PART 3: LUNCH
I’m never going to waver on a key concept in my food posts:
Your habits dictate your success
Routine is King.
The BEST thing you can do is have an rotation of a few GO TO lunches. (I am saying this under the premise that you are given a set time frame to eat at work, and you have a lot on your mind that needs to get done at that job)
How many do you need?
- 2 Staple Lunches
- 1 “Quick Hit” Lunch
- 1 “On the Road” Choice
- You’ve had a breakfast that has adequate protein in it
- You are eating lunch 3-5 hours after breakfast
- There was no mid morning snack.
Note: This is using the model of having a breakfast at 7am and eating lunch by 12 noon. If you were to eat earlier, and have a late lunch, you would have violated a general guideline that I would like you to adhere to, that being eat every 3-5 hours. (This might vary for certain individuals. If you eat very early, I would schedule in a mid morning to keep within the general 3-5 hr window)
Next Step: Select the meals that will give you the most value:
- Easy to prepare and pack
- Packed with quality food, while maintaining your allotted calories
- Adequate protein, as part of your regimen to meet your protein needs throughout the day and help stave off hunger and help regulate your blood sugar levels.
My Personal Selections:
When helping someone with their food, I take inventory of a person’s likes, dislikes and needs and develop a plan that caters to them. For the purpose of this article, I will share what I personally do. (You are welcome to send me a message regarding how this post applies to you lunch selection wise if you like)
- 6 0z Grilled Chicken & 2 cups Side Vegetables (Chicken was made the night before and the veggies are in a container ready to go. It’s quick and easy)
- 5 oz Pork Tenderloin & Side Salad (Bagged Salad ready made…. Eat Smart Kale Salad with 1/2 the dressing package) (Again, I do not have time to waste. Nightly prep and ease of set up at lunch MUST be simple)
1 “Quick Hit”:
- 200g 1% Cottage Cheese with 1 scoop of protein powder. (I hate cottage cheese. The cookies and cream protein powder I use makes the concoction taste great. This is super easy and seems dessert like. I place the food in a container the night before so its ready to go the next day)
1 “On the Road” Choice:
- Whole Chicken at local grocery store & 1 apple. (I only do this if I can bring the 2nd half of the chicken to work, store it in a fridge and eat the second half the next day. Obviously this is not a good idea on a Friday)
- Swiss Chalet Quarter Chicken (White meat) & Baked potato (with some side ketchup)
With “On the Road” selections, I have already sourced places closest to my work. This road selection is due to last minute challenges in planning.
What about the weekends, Tom?
Weekends can be tricky depending on whether or not your routine changes from the weekdays. A general answer would be to apply the same formula on the weekends as you would for the weekdays. However, we all have different circumstances that can’t be addressed fully in a blog post.
If you are on the road, you may be anywhere. If that’s the case, I usually go with one of 3 options that were not listed above:
- A grilled chicken wrap of some sort with light dressing (McDonald’s works as does Tim Hortons.
- A grilled chicken salad with light dressing (McDonalds or Wendy’s)
- Burrito Bowl (With grilled chicken, loads of veggies, 1/2 rice OR beans (not both), and hot sauce.
If it’s my REFUEL day, I will have WHATEVER I want for lunch on a Saturday. If you don’t have a huge refuel day, I find most like to keep their refuels for later in the evening, to which I would recommend a bigger serving of healthy foods for lunch leading up to your dinner later on.
If it’s my Sunday, after my refuel day, because I have eaten so much the day prior, I will only eat dinner and a meal just after a workout. There is no lunch on these days.
Send me a line if you have any questions, and I would be more than happy to help.