You may have heard the term “clean eating” but aren’t sure what it means. Even if you know the basics, coming up with clean eating lunch ideas can be difficult if you’ve spent most of your life eating fast food and processed foods. Clean eating is about making healthier food choices and ditching processed foods in favor of whole grains, fresh veggies and fruits, lean protein, and grass-fed dairy products. Our tips on clean eating ideas during the week will help you stay on track with your new way of eating, even when you’re at the office.
Key Takeaway: Obviously, having access to clean eating options for lunch is difficult when you’re at work, which is why meal prepping is a great solution during the week. By cooking your lunches for the week all at once and freezing them, you can stay on track and enjoy a healthy lunch that won’t derail your progress.
Keep Reading to learn how you can eat healthy all week long, even when you’re not home.
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Clean Eating on the Go
Eating clean essentially means following a diet that consists of healthy fats and proteins, and eating whole foods such as fruits, grains, and veggies. But it also means cutting out foods that contain preservatives, additives, and refined grains. Additionally, you will need to avoid foods that contain added salt and sugar and unhealthy fats. Foods that contain ingredients that you can’t even pronounce will tip you off regarding whether or not a food or meal is considered clean.
But eating clean when you’re at work isn’t exactly easy. Especially if you have someone in the office who goes on meal runs. It’s a lot easier to order some fast food than it is to cook your own lunch during your lunch break.
Fortunately, we have some great solutions and meal ideas that will allow you to enjoy a healthy, nutrient-packed lunch that will help you to avoid temptation when you’re at work.
If you’ve decided to eat clean in the hope of losing weight, the Apple Watch Series 2 is one of the best fitness trackers for women on the market. Using this device you can log in all of your clean meals for the week to determine how many calories you’re taking in a day versus how many calories you’re burning during a workout. It’s a great way to stay on track and continue to eat healthier since you’ll have instant access to your progress.
Don’t feel like cooking your lunch every day? You don’t have to. Make your own veggie plate or salad, with fresh fruit on the side. Boil a couple of eggs for essential protein and use a balsamic vinegar dressing or a little lemon juice. Many people find that prepping fruit and veggies for the week can help cut down on the amount of time it takes to throw together a lunch in the morning before you head out.
Eating a diet that’s high in fresh fruits and veggies will not only keep you energized and feeling full, it can also reduce your risk of certain diseases such as type two diabetes, cancer, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Add Whole Grains to Your Lunch
A nutritionist will tell you that clean whole grains are the ones that have been touched the least, in terms of processing. Whole grains consist of quinoa, oats, and brown rice. While some people who follow a clean eating meal plan avoid grains, if you’re trying to get that six-pack you’ve always wanted, then whole grains are a must.
For lunch, cook up some brown rice, Sautee fresh kale, cabbage, and yellow onions in olive oil, and enjoy a lean protein on the side, such as a quarter cup of skinless chicken breast.
Best Clean Lunches on the Go
Watercress and beet salad
This salad is loaded with sweet beets, farro, zucchini, slivers of almonds, spinach, and watercress. This salad is easy to throw together and will quickly become your go-to meal during the week for lunchtime or if you need a filling snack.
Cut up some fresh kale, beets, and crush some walnuts. Boil one to two eggs. You can also mix in baby spinach and celery. Top with low-fat blue cheese dressing. The fiber and protein will keep you nice and full until dinner.
Potato and tuna salad
Use fresh herbs such as rosemary or dill to give this salad a flavor that pops. Mix in wild-caught tuna with small red potatoes, green onions and a hard-boiled egg for more protein. This is a great lunch choice for the weight-lifter who needs to boost their protein intake. Additionally, the higher protein content will give you more energy throughout the day and can also help to keep you feeling full until dinner.
Rice and veggie bowl
Use toasted pine nuts, basil, zucchini, tomatoes, and brown rice. This meal makes for one satisfying lunch. The whole grains are a great choice if you’re trying to get rid of stubborn belly fat and tighten up those abs. Lean skinless chicken breast is a nice addition and a healthy protein source that will give you much-needed mid-day energy.
Pork tenderloin and salad
Fresh baby spinach and kale provide the perfect base for a rich pork tenderloin topped with feta cheese and an olive oil dressing. If you’re taking this meal to work make sure you assemble the cheese, spinach, and kale in a separate container. When you’re ready to eat, heat up the pork tenderloin, toss the salad, and top with the olive oil dressing. This protein heavy meal can also be a great option if you’re focusing on how to burn fat instead of muscle after your next workout. This is because the high protein content will go directly towards fueling muscle growth.
A casserole can be as simple as baking chicken breasts, mixing with quinoa and brown rice, adding veggies, and cooking for one hour at three hundred and fifty degrees. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients to come up with a tasty casserole that you’ll enjoy eating all week long.
Serious Meal Prepping for the Week
If you want something more substantial than a fresh salad, take your meal prepping skills up a notch and cook up a casserole or a large meal, dividing up the portions and storing the food in Tupperware containers. Cook enough to last you for four or five days.
Picking a meal prep day can make the whole process much easier. On Sundays, you can get all of your cooking done at once. Not only will you have food for lunch that’s ready to go for the week, but you know exactly what you’re eating, which will come in handy if you’re counting calories.
These simple and easy clean eating lunch ideas combined with your meal prepping skills will ensure you eat right all week long, even when you’re not at home.