad bars also have ingredients that can add great protein to your meal. For example, many salad bars have garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, or mixed beans, and these foods can also help you meet your protein needs for the day while adding a plethora of vitamins. There are sometimes hard-boiled egg whites as well, and each bite-sized chunk of an egg white contains about a gram of protein. Sunflower seeds at salad bars also provide some protein, approximately three grams per tablespoon.
A great location for a healthy lunch is your local independent health food store, in the refrigerator section - you will find numerous raw and non-raw options for lunch that are delicious and freshly made.
Why not try some of these simple yet nutritious and tasty lunches designed by Irene of Bliss Bites. These recipes are tried and tested and are particularly suitable for the lunch at the office. Trust me; your colleagues will be drooling!
1/2 cup mixed sprouts (Irene occasionally swaps for her favourite - sunflower sprouts)
2 tomatoes (or 4 cherry tomatoes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon aceto balsamico
Cut all tomatoes and the avocado into cubes and mix with the salad leaves. Sprinkle with the sprouts and dress with the olive oil, aceto balsamico and Himalayan salt to taste. Voila!
Easy Veggies Sushi Rolls
3 sushi nori sheets (preferably unroasted)
1 small avocado
1 small carrot
1 small pepper
Cut the nori sheets into squares and set aside. Next cut all vegetables into strips.
To make the rolls, simply lay a strip of each veggie on the nori square – and roll. Dip into the tamari for a more japanese feel to it.
These rolls can easily be prepared in your office kitchen area and take just a couple of minutes. Prepare the veggies at home the night before but leave the avocado unopened until just before consumption - they turn dark very quickly.
Dips and Crudités
A couple of dips and a few vegetables cut into strips make an easy and very versatile lunch – for variety, alternate the veggies.
1 medium tomato
1/2 small red onion
1/2 lime (juice only)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of Himalayan salt
Mash the avocado with a fork. Add in the olive oil, lime juice, salt and top up with the tomato and onion cut into small cubes.
Note: To keep the guacamole fresh, leave the avocado pit in it until just before consumption.
1 cup cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon (juice only)
Fresh herbs - I like it with dill or parsley
Rinse the soaked cashews and put them in a blender with the rest of ingredients (except the herbs) and blend into a smooth paste. You might need to add more water to make sure it gets a creamy consistency. Pour into a container and mix in the herbs.
Vegetables for dipping
Celery, cucumber, carrots, parsnips and beetroot.
Be creative and experiment until you find your own favourites!
For more recipes, please visit www.blissbites.co.uk