How to Pack a Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Lunch
Mornings are typically a hectic time in most households. The snooze button on the alarm is tempting and time seems to slip away with all jobs to do before you head off to work. Too often, thinking ahead and planning a good lunch is not part of the busy morning schedule. Lunchtime comes around and you are left heading to the local deli, bakery, café or canteen, navigating menus and trying to dodge the many tempting options on offer. Not only does this cycle take its toll on your wallet, but also makes it very hard to stay on track with your health goals.
Now is the time to step out of this cycle and start planning and preparing some tasty, fresh and weight loss surgery friendly lunches. The trick is to PLAN AHEAD, so that all you have to do during the morning rush is grab your lunch and go. It is time to make taking your lunch to work the easy option.
To make sure your lunch is going to keep you satisfied, use the following formula:
lean protein + low GI carbohydrates + salad or vegetables
This formula works for lunches that you prepare ahead of time, when taking leftovers and those lunches you simply grab and go. Check out the components of each of these three different methods of preparing lunch below.
Method 1: Prepare Ahead
Try putting time aside on a Sunday to prepare lunch items for the week ahead. Salads, frittata, mini quiches, meatballs and patties all work well.
Some ideas to get you started include:
- Rice Salad: Combine prepared rice or a rice blend such as Sunrice Rice and Lentils or Rice and Quinoa, finely diced capsicum and celery, dried cranberries and mixed seeds (including sunflower and pumpkin). Dress with soy, fresh ginger, lemon and a little oil and top with a grilled chicken tenderloin. Our Black Rice Salad is a great recipe to get you started.
- Meatballs: Prepare lean mince, chicken or turkey meatballs and bake in the oven. These can be frozen then taken for lunch with a freshly prepared salad. Our Thai Inspired Chicken Meatballs, Cheeseburger Meatballs and Bocconcini Filled Mediterranean Meatballs will provide you with some recipe inspiration.
- Crustless Quiche: Grate zucchini and carrot, dice capsicum, tomato and mushroom and place in baking dish. Pour in a tub of cottage cheese, half a cup of grated cheese and a mixture of 6 eggs with one quarter of a cup of low fat milk. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden. Our Zucchini Slice is another handy option.
Method 2: Leftovers
Leftovers can make great lunches, when serving up your dinner get into the routine of dishing up an extra serve into a container ready for the next day – just watch your portion.
Ensure you are including each part of the lunch formula when you dish up the extra serve.
Grab and Go
There are lots of options you can either have on hand at work or quickly grab in the morning for days you haven’t been able to be prepared.
Try grainy crackers (such as Vitaweat or Ryvita) with:
- small (approximately 100g) tin of flavoured tuna
- cottage cheese
- sliced cheese
- nut paste
You can also grab a wrap or grainy bread with:
- tinned tuna or salmon and salad
- hard boiled eggs (boil ahead and keep on hand in the fridge) and salad
- baked beans and grated cheese.
If you need snacks over the day, don’t forget to plan ahead to take these too. If you don’t have something with you, that vending machine/charity basket/staff room cake can undo all your hard work in planning a great lunch! Some ideas to get you started include:
- 30-40g nuts
- hard boiled egg
- cheese and crackers.
We have lots of great recipes that you can prepare in bulk and freeze in our Single Serves recipe book. You can find out more about it here.