Taking your own lunch to work can feel like a hassle. You need to plan it in advance, get out of bed earlier to prepare it – and after all that, you might leave it sitting on the kitchen bench all day!
But there are plenty of benefits to preparing your own lunch at home. When you take your lunch to work, you know exactly what’s in it, rather than risking a whole bunch of hidden sugar, oil and salt in a meal at a cafe or restaurant.
This is especially useful if you’re training for an event or following a healthy eating plan, and need to keep a close eye on your nutrients or kilojoule count.
It’s also a great way to save money. If you usually spend $10-$15 a day on lunch at work, you could save up to $300 a month by taking your own. You could even set yourself a goal to keep you motivated. For example, if you can go a fortnight without buying lunch at work, you might decide reward yourself with a nice new pair of running shoes.
To help you get started, here are some easy work lunches to try. All of these recipes are easy to put together and easy to transport. And they all work especially well if you make a big portion on a Sunday evening and keep five servings in the fridge or freezer all week.
"These lunch ideas all work especially well if you make a big portion on a Sunday evening and keep five servings in the fridge or freezer all week."
Quiche is a fantastic breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal that you can throw just about anything into. Most veggies work well, but some of our favourites are broccolini, eggplant, sweet potato, capsicum and baby spinach.
You can also try adding some bacon or other cured meat, or some nice goat’s cheese. Make a big tray to keep in the fridge all week and eat it hot or cold.
2. Dahl and coconut rice
Dahl is made from lentils or beans, and it’s an excellent source of protein, plus it contains a good amount of fibre. It’s also low in fat and a tasty, filling alternative to meat-based dishes.
Forget boring plain rice – pair it with some delicious coconut rice instead. It’s really easy to make – just add reduced fat coconut milk to your rice cooker or saucepan instead of water.
Listen now: Jen regularly skips her lunch at work. Here's our expert's tips on how people like her can both work and live better.