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14 Useful Packed Lunch Ideas For You

Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas Are Pretty Rare – How Many Do You Know?

packed lunch ideasScroll Down To See Photos of these 14 Useful Packed Lunch Ideas!

Salads

  1. Raw Salad Delight
  2. Mixed Salad with Tuna, Cannellini Beans and Cottage Cheese Dressing
  3. Greek Salad
  4. Coleslaw
  5. Salad Nicoise

For Fish & Paleo Lovers

  1. Baked or Boiled Potato with Tuna and Lettuce
  2. Salad with Mackerel & Sesame
  3. Salmon Bites
  4. Sardines with Boiled Egg and Rocket Salad
  5. Smoked Salmon, Cucumber & Egg

Pasta, Rice & Mexican

  1. Rice Pasta Salad with Turkey or Chicken
  2. Borlotti Beans Pasta Salad
  3. Leek-Risotto Salad
  4. Mexican Wraps with Leftover Chicken, Vegetable Curry or Spicy Beans

Why is it so difficult to fill your lunch box with healthy food?

1. Little Time to Prepare Lunch in the Mornings

Most people are usually in a rush in the morning. lunch time

So it’s easy to opt for the usual lunch option to avoid long preparation times.

2. Food Goes Off Quickly

Secondly a lot of healthy stuff you could have for lunch is actually fresh produce.

Unless you work on a farm you won’t be able to nip out in your lunch break to pick fresh leaves for your salad.

Therefore there is a certain degree of fear of loss of vitamins and nice texture when preparing heathy lunches in advance.

3. What Will Your Colleages Say?!

Thirdly having a healthy lunch in public is a risky thing. food envy

Your colleagues might pull your leg for showing up at work with an unusual lunch choice.

There’s nothing more off-putting then to have your boss remark on your lunch.

“What on earth are you eating – What’s wrong with you? Are you dieting or something?”

Or worse still – seeing several of your colleagues hanging out together drinking cappucchinos.

Biting into their thickly stuffed sandwiches or chocolate muffins while sniggering at you with your fancy salad – nightmare!

4. So What’s The Solution? – Discrete Yet Tasty Packed Lunches! lunch box

Scroll down to see the lunch suggestions I’ve put together for you.

Now I can’t promise you that you won’t get mocked for your new packed lunch ideas.

But it helps to remember that people only say things like that to make themselves feel better.

Seeing you being so disciplined makes it hard for them to justify their wrong food choices and health/ weight issues.

Keep Reading or you’ll miss some super scrumptious & healthy packed lunch ideas ;-)

So healthy infact that they are even suitable for the strict phase 2 of the Candida Diet (unless otherwise stated).

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Substantial Salads

Raw Salad Delight

Raw Salad Delight

This seriously filling salad is made from half a small gem lettuce, a handful of little cherry tomatoes, a few slices raw courgette, 1 orange bell pepper and half a small beet root.

Make a simple dressing with olive oil, salt, pepper and a hint of apple cider vinegar (acv) or lemon juice.

TOP TIP: Take this separately in a jar with a screw top if you have this as a packed lunch.

The killer ingredient that brings this vitality booster salad together is the toasted seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds lightly toasted with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper – sprinkle over your salad at the time of eating)

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Mixed Salad with Tuna, Cannellini Beans and Cottage Cheese Dressing (leave out the cottage cheese & beans to make this a phase 2 meal)

mixed salad

Ingredients: Gem lettuce leaves, sugar free corn, 2 tbl spoons of natural cottage cheese
1 red pointed pepper, half a carrot and a small red radish, finely grated
half a can of cannellini beans, pinch salt and pepper
fresh herbs and a simple dressing like the one above

This salad is one of my favourite packed lunch ideas – it saved my life at a food exhibition where I had a stand opposite a pizza guy who gave us free pizza all day (A Candida Sufferer’s Greatest Nightmare!). Eat this and you won’t be hungry for quite some time – which makes it much easier to resist temptation…!

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Greek Salad (borderline ok for phase 2 of the candida diet, better wait til phase 3 though)

greek salad

Ingredients: Feta, black olives, red onion, lettuce, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cucumber, bell pepper

 

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Coleslaw (ok for phase 2 if you make your own mayonnaise without vinegar)

coleslaw

Ingredients for salad: Lightly steamed or raw white cabbage (3 cups), carrot (1 cup); Optional: 1 small red onion, brown mustard seeds

Ingredients for homemade mayonnaise: 1 egg (at room temperatur), 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 300ml (1 1/3 cups) sunflower oil, 1 tbsp boiling water, salt and pepper

Beat the egg and lemon juice creamy, adding the oil very slowly. Add a bit of spice and beat in the hot water. Then mix the vegetables in, cool down and put in the fridge.

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What Food Containers Should You Get?

To turn your super energy boosting salads into really useful packed lunch ideas you just need a few decent sized tupper ware style food containers with a lid.

salad lunch box

I recommend 670 ml, 900 ml, 1500 ml and a smaller round one. These will keep your food reasonably fresh without mixing all the different flavours or causing spillages. A screw top jar for salad dressings is also useful.

STEALTH MANOEVER:

  • Take an extra lunch box, paper towels and bag just for rubbish.
  • A small box can be handy for cracking boiled eggs open and pealing the shell off. Plus for other food rests that have a strong smell. Lid closed – no offence.
  • A lunch box that is bigger than your actual packed lunch is convenient as it gives you room to cut your food up or store additional food items like a slice of bread, etc. And it generally prevents you from dropping food directly on your clothes ;-)

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Something For Fish & Paleo Lovers

Salad Nicoise

salad nicoiseIngredients: lettuce, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, boiled eggs, tuna. Optional: black olives, chives, fine green beans or canellini beans


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Baked or Boiled Potato with Tuna and Lettuce (not suitable for phase 2 of the candida diet)

potato with tuna saladIngredients: baked potato, lettuce, olive oil, salt & pepper, tumeric, cayenne pepper, fresh basil, small tin of tuna, toasted seeds

I use cold potatoes from the day before for this, which makes it very easy to whip up in the morning.

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Salad with Mackerel & Sesame

mackerel salad with sesame

Ingredients: lettuce, half a tin of grilled or steamed mackerel (or fresh if you have) olive oil, salt & pepper, tumeric, cayenne pepper, hint of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, sesame seeds

Can’t get a quicker lunch really (ok it might not smell of roses, but if you eat it discretely and brush your teeth afterwards or take a chewing gum it’s no prob)

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Salmon Bites

salmon bites

Ingredients: 1-2 filets of steamed salmon with olive oil, salt & pepper, tumeric and cayenne pepper

Serve with fresh salad and herbs or steamed green vegetables like broccoli or fine beans. The fish is steamed in just a few mins – but I prefer to prepare it the night before and keep it chilled in a little marinade. So I just need to wash the salad and grab the dressing jar in the morning.
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Sardines with Boiled Egg and Rocket Salad

sardines and egg Ingredients: half a tin of sardines (or fresh if you have), 1-2 boiled eggs, rocket salad with a simple dressing and sunflower seeds

Another one of the quickest packed lunch ideas ther is! If you take the fish out of the tin, drain it, pad it dry and keep it in a small container there is no mess when you come to eat it.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber & Egg

salmon and egg

Ingredients: half a pack of wild smoked salmon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and 1-2 boiled eggs

Now this is quite a primevil state of affairs – you rip the packet open and devour it. Simple!

Eating smoked foods is not ideal. But as this is a one off packed lunch jobbie let’s just focus on the omega goodness of the oils instead ;-)

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It’s Snack Time! 2 Packed Lunch Ideas for In Between Meals

hummus snack

Hummus – the healthiest filling snack food there is (enjoy hummus with vegetable sticks if you are not in phase 3 of the candida diet yet)

It’s best to swap the rye crisp breads or oat cakes for brown rice cakes (less salty – unless you make your own ;-)

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sesame soda bread

I’m in love with my sesame soda bread – it goes well with all the salads above or as a snack on it’s own!

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Leftovers Cleverly Repurposed- Hearty Salads & Mexican Wraps

Rice Pasta Salad with Turkey or Chicken (gluten free)

rice pasta salad

Ingredients: Cooked Rice Pasta, steamed, broccoli, potatoes and any meat of your choice, salt, pepper, hint of garlic granules, cayenne, olive oil and lemon juice

I used up left over stir fried chicken pieces for mine.

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Borlotti Beans Pasta Salad (not suitable for phase 2 of the candida diet)

borlotti beans pasta

Ingredients: pasta of your choice (I used wholeweat pasta swirls), half a can of borlotti beans, pointed red pepper, salad leaves, feta, dressing

Use rice pasta, spelt pasta, corn pasta or soba noodles for a gluten free healthy lunch variation.

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Leek-Risotto Salad (gluten free)

leek risotto salad

Ingredients: brown rice, yeast free vegetable stock, pine kernels, leek, lettuce, black pepper, tumeric, olive oil

Cook the rice in vegetable stock for 30-40 mins until soft and water has evaporated (if not drain the rest); fry leek in oil &spices; toast pine kernels; mix, add chopped fresh herbs and lettuce leaves

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Mexican Wraps with Leftover Chicken, Vegetable Curry or Spicy Beans (The chicken & veg variations are also gluten free and suitable for phase 2 of the candida diet if you leave the corn tortilla out.)

mexican wraps

Ingredients:Corn tortillas, lettuce, fried red onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne and filling of your choice

(perfect for using up left over bits of chicken, vegetable or beans curry)

Even in phase 3 of the anti candida diet you best only enjoy corn wraps occasionally (and white flour tortillas not at all). The acetic acid in the tortillas you can get in the supermarket is not good for you.

TOP TIP: You could always make your own tortilla wraps. It’s good fun, and definitely one of the most popular lunch ideas for children and gettogethers with friends ;-)

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Still Looking for More Meal Suggestions? Check out Some Healthy Lunch Ideas for People with Food Intolerances.

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Packed Lunch Ideas for Fasting or while Doing a Candida Cleanse

avocado salad

If your fast/Candida Cleanse unfortunately starts while you are working away from home here’s what you can do to keep your energy levels up:

  • Take a comforting broth in a flask
  • Eat Avocado Salad (see picture on the right)
  • Stock up on green tea, hot water, ginger tea and volvic
  • Perhaps take a Green Juice with you to work.

If you were to do this on a regular basis then I’d recommend you look into getting a special bottle to keep your juices fresh.

There are handy travel flasks you can get to avoid spillage and vitamin loss from contact with light. I simply use a 1l travel bottle - works just fine.

But get a brush of some sort to clean it – they are impossible to clean just with water…

Snack Ideas:

  • Rice cakes with Almond Butter - I’m addicted to almond butter at the moment; hard to spread – best eaten with a spoon ;-)
  • Slices of chilled cucumber – refreshing and anti-inflammatory!
  • Cherry tomatoes or red bell pepper slices
  • Energy Boost juice (glass of water with spirulina – optional: lemon juice; chlorella – if you have a sluggish digestion)

What Are Your Favourite Packed Lunch Ideas?

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What are you taking to work at the moment? What are you happy or unhappy about your choice? Tell me in the comments below.

I’m curious what your packed lunch ideas might look like!

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Kathy September 23, 2012, 04:17

    could you please give me a recipe for tortilla wraps and almond butter, i am on phase 3 and trying your recipes. Thanks so much you have really helped me alot. would have been lost without you, your a real blessing to alot of people. again thanks so much

  • Sandra October 12, 2012, 12:12

    Kathy – your wish is my command ;-)
    I love both! Have added a recipe for tortilla wraps & also one for almond butter. Maybe you can already try them this weekend?
    Have fun experimenting!

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