Photo: Getty Images
It's not easy to stay on track with healthy eating if you're stopping by the fast food restaurant in the middle of the day but eating good, wholesome food for your other meals.
So how can you overcome the mid-afternoon starvation that puts your steady, healthy plan on the back burner while you grab something, anything, to make you feel that you can go on with the afternoon?
The answer is 99 percent preparation. Healthy lunches are affordable (much more affordable than buying lunch out regularly) and easy if you put some effort and planning into it and prepare things to take with you all week long.
Healthy lunch ideas include things you don't have to "cook" at work - sure you may have to throw something in the microwave to heat it up, but the real cooking will not have to take place at work.
Even smaller items grouped together can create a good, solid, filling, nutritious lunch that may surprise you.
Pack a can of soup, something like lentil, vegetable or another hearty soup, preferably low sodium.
Add to the soup some slices of whole grain bread/whole grain bagel/whole grain crackers, depending on your preference.
Complement the soup and whole grain with good, crunchy and filling veggies like a ziplock baggie full of baby carrots, raw broccoli or cauliflower. The raw veggies are much more filling than you might imagine, packed with fiber, relaxing due to the crunch, and a nice alternative to salad.
Here's another healthy and low-preparation combo:
If you like eggs, hard-boil a dozen on Sunday night and take one or two with you for lunch every day or every other day. Eggs are a wonderful protein source and, without frying them, are not as detrimental when it comes to cholesterol as we've been previously taught.
Add to the hard-boiled eggs a nice big salad, with your favorite healthy dressing bottled on the side.
Remember snacks like carrots and other raw veggies. You can munch on these all day long or just eat them with your lunch.
Other healthy lunch ideas that take little or no preparation include: