Whether you’re at home, work or on holiday, missing out on a wholesome lunch is one of the biggest pitfalls of healthy eating. The reason is simple – we’re dealing with time constraints, pricey groceries and stressful commitments. Luckily, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to make a quick and easy lunch as easy as breathing. Read on for our top 3 picks.
If you’ve been trying to incorporate in healthier lunches to your diet, you’re not alone – but with grocery prices up 10% and time stretched thin over hectic days at work, while also juggling family responsibilities, preparing a healthy lunch often ends up on the backburner. Unfortunately for many, the alternatives include buying fast food, heavily-processed frozen premade meals and loading up on snack foods like chips, chocolate and biscuits. These foods not only spike your risk for diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease, but also throw a spanner in the works when it comes to mental clarity and energy. This is because of the blood sugar spikes that often come with these high-sugar foods, which can result in the following symptoms:
- Fatigue – including those disruptive afternoon slumps!
- Increased thirst
- Blurry vision
- Numbness in the hands or feet
If these symptoms are ringing a bell, it could be a sign that your lunch game could do with a makeover. Let’s get into 3 of our favourite I Quit Sugar meals to provide slow-release energy, essential nutrients and a mental clarity-boost to help you power through the day.
2-Minute Desk Lunch Noodles
It doesn’t get much quicker than this! These tasty 2-minute noodles are nothing like their ultra-processed counterparts popular among university students, but they’re just as convenient and inexpensive to make. The key difference is that these noodles are loaded with probiotics, healthy fats and protein ideal for that much-needed energy boost in the middle of the day.
Take a look at the full recipe HERE, and find out how you can put a Korean or Italian spin on these versatile noodles.
- 1–2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon red miso paste
- Dash of fish sauce
- Small handful of rice noodles
- 1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
- Small handful of frozen peas (or thinly sliced snow peas)
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 5 cooked prawns, peeled and deveined, or a small handful of shredded roast chicken
- 3–4 green shallots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Coriander leaves and lime wedges, to serve
- Place all the ingredients, except the coriander and lime, in a large jar in the order given above. Whack in the fridge when you get to work. At lunchtime, pour over enough boiling water to just cover everything, pressing the ingredients down.
- Cover and leave for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Top with the coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Eat!
Get the full recipe HERE.
Thai Chicken Salad
Boring, lifeless salads are a thing of the past – here at I Quit Sugar, we believe salads should be hearty, loaded with flavour and packed to the brim with tasty ingredients. This salad combines aromatic Thai flavours with satisfyingly crunchy veggies to light your lunch break up and combat those 3 o’clock slumps. Want the full recipe? Take a look HERE. If your keen for more tasty, nutritious and satiating meals, check out our classic 5-Day Detox eBook.
- Juice of 1 lime
- Leftover shredded chicken or 400-500g chicken thighs chopped into chunks
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled into ribbons
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 100g snow peas or green beans
- 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 200g vermicelli rice noodles
- 2cm knob ginger, grated
- 1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- ½ bunch coriander or mint, roughly chopped
- ½ cupped peanuts, roughly chopped
- Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a small jar with a lid. Shake until combined.
- Pour half of the marinade over chicken thighs (or leftover chicken). Cover and sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight to marinate. If using raw chicken, heat a pan on medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 5-10 minutes, stirring, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes.
- Prepare vermicelli noodles using the packet directions. Set aside.
- Combine cucumber, snow peas or beans, baby spinach, fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles and peanuts in a large serving bowl. Place chicken or leftover shredded chicken on top of salad. Pour over remaining dressing and toss to combine. Serve.
Lentil, Quinoa and Peach Salad
With summer fast approaching, it’s time to whip out those refreshing stone fruits and get creative – we love adding our peaches to a quick, easy salad that takes mere minutes to put together. Here’s how to do it.
- 1 yellow peach, stone removed, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 cups rocket leaves
- 1 cup Cooked Quinoa, defrosted
- 1 cup Cooked Lentils, defrosted
- 1small avocado, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 80g feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
- To make dressing, whisk ingredients in a small bowl or jar until well combined.
- Serve half the salad for dinner drizzled with half of the dressing. Place remaining salad and dressing in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.
Take a look at the full recipe HERE.
Keen for more health and nutrition tips on a budget? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to JOIN NOW!