So I was thinking about the topic of lunch today while I had some nutritional consultations with a few clients. For these clients, lunch is the most routine (and therefore controllable) meal of the day. It is dinner that can get a little haywire.
At dinnertime, we also have to make food for other family members (some with picky tastes!), or we are out socializing with friends, eating out at restaurants, or simply tired from the day and do not want to make something too extravagant.
The same is true for most of us. Lunch is something we can usually control. For many of us, we might be at some kind of office or desk job. It is a really great idea to bring lunch for the following reasons:
1. We control the ingredients closely. Know any delis selling millet or sprouted bread? Or have raw goat’s cheese? Or Earth Balance vegan butter? I didn’t think so! So then we are stuck with subpar ingredients, and who wants to settle for subpar?
2. We can eat healthy alternatives of what we feel we need in the middle of the day. For instance, if you are really in the mood for something crunchy and carby, if you threw some Mary’s Gone Crackers gluten-free quinoa crackers in a plastic bag, you are saved! The alternative is some crappy, flour-filled fat-free pretzels. If you are in the mood for something sweet, you brought along a few squares of your 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s, and won’t get sucked into getting “just a small” bag of M & M’s from the vending machine. These changes add up HUGELY!
3. You will save lots of $$$$. It is one thing to splurge on a nice meal with your friends and go out to dinner, at a place you really like. But at lunch you are usually in somewhat of a time crunch, and are not usually eating the exact food you would eat if you had the chance to eat anywhere. Who wants to spend $10+ a day on that?
All this is sooooo important to us achieving our health goals. If we are slightly off at lunch every day, think about how that sets you back when you add it up 30 days a month. Dinner is the social meal where we can bend more, lunch should be more closely monitored. Plus we know we have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
Lunch foods depend on what you have eaten for breakfast and your individual health state and goals (if you have questions on this, you can inquire on a personalized health consultation with yours truly. ☺ Email me at email@example.com).
Lunch should always be eaten AWAY from your desk when possible! Do not try to work and eat at the same time, as this leads to poor digestion. Your work will not be as good as if you focused solely on it, and your food should be enjoyed and appreciated as a completely solo task.
To make bringing lunch more fun, and way more cool, I have included some lunch bags that are sold by this amazing woman named Isolde Grande. Isolde is an architect by trade and an interior designer, and worked on some major projects, such as picking the interior of Trump hotels. Now, as a young mom, she decided to design some cool lunch bags! Her architectural skill came into play as the bags are very well designed and functional. They are so bright and happy. My faves are the ones in rust and light blue. Here is the LINK to purchase. Only $28!
Oh, but back to some general lunch ideas:
– Fresh, seasonal, and organic fruit. The easiest would be to throw in peeled fruit you could throw in your lunch bag, such as oranges or clementines, or apples. Be sure to eat the fruit part of your lunch first, and at least 20 minutes before other foods. So it is more of the appetizer of your lunch. You could eat the fruit before leaving for lunch, or eat the fruit, chat with your buds and eat the rest of lunch a little while later.
– An avocado sandwich. This is my favorite traveling food. Sprouted millet bread would be the best if you could find it. You could also use a sprouted wrap as another choice. These sprouted bread products are usually available in the freezer section of Wholefoods and other health stores, by the way.
– A salad, with the dressing packed separately. This is my fav! Sometimes I even take kale salad I made from the night before, and pack that. It does not get soggy overnight the way other kinds of salads do. Another good salad to make the night before is my tabouli salad recipe, yummy!
– A tomato and an avocado. Okay it sounds weird, but all you have to do is pack a little container, a knife and fork. You can literally cut both up, sprinkle with dulse (see my last blog), and you have an amazing little lunch salad made in 30 seconds! I call this my “poor man’s salad” b/c when I’m in a pinch for food, I get both at the 24 hour deli across from where I live in the city. ☺
– Celery sticks, carrot sticks dipped in fresh salsa or guac (also packed in a separate little container).
– I already mentioned it, but the Mary’s gluten-free crackers and a few squares of dark, dairy-free chocolate for dessert. I like a little sweet for dessert occasionally after a long morning myself!
I hope these help you. If you have some other great ideas for us, please share.
I love you guys so much.
Please visit me again soon!
Lydia’s organics also makes great sesame seed bread that doesn’t require refrigeration! Also Kim, what do you think of the Renew Life Organic Fiber bars? They are vegan and raw and really high in fiber!
Hi Love, can you send me the ingredients? I tend to be distrustful of most food bars, but I am interested. 🙂
You know what I love about your site and your suggestions is that you are so down to earth. You make this mostly-raw and very nutritious food so feasible. The message I get from you is just to do your best and that little things add up. I tend to be a perfectionist and beat myself up if I don’t do it perfectly and then give up. I appreciate your balance and simplicity and encouragement a ton. Thanks!
HI Laurie! Yes! I find that when we try to be perfect life seems too rigid and we have to stick to a little box. If we relax and take long-term steps, that is better than trying to go from the extremes of perfect to “off the wagon.” Progress, not perfection!!!
Excellent points you make about the control we have over lunch. And I love that exact type of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate that you mentioned. Tastes great. Plus it has no soy ingredients and no dairy. A real winner. You’re right about the kale salad traveling well. Sometimes I do the same thing with my Double Cabbage Salad–pack it up and take it with me for lunch the next day. It doesn’t get soggy either, even when dressed and sitting in a container with other goodies. Hooray for tasty, energizing, healthful lunches!
Hi Bria, what is on your Double Cabbage Salad? Why that name- I like it! 🙂
The name is because it has 2 kind of cabbage. 🙂 Green (savoy cabbage if possible) and purple cabbage form the base. Then really I just toss in bunches of other veggies that I have on hand. This week it was red onions, some leftover tabouli, black olives, avocado chunks, red bell pepper and some pumpkin seeds. Well, I add the avocado at the very last second 😉 Then I dressed it with this cilantro parsley dressing I whipped up: http://tinyurl.com/yhe97th Try it; I bet you’ll like it!
BTW, Kim, I know you mentioned a brand of probiotic you like. Could you post that again–I searched but couldn’t find it.
Thanks for the ideas!!!!
I take my lunch to work a LOT……and it can get a bit boring.
Always looking for some new tidbit ideas
and I love those bags…gonna check em out!!!!
Yes, I love the bags! I like to have little things for everyday use that are bright and make me happy- like these lunchbags, a red teakettle, etc. 🙂
I made some apple sauce in the Vitamix
( a little water, apples, some cinnamon, and stevia)
and froze it. The next day, I brought it to camus, and when I had it for lunch it was like ice cream!
Another yummy and fast meal that I like to make is strawberry ice cream.
5 frozen strawberrys
.5 cup almond milk
1 tsp raw cacao powder.
Blend all in Vitamix.
Love your blog! Thanks for the tips 🙂
Wow that sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing. Have you seen my blog on Banana Fro Yo? all you have to do is blend frozen banana together and it makes a banana ice cream also. 🙂
Hi Kimberly – thanks for these great ideas. What do you recommend for a salad dressing? Is a concoction made from vinegar, lemon, oil and herbs ok? Any prepared offerings you recommend? Thank you so much!
Hi Debbie! That sounds good. Use raw apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic though, as the latter is acid-forming. I always like simple dressings like the one you mentioned instead of pre-made. Some dulse might be good to add. I like to add lots of chopped basil and herbs. xx Kimberly
Hi. I first wanted to say that I love your blog. You are beautiful and an inspiration. I also have a question about food combining. My lunch usually consists of a cucumber or apple with hummus and cayenne sprinkled on top. Sometimes I’ll crave something more crunchy/starchy after this to fill me up. I tend to reach for Puffed Bananas by Explorer’s Bounty (I love these) or some raw trail mix. Should I be waiting for my veggie/protein combo to digest before having something carby/heavier? If so, how long would be appropriate to wait? I really appreciate any insight you might have on this topic. Thanks for being so helpful and generous with you time and knowledge.
Hi Megan! You don’t have to wait for the veggie- and I would stick to the cucumber w the hummus rather than the apple by the way. Regular hummus is protein and starch together. The fruit is the one where you should wait 20 minutes before eating other foods. I’m not familiar with the puffed bananas- is that like dried fruit? If it is some kind of dried fruit, it might be causing some fermentation if you eat it after eating hummus. I would try to eat fewer food groups, and increase the quantities of what you are eating of those simpler foods! xx Kimberly
Great ideas Kim! I go through stages, sometimes a kale salad, others a smoothie and a Lara bar as a snack later on! 🙂
Yes, stages, and it depends on the season a lot for me also. 🙂
Hi Kim!Love reading your blog!Just wanted to add another great idea for re-usable lunch containers.(I’m not affiliated with these btw).Going to get some “tiffins” for my family and I!;
I was wondering (I’m new to your site but have eaten raw for some time) Do you eat any fish in your diet and if so, which do you recommend as the most nutritious?
Thanks and have a GREAT day!
HI love, no I don’t eat any fish at all. I don’t think it is necessary for nutrition, only for stimulation and taste. You can get the all the nutrients from fish from other food.
Hi Kim! I was wondering what your take on organic peanut butter (no additives, just organic peanuts) would be? I am currently reading The China Study & i have read your posts on peanuts, so i am aware of Aflatoxin, but from what i could tell in TCS, the aflatoxin grew on poor quality peanuts & this is what was made into PB. I eat an 85% raw diet, start almost every day w/ a green smoothie, & would never eat salted peanuts or even raw ones, i just have not been able to give up my organic PB! I am trying to like Almond Butter, but am not quite there yet. I feel like if a couple of Tbs. of organic PB is my only vice, I’m alright, however, if it really is THAT terrible for me, I will eliminate it entirely. Any light you can shed will be GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks sooooo much!!!
Hi love, I personally avoid peanut butter because the aflatoxin issue is so questionable as to what to is actually toxic and what is allowable in our food supply.
If you really love the PB, eat with moderation, not every day!! xx Kimberly
thanks so much! I am weaning myself of of it since it is so questionable like you say!!! Almond butter IS starting to grow on me & i noticed “Sun Butter” (made w/ sunflower seeds!)at the store so i may need to try that next! Thanks again! 🙂
What’s your secret to being so happy?
Your beautiful big smile is probably the envy of many, including me.
I am so happy because my body is clean and I have worked to detox out so much sludge. The body really affects the mind! Also, I meditate every day, which really keeps things in perspective. If you watch the diet, cleanse on an ongoing basis, and meditate, I think you will be just as happy as me. 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!
Yay!! Thank you!
This is my first time coming on your blog and I love it! I jumped on after reading about you in lucky. I’ve been checking it out and readig everyday since. You talk about sprouted bread which I love. One in paticular is the manna bread. Are you familar with it and would you recommend it over other breads? I’ve seen it mentioned by raw foodists to as a raw bread since it is baked at low temperatures. Let me know your thoughts.
The whole thing with Manna bread is false. When food is cooked above around 116 degrees the enzymes die. Period. Manna bread is cooked at around 160 degrees. It is a dense bread that has some good properties, but many of its varieties have lots of gluten and wheat. I recommend sprouted gluten-free millet bread. That is the only kind of bread I would eat now! xx Kimberly
Hey Kim, I’m just coming of a 12 day herbal cleanse. The only thing I craved was chocolate (of course 😉 and bread. After doing all my research on flour and what it does in your body I’m thinking about purchising a bread maker and making my own. Do you have an advice or recipies that would help?? My kids LOVE bread and eat it everyday, so I really think it would be a wonderful change for my family, but don’t want to do it wrong.
Thanks, and LOVE your blog btw!!! :))
Hi Kimberly! Your site has been an eye opener for me, I have been following the nutrition route for awhile but I have been inspired to go into holistic/natural nutrition after following your tips and feeling so much better! I’m 22 and have suffered from endometriosis and a SUPER super sensitive stomach for many years and your site has helped me jump start a whole new way of looking at things and I have been feeling great since then.
You mentioned raw goat’s cheese in your post, so I was wondering if this is a kind of dairy that is acceptable (or that you eat)? I’m wondering if it doesn’t cause the same stomach upset as cow milk/cheese somehow. I just love pizza and would like to make a really good raw substitute but prefer to stay away from cheese as much as possible.
Thanks and take care!
What do you think about Larabars?
I have read your book twice already. I am little bit confused you recomend maryś gone cracker but there is quinoa and sesame and flax so combination of protein and starch is it OK? My second question is about raw goat cheese do you think it is lighter for body than nut based cheese? I know you do not eat cheese, but just want to know your thought on this. Many thanks to you