5 Healthy Lunch Ideas When Eating Out
Find it challenging to come up with healthy lunch ideas when eating out? Well read on my friend!
For years I worked with a corporate wellness company called Medisys as their Corporate Dietitian. Their clientele were primarily busy executives who traveled often, ate out regularly and rarely had time to think about packing a lunch to bring with them to the office let alone plan meals.
But what most of them knew, was that because they ate out so often, they had to be conscious of their choices, and they couldn’t eat like this…
In order to be able to maintain their focus, clarity and energy, they knew they had to be active and eat well. For them, eating out wasn’t a special occasion, it was their norm.
So the goal with these clients was to provide easy, simple nutrition strategies that fit their busy lifestyle, but also account for potential health concerns such as high cholesterol, blood pressure and weight management, all while eating out everyday for lunch and at least a couple of days a week for dinner.
You can probably imagine this was not an easy task because when eating out, you never really know what you’ll get. Even though you try to make the healthiest choice, you’re always at the mercy of the chef.
So, if you are someone who eats out regularly, as a first step, here are my 5 best tips when eating out for lunch
5 Healthy Lunch Ideas when eating out (or grabbing food from a local spot)
- Look for lunch spots that have fresh food where you can mix and match items to make a salad, wrap or soup. One place I really like that has locations across Canada and the US is freshii. You can mix and match what you want to make a tasty, healthy lunch.
- Before heading to a restaurant for lunch, check online to see if they have posted their nutrition information. Some restaurants such as The Keg and Earls have made this information available. Now you might be thinking you don’t want to know how many calories are in your favorite steak but you might be surprised! On the flipside, you may be choosing a dish that you think may be a healthier option, but when you check the actual nutrition breakdown, there may be other dishes on the menu you would enjoy much more that are actually better for you and more aligned with your goals. So check online next time before you head out to a restaurant.
- If all that is near your work is a food court, look for a place that provides Greek food. You can get 1 or 2 skewers of chicken and a large salad and a pita bread.
- Another great option at a food court is a fresh salad bar where you can pick and choose what you like and build your own salad.
- Last but not least, my favorite option. Find a nearby grocery store or market that has a hot food table and carries healthy prepared foods such as chicken breast, fish, fresh salads and cooked vegetables. You can put together a gourmet lunch for a great price. This lunch below (which is also the first picture in this blog post) cost only $4.97.
What about sushi??
It’s funny that you mention sushi, because I actually had it as one of the tips, but the article was getting just too long! Sushi is great. What i typically suggest with sushi is to get a mix of a few pieces of sashimi (ideally salmon sashimi, as it isn’t recommended for women who want to have kids to have fresh tuna more than once a month), edamame and 1 set of rolls. That way you get a nice mix of food that is satisfying and will keep your energy levels up but not make you sleepy…