Have you noticed someone at the office who eats the same salad for lunch every day? While it could be seen as “boring” and monotonous to eliminate variety in what you eat, it may be beneficial to your health.
Eating the same lunch every day may help keep your weight in check — and keeps your calorie and macronutrient intake consistent. It may also help ease the pressure of daily meal planning, and most importantly, it may help you avoid the temptation of grabbing unhealthy but convenient foods or ordering out.
If the idea of figuring out what to eat each day is intimidating, meal prepping a week’s worth of meals or finding one simple, consistent healthy lunch, can help solve that problem.
“While packing the same thing for lunch is not for everyone, it can be beneficial for some,” said Katie Johnson, registered dietician and certified health and wellness coach. “If you do try it out, make sure you pack something that is balanced and healthy – include a protein source, lots of vegetables and a fruit to help keep you satisfied until your next meal or snack.”
One study looking at the behaviors of college students found those who were more mentally taxed tended to make unhealthy food choices. Alleviating the decision-making for your day-to-day meals may help free up mental energy to focus on other things, like getting through work projects or daily tasks.
Lacking inspiration for what to pack? Check out this tasty and healthy quinoa salad. Set aside time to meal prep on Sunday and you’ll be done with lunches for the whole week.
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- ½ cup green pepper, diced
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons radicchio, individual leaf, sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- ½ cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
- 1 cup Greek salad dressing (*see recipe below)
- Cut up all the vegetables as noted and place in a mixing bowl.
- Zest the lemon in the bowl.
- Add the beans, quinoa, fresh herbs and dressing.
- Mix well and enjoy!
*Greek Salad Dressing
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt to taste
Regardless of whether you think eating the same thing for lunch every day is right for you, bringing your own lunch may be a healthier thing to do, not to mention financially beneficial. Packing your lunch at home gives you control to bring healthier options and avoid potentially unhealthy fast food or high-calorie cafeteria food. There is no need to overcomplicate what you bring – bring leftovers or something simple like a sandwich. Make sure you are incorporating fruits and veggies.
Click hereOpens in a new tab for an easy, overnight oats recipe to help you prep your mornings.