What are you eating for lunch today? Odds are you haven’t thought that far ahead, as most of my patients would say. But, your health is SO important and the choices you make daily affect the overall quality of your life, so choose wisely!
I’ve outlined a great list of choices for lunch instead of what you’re probably normally accustomed to…and guess what? NONE of them are salad! Do Note: It’s ALWAYS best to meal prep on Sundays, so you’re choosing the healthiest options possible for lunch during the week ahead.
Eat Sweet Potato Fries NOT Regular Fries
Although calorically, sweet potato fries and French fries have about the same amount, its in the nutrients where the difference lies. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber, calcium and vitamin A and, if they are baked instead of fried, you’ll be cutting the calories in half. Be mindful not to devour them with an abundance of sauce, as this will completely defeat the purpose.
Eat Real Chicken or Turkey NOT Deli Meat
Deli meats are easily one of the worst lunch items that has been marketed as ‘healthy.’ Not only are they packed with sodium, they’re highly processed with preservatives like nitrites and have been linked to an increased risk in colon cancer. In just one serving of lunch meat, you’ll find 300-500mg of sodium! High sodium diets have been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity and so many more diseases. Ditch the deli meat and simply prep real meat.
Eat Lettuce Wraps NOT Bread Wraps
If you want to really cut carbs, then ditch the bread or wraps all together and have some lettuce wraps instead! They add a delicious crunch to your meal and they’ll keep things low-carb and low-calorie! You’ll be saving 265 calories and 50 grams of carbs by eating lettuce instead of bread for lunch!
Eat a Burrito Bowl NOT A Burrito
Fortunately, burrito bowls are all the rage nowadays! We’re so happy that its a trend now, as they are much healthier than wrapped up in a 500-calories flour tortilla. Be SURE not to go crazy with the high calorie, high sodium sauces and sour cream. Instead, opt for guacamole. Order brown rice instead of white, or skip the rice all together! Also, be mindful of the SIZE!!! Most burrito bowls contain far more contents than an actual burrito, so only consume half the bowl to ensure you’re not overeating.
Eat Cauliflower ‘Rice’ NOT Real Rice
Cut carbohydrates and calories by replacing rice with cauliflower rice! Cauliflower is one of the healthiest of all the veggies and is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One cup of white rice packs. 205 calories and 45 grams of carbs, versus 1 cup of cauliflower rice, which has 25 calories and 5 grams of carbs! What a difference! It’s super easy to make, simply boil and then grate with a food processor or cheese grater. Fortunately, many places like Target and Trader Joe’s sell it pre-prepped as well, but I always recommend making the real thing at home!
Eat Spaghetti Squash NOT Spaghetti
Spaghetti squash is such a fun, healthier alternative to regular spaghetti. One cup of cooked white spaghetti has 220 calories and 42 grams of carbohydrates, along with minimal nutrients. In stark contrast, spaghetti squash only has 42 calories and 10 grams of carbs in one cup! Not to mention it’s loaded with vitamins: Vitamin A, B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc! Fry up some lean ground turkey, add in some red pasta sauce (beware of the sodium) and you’ve got yourself a quick, delicious lunch! Be sure not to top with an overload of cheese on, or you’ll defeat the entire purpose.
Eat Sushi NOT A Sandwich
Eating sushi can be a great, low carb, healthy alternative to the standard lunch sandwich. BUT, it depends on the type sushi, and there are MANY! Tuna, salmon and other types of fish that are commonly prepared with sushi contain loads of omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A & D, calcium and magnesium. Often times, sushi is prepared with vegetables, which contain more vitamins and minerals as well. Avoid deep fried sushi (duh), loads of sauces packed with sodium, and avoid an abundance of white rice. You can order sashimi instead, which doesn’t contain rice at all! Of course, it’s best to eat sushi in moderation, as to avoid a large consumption of mercury.
Eat A Sandwich NOT A Wrap
Yup, you read that right! If you MUST have some carbohydrates with your lunch, opt for a sandwich instead of a wrap! Most wraps contain processed, highly refined flour and just as many (if not more) calories and carbohydrates. I’d rather have you eating whole grain bread than these processed wraps!
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Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to better posture and better health!