If you’re low on time, but still want to eat healthy, think ahead and prepare meals in bulk. Last night’s dinner can be enjoyed for lunch or even for dinner later in the week. Store your leftovers in BPA-free plastic containers or glass storage containers to easily bring a meal on-the-go. Below are some helpful tips for enjoying leftovers:
Most of the time, Chinese, Mexican, and whole grain pizza taste better the second time! Pack these leftovers with a salad to incorporate antioxidants and nutrients into your meal.
Try to make sure your leftovers aren’t fried, are made with whole grains when possible, and contain healthy oils (olive, peanut, coconut, and sesame).
Store Your Food Safely
To avoid food poisoning or spoiled food, remember to keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Make sure you don’t leave your meals in a hot car, otherwise they might spoil. And if you reuse containers and bags, make sure to wash them after using them.
What other foods taste better the second time around? Use #LocalRoots to join the conversation!
Protein is essential for tissue repair and immunity; however, you don’t need as much as you may think. Most people only need about 6 ounces of animal protein (or vegetarian substitute) per day. Caplan notes that consuming too much protein can lead to bone loss. Here are some great lean (low fat) protein options that you can include in your diet:
Enjoy flank steak, chicken, or turkey on sandwiches and salads, but be sure to avoid deli meats that are high in sodium nitrates; these include bologna, salami, and ham.
Enjoy fish for lunch or dinner. Fish is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which help improve heart and brain functions.
Add unprocessed cheese to salads and quesadillas, or simply enjoy it with fresh or dried fruit and nuts for a sweet and savory treat.
Spread some olive oil or canola mayo (cold pressed) and spicy mustard and/or horseradish on your sandwiches to add some healthy fats into your diet.
For some extra zing, add sliced avocado and roasted red peppers to your sandwiches. To increase your daily dose of antioxidants, you can also add a few spinach leaves.
For a healthy lunch with an Asian flare, you can pack eight pieces of sushi or sashimi with some edamame and miso soup.
Beans are also a great source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. Some tasty options include beans soups, Mexican entrées, or tofu dishes. For something quick and simple, you can toss a can of beans into a fresh green salad.
Judy Caplan, our corporate nutritionist, notes that whole or unrefined grains are packed with minerals and B vitamins as well as fiber, which helps keep you full and satisfied. These nutrients are all very important for heart and bowel health. Caplan recommends eating a variety of whole grains, including oats, barley, quinoa, whole wheat, rye, amaranth, farro, and brown rice. She notes that healthy carbs (which include whole grains) will not make you gain weight when consumed in moderation. Here are some helpful tips for incorporating whole grains into your busy lifestyle:
Remember to make/buy your sandwiches and wraps on whole grain bread products. The same goes for crackers, English muffins, bagels, chips, and pretzels.
Choose non-hydrogenated microwave popcorn as a delicious and fiber-rich snack.
You don’t have to say goodbye to baked goods for good! As a treat, choose or prepare baked goods with whole wheat flour and healthy oils. Enjoy your treat with fresh fruit or a hot skim latte for lunch.
Buy whole grain cereals and pastas to boost your fiber intake.
Asian bowls prepared with brown rice are excellent for lunches and dinners. You can easily prepare them with sautéed broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Top with tofu, sesame oil, and soy sauce for some extra flavor.
Enjoy a fresh and flavorful veggie burger with grilled onions and mushrooms on a whole grain bun.