Being a work-at-home Mom is blissful for so many reasons—you are able to stay in your pajamas for the better part of the day, the coffee is free and flowing, and you're available for your little ones when they need you (ok, maybe not always so blissful). As a Mom to two wee ones myself, I value having the flexibility to be at home for my kids and witness their milestones, while still fulfilling my career dreams. It's a constant juggle, and sometimes a struggle to find a healthy balance, but all in all, it's pretty great.
One of my biggest struggles is taking the time to eat a nutritious lunch. As much as I love food and value good nutrition, when I get going on a work task (such as writing an article or blog post), time seems to fly by at warp speed. Before I know it, three hours have flown by and I'm starving. Let's face it—work time is precious. Working through hunger, however, increases the likelihood of you mindlessly over-eating later on, and hinders your ability to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand. That is why I've come up with several quick and healthy (and tasty!) lunch ideas for my work-at-home days, which keep the creative juices flowing and my hunger at bay.
Here are my top five go-to lunches:
Smoothies are, by far, my number one go-to lunch during the Spring and Summer months. I always keep my kitchen well-stocked with smoothie ingredients, such as frozen fruit, fresh bananas, greek yogurt, natural nut butters, spinach or kale, and milk (almond or coconut milks work, too!), so that I can whip up this healthy meal-in-a-cup in a flash. I sometimes pair my smoothies with a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter or a homemade muffin, but more often than not, I enjoy them on their own. Packed full of protein, energy, and vitamins and minerals, smoothies are nutritious and balanced enough to be considered a meal.
My favourite recipe:
Blend all ingredients in a good quality blender until smooth.
I love this lunch for so many reasons—it's quick and easy, tasty, filling, and nutrient-packed. Eggs are my #1 go-to quick protein source, not only because they're so versatile and yummy, but also because they are chock full of nutrition, specifically protein, Iron, Vitamins A, D, E, and B12, Folate, Selenium, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Choline—all important nutrients for optimal health. I find that eggs satisfy me for hours, which is important when I don't have time to stop for snacks every couple of hours. The spinach and tomato add a nice variety of nutrients to this lunch, and the cheese adds...well...bliss.
Even quicker and easier than the two options above, this light and tasty meal, that is a popular breakfast option, works well for lunch too. Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein than regular yogurt and has a thick and creamy texture, which is what I love most about it. I often choose a 2% plain variety and add a bit of honey for sweetness, but if you prefer a flavoured yogurt, try to find one with 11 grams of sugar or less in a 3/4 cup serving (5 of those sugar grams are naturally occurring from lactose). Interesting fact: higher fat options (2% or more) are often significantly lower in sugar than fat-free options (and much more satisfying in my opinion).
Top greek yogurt with fresh berries in a medium-sized bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup granola (preferably homemade—here's a great recipe) and seeds. Drizzle with honey.
Can you tell that I love eggs? I often make this one for dinner (although, it makes for a great lunch too!), because my kids both love that it's fun to make and eat. I love it because it's easy and healthy. Pair with fresh fruit, veggie sticks, and hummus, or simply top with fresh salsa.
What I love most about this lunch is that it can be made ahead of time (it's tastier better when it's a day or two old). Quinoa—the most beloved whole grain, particularly because of its high protein content—cooks in less than 15 minutes and couples nicely with most fresh veggies, fruits, meats, and alternatives. The options are endless when it comes to quinoa salad, so I suggest using up any veggies and fresh cooked meats that you have in the fridge, and topping with your favourite vinaigrette. I also like adding nuts or seeds, as well as dried fruit, for crunch and sweetness. Add extra tang with a squeeze of lemon, and extra flavour with a finely chopped garlic clove.
I like making a large batch and enjoying it all week (it's kid-friendly, too!).
Hopefully these lunch ideas will make your life healthier and easier as a stay-at-home Mom!
For more articles, tips, and tricks to help you get organized and make the most of your blog and business visit our BlissDom Canada 2014: How Do You Find Your Bliss? page.
Membership Has Its Perks!