Lunchtime can sometimes be a challenge. If you are anything like me, you start each day good intentioned with a healthy breakfast to get your metabolism moving, and if the rest of my meals aren’t planned out pretty perfectly – the day goes downhill. It’s almost as if the stars aren’t aligned just right, then I’m reaching for something I don't really want to put in my body.
I try to eat healthy but sometimes I just don't — and then the guilt. I try to blame it on how busy I am, since it’s not my fault that all the easy to reach for food are often the ones I shouldn’t be grabbing. Nonetheless, the need to find some alternatives started to become more and more present as I wasn’t getting the energy that I needed to fuel my day from crappy food. So here are 5 swaps that will make for a much healthier brown bag lunch.
1. Swap: Your favorite bread for lettuce
I know! Sounds a little crazy, right? If you are a sandwich freak, but are finding that your days are too carb filled, start buying a head of lettuce instead of a loaf of bread. You can easily prepare your favorite sandwiches the same as always, but simply roll them in a large piece of lettuce and you are ready to go!
2. Swap: Store bought juice for homemade veggie and fruit juices
I know that you are thinking, “boy that sounds like an awful lot of work” and yes — it can be. But here’s a little trick: set aside an hour on the weekends to press your favorite fruit and veggie combinations and then freeze it in individual bottles for the week. Then, each morning, take them out of the freezer, throw it in your bag, and it will be defrosted and ready to drink by lunch time – minus all the added sugar!
3. Swap: Fruit cups for fresh fruit
Fresh is always better! I know that fruit cups last longer and don’t easily go bad, but they are loaded with added sugar, preservatives, and things that you can’t pronounce.
4. Swap: Sour cream for Greek yogurt
It will taste the same, I promise! And the calorie/fat comparison isn’t even comparable!
5. Swap: Potato chips for blue corn tortilla chips
Yes, they are still chips, but this small swap will make a big healthy difference! The blue corn tortilla chips have more protein and fiber, leaving you fuller longer – just make sure to stick with the proper serving size!
What are your favorite healthy alternatives to pack in your brown bag?