Is it time for some new ideas?
A lot of us started brown-bagging it back in grade school.
The problem is, many of us still make the same boring sandwiches we ate back then.
To avoid this, a good percentage of us now buy our noon meal, which is an expensive way to go and isn't always too friendly with our waist and/or hips.
Save that pizza slice (or two) for a special occasion.
Instead, we'll show you how to make a mid-day meal that will be the envy of your co-workers.
We want you to think outside the lunch-box.
Not much tastes better than a freshly made sandwich with fresh, natural ingredients.
Bring your (pre-sliced) ingredients separately and make your sandwich at work.
If you don’t have a fridge to keep things chilled, get one of those insulated lunch bags and in the morning include a freezer pack inside, works for me.
It's a good plan to bring the condiments separately too, little containers work well.
Mustard, mayo, and tomatoes won't make your bread go soggy when they're added at the last minute.
Giddy-up and go outside.
Eat your lunch in a comfortable, relaxing environment.
What could be more enjoyable than a picnic meal?
You'll enjoy it more if you don't eat it at your desk.
Keep a bottle of hot sauce or salsa at work if you like.
It can perk up anything from a sandwich to soups and it's low fat.
A few pieces of fresh pineapple, apple or mango go a long way toward curbing your cravings.
Again, low fat!
Every so often, change your sandwich with something unexpected.
Vary the bread on your sandwiches, and please, get away from white bread.
There is virtually nothing in it, that is remotely good for you.
Yes, the advertisers may try and tell you that they have added this goodness and that goodness, but the amounts are so minute that I don’t even think they can be considered trace.
Try pumpernickel with turkey, oat bread with tuna, rye bread for a turkey-bacon BLT or low fat ham sandwich, and sourdough bread with roast beef.
You could try a wrap instead of a regular sandwich.
Wrap a wheat tortilla around roasted veggies, a spinach tortilla around meatloaf or spread a soft corn tortilla with low fat cream cheese before rolling.
Bring small containers of dips such as hummus, and veggies like broccoli or cauliflower, celery and carrots to dip into it.
We do this all the time.
Keep a large bag of mixed salad greens at home and fill a plastic container with them each morning.
Bring your low/no fat dressing in a separate container and add when you need it.
This will keep your greens from getting soggy.
Try a different addition each day such as tomatoes, kidney beans, chickpeas, tuna or salmon, shredded carrots, chopped hard boiled egg whites, raisins, chopped roasted beets, water chestnuts or cucumbers.
The juice of a few lemon wedges will make a simple and snappy dressing.
Try and roast a chicken (remove the skin) on Sunday and use it all week for lunch.
Let me tell you that a roasted chicken can go a long ways.
Shred the breast meat and toss with fat-free mayo, curry powder, chopped celery and radishes.
Bring drumsticks (skin removed) along with fat-free salad dressing as a great dip.
De-boned thighs are great in a corn tortilla with salsa and shredded lettuce.
And chopped leftover chicken can always be tossed with some frozen mixed vegetables.
They'll defrost by the time you eat lunch and you'll have an instant chicken primavera salad.
A little hot sauce makes a great dressing.
And I like to do this in the winter.
Make a big pot of veggie chili over the weekend and bring it in a thermos for lunch.
Top it with something new each day, such as fat free shredded cheddar, chopped onions or scallions, fat free sour cream, shredded corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, fat free yogurt or a squeeze of lime juice.
A cored apple or pear, stuffed with raisins and a little fat-free cream cheese makes a great sandwich alternative.
Eat in season.
Add a chopped peach in the summer.
Add fresh orange segments to a green salad in the winter.
Make new and exciting sandwich condiments.
Blend jarred pimentos with fat-free mayo for a tasty spread.
Mix curry powder into a little mango chutney for a condiment that goes with any meat.
Make your own honey mustard without oil and just a little honey.
And use sliced fruit, like plums, on sandwiches instead of sugary ketchup.
Remember, the whole point is to think outside the lunch-box!
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