Weight Loss: Healthy Lunch Ideas
Meeting at 9, presentation later, another round of discussions and gear up for the next day- this is what your average day looks like. Lunch is usually a rushed affair, where you grab anything you can lay your hands on or order from whichever menu you find first. As a result, by the second half of the day you find your energy levels dropping and you reach out for shots of caffeine to keep you going.
“Ignoring your lunch like that, could lead to problems like acidity later. Moreover, it is an important meal that provides you with energy for the rest of the day. So, it is time that you plan out a well balanced lunch,” says Mumbai-based Nutritionist Maithili Pashtekar. She whips up a few healthy recipes for us.
Healthy Lunch Idea #1: Stuffed Baguette
Ingredients: A whole wheat baguette, 200 gms of Tuna/ shredded chicken tossed in olive oil or boiled, lettuce leaves
For the salsa: Saute chopped tomatoes, garlic cloves, green chillies and red/green bell pepper together in olive oil.
Method: Spread a thin layer of butter on the baguette. Layer it with lettuce leaves. Top it with the tuna/chicken and the salsa mixture.
The boiled/sauted chicken will leave you satiated and yet keep it light. The carbs in the baguette will provide you with the energy you need. Include a helping of yogurt and fruit or a low fat milk shake to your meal, to make sure you get a dose of calcium too.
Healthy Lunch Idea #2: Pasta Salad
Ingredients: 200 gms boiled whole wheat pasta, 150 gms spinach, blanched, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 100 gms boiled chickpeas, Jalapeno peppers, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, salt to taste.
Method: Simply mix all ingredients together, drizzle the olive oil and vinegar and you have your salad in a box ready. You could substitute the chickpeas with tofu, bean curd or feta cheese. Add couscous, chopped coriander and some sweet chilli/garlic sauce for variation. Include a glass of orange juice for Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron and calcium.
The pasta provides you carbs, a good source of energy, chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes give you other nutrients like iron, calcium and potassium.
Healthy Lunch Idea #3: Paneer Paratha
For the filling: 200 gms crumbled paneer, 2 chopped green chillies, a small onion chopped, half a tsp cumin powder, salt to taste
Method: Make a wheat atta roti. Make it bigger and thicker than a usual roti. Mix the ingredients of the filling. Place the filling in the centre and seal it. Roll it to the size of a medium paratha and roast on a tava till done.
Enjoy the paratha with a raw veggie salad and curd. The wheat in the paratha will give you the needed fibre. The paneer and the salad provides you with other nutrients you need to keep going.
Healthy Lunch Idea #4: Brown Rice Pulao
Ingredients: 1cup brown basmati rice, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp chilli powder, salt to taste
Method: Boil the rice, drain it and rinse in cold water so that it does not stick together. Sauté the veggies in oil along with the spices and add the rice.
Eat the pulao with a salad made of cucumber tomato, curd and some cumin powder and salt. The brown rice provides you with energy without making you feel sluggish. The vegetables fulfil the need for vitamins and minerals.
“Always remember to include some protein and carbs in your lunch. It will keep you full for longer and provide you with energy. You can always save the fruit and have it as a snack later. This will help you space out your meals,” Maithili says.
Related Article: 10 Healthy Lunch Ideas For Work
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