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Healthy Meal Plans for Work

Working a 9 to 5 doesn't have to mean a lifetime of fast food and chocolate bars. If you truly want to improve your health, plan to eat well and put the time in to make it happen. Many people struggle with meal planning and this leads into missed breakfasts, nutrition deprived lunches, and fast food dinners.

So how do you correct this problem and solve your lunch woes?

#1. Eat a BIG Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make a large well balanced meal with fibre, fruit/berries/veggies, juice, milk and protein (eggs, bacon, pancakes). If you eat a healthy breakfast you won't be starving at lunch.

An omelette takes less than 3 minutes to make. (I've timed it.) And its healthy! Just have the veggies readied, the pan already on the stove... just add canola oil, turn on, add eggs, stir in veggies, and voila, done.

1. Make Double or Quadruple

By making extra for dinner, you can easily save additional portions for work the next day (and the next and the next...). Soups, stews and grain dishes work really well here. If you pack leftovers to reheat the next day, a sandwich to eat on the go, and some fruit, you already have your work days covered!

2. Make Snack that will survive the week.

By preparing healthy muffins, hummus with cut veggies, or trail mix, you can easily grab and go any time during the week. If you do the prep work on a Sunday, then these in between meals are quick and ready for work, when you are!

eg. Did you know Jell-O has protein in it? And for its size its mostly water, so it makes for a fairly healthy snack / dessert.

3. Stock Alternative Fruits

Buying variety for fruits at the supermarket make a difference when you want something different every day of the week. Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, salads with peppers. Maybe not tomatoes however because they don't travel well.

4. Have Breakfast laid out and ready

Have your breakfast items on the counter, or pre-made in the fridge, speeds things up. I like the breakfast muesli. You can prepare it the night before and its ready to eat. Just add chopped fruit and milk. It is just like putting your exercise clothes out the night before - if its there you will wear it / eat it.

5. Make a plan while you are commuting

What else do you have to think about in the car or on the TTC subway? (Commute times in Toronto are the longest in the world.) You have lots of time to plan.

Even a loose outline of how you would like to eat during the week will help significantly. Plan for meals that will last, can be saved, and require little to no prep time at work.

Note: Having lots of quality packaging (easy to clean and use) makes a big difference too.

6. The lesser of Two Evils

There will be days when you are too busy and none of these tips will work. In the case of a failed fresh food day, grab a low cal frozen entree in the place of vending machine or greasy food court fare. While the sodium will be high, and the food will be pumped with preservatives, it's going to be better than anything you could buy in greasy food court portion sizes!

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