For the best energy- and mind-boosting desk lunch, you need four things: good carbs, lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. “Think of foods like sweet potatoes, beans, and quinoa,” says Lori Zanini, R.D., C.D.E., a dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “With enough of those, there’s no need to count calories or stick to a certain ratio.” Here are four delicious idiot-proof DIY lunches to work into your repertoire.
LUNCH NO. 1 – The Power Burrito
“Pack two whole-wheat tortillas and top with black beans or ground turkey. Pack a separate bag of tomato, avocado, and lettuce. Heat up the tortilla and protein, then add your toppings. It’ll help you stay focused for several hours afterward.”
LUNCH NO. 2 – The Right Sandwich
“Stuff a whole-wheat pita with arugula, turkey, avocado, and Dijon mustard. Add a fruit salad on the side. This has high fiber, carbs, healthy fats, and protein. This balance prevents overeating and gives you energy to offset the afternoon office slump.”
LUNCH NO. 3 – The High-Protein Salad
“Just throw two cups of greens, 11⁄2 cups garbanzo beans, 1⁄4 cup walnuts, and a sliced apple into a container, and drizzle with red wine vinegar. This meal will help keep blood sugar levels stable and lower cholesterol.”
LUNCH NO. 4 – Tuna and Crispbreads
Take a can of tuna in water (drained), add sliced cucumber, celery, tomato, and bell pepper, and eat it on whole-grain crackers like Wasa or Ak-Mak. This can fight chronic disease—tuna’s omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure.”
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