I just make extra portions of dinner and DH takes them later in the week. If we get behind on the leftovers, I can pop them in the freezer for later. It's so much easier than planning a whole other menu of special lunch items. We add in yogurt, snack bars, whole fruit and such for his afternoon snack.
I usually make some sort of soup on the weekend and bring that for lunch with either cheese and crackers, maybe some yogurt or a small salad. Just depends on how hungry I think I am going to be. Leftovers makes the best lunch, then you aren't eating sandwiches every day! I am sure you will get some great tips!
If you are going straight to your workout, I would add extra snacks. Banana, nuts, cheese sticks, or peanut butter and crackers. Something like that and agree with the leftovers. That's usually what dh will take to work.
I agree with everyone who's mentioned leftovers. I also:
~ stock up on canned soup w/ the pull-tab on the lid when it's REALLY on sale...DH likes these because he can be filled up on one can (the little single-serving or hand-held cans are way more expensive than the others). Just remember to take a bowl or large mug and spoon with you!
~ Buy ramen noodles--you don't have to use ALL the sodium-laden flavor packs...Just a little goes a long way. You could also add a bit of peanut butter to the noodles for a Thai-style meal.
~ Make a list of 10-15 main dishes like PBJ, Turkey Sandwich, Ramen noodles, soup, chili, etc.; plus a list of 10-15 side items like apple slices, carrot sticks, cheese sticks/slices, etc.; plus a list of 10-15 treats like leftover Halloween candy, pudding cup (that you make at home), applesauce, etc. Then make sure you have the ingredients on hand for 80% of each list and you'll have a ton of options to pick from for lunch!
I find that packing snacks that have a decent amount of protein and fat keep me going longer. If I have something super-carby like a granola bar, I'm usually hungry in another hour. If I have a boiled egg or a piece of cheese though, I'm good for a few hours. Eggs and cheese have the added benefit of being cheaper, too. Bean salads are also great; they have lots of fibre and provide a slow and steady release of energy.
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