One of the hardest parts of growing up is when mom stops packing your lunches. That was a sad day for me, and I spent the rest of the year eating cream cheese on bread at school. When I left for college I ate out all the time but that left me feeling super unhealthy and totally broke. Learn from my mistakes and get into these packed lunch ideas. They are super healthy and because we’re all busy, they take only minutes to make.
The Non-Soggy Sandwich
– Lightly toasted baguette
– Spicy hummus
– Cut up vegetables on the side (carrots with pepper are my fave!)
– Pieces of fruit
The trick to this lunch is getting mini tomatoes because they’re easy to cut in half on the fly. I always pre-toast my bread a little bit because I like the crunch, but if you do it too much it will be like biting into a rock. Put the hummus on the bread right before you eat because if you do it at home before you leave the house you will be biting into a soggy mess. Small Tupperware containers are a good investment, but if you don’t want to spend the money or are like me and lose everything, you can save jars from food or “borrow” small take-out containers from restaurants when they’re not looking. Chop up some veggies at the beginning of the week and put them in plastic bags so you can easily add them to a meal or a snack. Also pack a plastic knife to assemble your sandwich whereever you are, and watch your friends be jealous as you have a healthy non-soggy lunch!
Side note: If you think it might be hard to assemble a sandwich on the go, I always did it in my noon class during a lecture. The boy who sat next to me thought it was cool that I had the nerve to make a sandwich in front of a strict professor and now he’s my boyfriend (!) so the lesson is if you do this you could impress a cute boy.
The Cheese and Fruit Plate You Want to Eat In the Park
This is the ultimate lunch if you’re on the go because you can either eat it all at once or as a series of small snacks. If the class you’re eating it in has a serious no food rule, but you’re hungry, all of these are easy to eat under the table, undetected. If you know you’re going to be super busy one day, pack each item in a separate bag the night before. Organize all your ingredients so in the morning you just have to throw them in the blender, pour into a bottle and dash out the door with your smoothie. And again if you’re not supposed to be snacking in class, you can put your smoothie in a solid colored water bottle – no one will know the difference!
The Trendiest Salad Ever
– Cooked Quinoa
– Lemon Juice
– Vegetables (Beets! Carrots! Tomato! Whatever your heart desires.)
Quinoa is all the rage right now and as soon as you incorporate it into your diet you’ll understand why. It’s super easy to make, but follow all the instructions on the box. Seriously read the instructions twice because if you’re kitchen cursed like me you will definitely regret it. Steam some edamame to put on top for some extra protein punch. I love using tahini with some lemon juice as a dressing because it’s fresh and packed with good things for your body. Slice up some veggies like radishes and cucumbers to go on top. Yum!
Also The Trendiest Salad Ever But Now With Kale
– Roasted Sweet Potato
– Red Vinegar, Olive Oil and Honey Dressing
– Piece of fruit on the side
Kale is the bomb for traveling with because it is basically the only lettuce ever that doesn’t get soggy. So if you don’t have a container to carry your dressing in separately, you can put it on the morning of and still enjoy crisp leaves by lunch. You can get creative with kale salads because pretty much everything tastes good, but roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas are my fave. Chickpeas are easy because you just have to open the can and rinse them and then they’re good to go. Roasted sweet potatoes are easy too, just peal them, add some oil and put them in the oven at 475 degrees until they’re a little crispy on top (about 45 min). If this seems like too much work then you can just boil them in some water until you can stick a fork all the way through. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients that will give you glowing skin and healthy hair.
Showing Up Starbucks’ Yogurt Parfait
– Plain Greek Yogurt
– Chia Seeds
Making yogurt parfaits at home is so much better than the ones you buy at Starbucks, and also way more healthy. Use organic berries for antioxidants. The Greek yogurt will give you protein and probiotics for glowing skin. No meal is complete without a carb, but go for something whole grain like nutritious muesli. And then add some chocolate chips if you want a treat!
Kate used to be a Garage intern and now she keeps entertaining us from her NYC flat. You can check out all of her posts in our Says the Intern feature.