I am very excited to share this recipe for two reasons: first, because this recipe is delicious, and super modifiable for any lifestyle. Second, because this was inspired by my friends over at SkinnyPop who reached out and asked me to share my favorite lunch ideas!
You guys. SkinnyPop! I am so thankful for their recognition, and to top it off, their popcorn is delicious and insanely macro-friendly.
As many of you know, and as I talked about in My Fitness Journey series (Parts one, two, three, and four), a huge component of finding a healthy balance in life is finding what foods and diet work for you and your body. Obviously, weight loss=calories in-calories out. However, you also have to listen to how your body feels and how to adjust or experiment when it does not feel great. Health is more than aesthetics.By doing a couple of rounds of paleo challenges, I have found that limiting dairy and gluten really makes me feel better and much less bloated.
Working as a nurse for 12 hours I have some lunch criteria that is very important:
- Volume foods that aren’t calorically dense so I can snack throughout the shift
Transports easily and may not require a microwave
- Tastes good and will not make me want to run to the cafeteria at lunch for chicken fingers or a grilled cheese.
One of the reasons I love SkinnyPop is because it caters to all of my dietary preferences and still fits easily into my macros. The prepackaged bags are super convenient to throw in a lunch bag, and with only 9 carbs, 6 fat, and 2 protein, I curb my salty snack cravings.
So this brings me to my favorite lunch recipe: Burger Salad! Sounds very…interestting, right? The beauty of this recipe is it can literally be designed to fit anyone’s macros, dietary needs, or preferences! And, if you’re craving a big, juicy, greasy cheeseburger, this can be a good way to “lighten” it up and get some veggies in in the process.
- Protein of choice
- I used ground beef, but ground turkey would work for a leaner option, or even tofu or a meat substitute to go vegetarian or vegan!
- I cooked my ground beef seasoned with 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and salt and pepper.
- Tip: Pack lettuce in a plastic bag, then bring a paper plate to work or school. Then, you can build your salad at lunch time without worrying about the lettuce getting soggy from sitting with toppings on it all day.
- Dressing of Choice
- I used tomato, some shredded cheddar cheese, and homemade pickles.
- Paleo options: guacamole, onions sautéed in ghee, bacon, any veggies.
- Macro-friendly options: peppers, onions, Laughing Cow cheese, pickled banana peppers, bacon (or turkey bacon)
Directions: Start with a lettuce base, top with desired protein, and load on the toppings! I always use ketchup or mustard on my burgers, so adding those is a must to satisfy my burger craving, but use what sounds best to you!
I usually stretch my food out so I eat every 3 hours or so, but some people prefer one big meal. After talking with Polly at SkinnyPop, I also discovered their sister brand, Oatmega Bars, which are delicious, macro-friendly, and don’t contain a bunch of unneeded junk. These also fit perfectly into my daily snack/meal plan, and they have a detailed list of allergens on each bar, which is awesome.
So an example of a typical lunch/day of snacks while at work could look like this:
- Early snack: Oatmega Bar
- Lunch: Burger Salad, Cottage Cheese+Strawberries+Stevia (or just strawberries if I am feeling like I’ve had too much dairy).
- Afternoon snack: bag of SkinnyPop’s healthy popcorn
This of course does not account for breakfast and dinner, but this is a typical work day layout. These meals and snacks pack a whopping 57 grams of protein, which will help keep me full throughout the day. This is also a COMPLETELY gluten-free meal, and can be made dairy free if needed. Not to mention, these are all real, whole foods, thanks to Amplify Snacks using wholesome ingredients 🙂
I hope this post was helpful in giving a yummy, customizable lunch idea for many people who are struggling with finding something delicious to eat on the go. As always, I love feedback, and hearing what would be helpful to all of my nutrition, budget, and health-conscious friends 🙂
With love and fun lunches,