Despite the statistics, a healthier executive lunch is possible! In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of U.S. adults admitted that on most days they could do a better job of eating healthier. Although the survey did not break down the results according to demographics or occupations, it is likely that the percentage would be much higher among executives and other business leaders.
Between lunch meetings with clients and eating at the desk while catching up on phone calls and emails, the typical executive lunch is likely to be high in calories and fat and low in essential nutrients.
If you are in search of executive lunch ideas that are fast and easy but still healthy and satisfying, we have come up with some options that will give you the energy that you will need to remain productive throughout the afternoon.
1. Tuna Pouches
It is always helpful to have a few non-perishable lunch items that you can keep in your desk for those days when you are too busy to fix lunch in the morning and leaving the office to grab a bite is not in the cards.
A single-serve packet of tuna contains 12 grams of protein along with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
Be sure to look for tuna that is packed in water and that has less than 300 grams of sodium.
2. Mini Quesadilias
A quesadilla using low-fat refried or black beans, cheese, and a whole-wheat tortilla will provide you with nearly 18 grams of protein to get you through that mid-afternoon energy slump and keep you focused during those afternoon meetings.
Quesadillas require minimal preparation, so you can prepare them in the morning and keep them warm for lunch by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a baggie.
3. Pickle Sub
For a creative and healthy twist on the traditional sandwich, try a pickle sub. All you need is your favorite pickle cut in half, a slice of cheese, a slice of lunchmeat, and a slice of tomato.
The meat and cheese provide protein and healthy fats for energy while the pickle and tomato provide you with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
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There are a number of canned soup varieties on the market that are packed with a full serving of vegetables in each serving.
Look for broth-based soups that are in low-sodium and contain a combination beans, carrots, spinach, and other vegetables that will provide protein and fiber.
It is easy to store a few cans of soup at your desk. On extra needful afternoons, this can give you the pick me up you need to carry you through to the end of the day.
5. Baked Sweet Potato With Tuna
A sweet potato clocks in at just 90 calories and is loaded with fiber and antioxidants, which is more than you can say for the potato chips in the office vending machine.
Top your potato with that packet of tuna that you keep in your desk drawer and you have a healthy and filling executive lunch.
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One of our favorite lunch options combines the elements of a traditional caprese salad, which provide vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, with tuna for protein.
We suggest using buffalo mozzarella, which is made from the milk of domesticated water buffalo, since it is higher in calcium and protein and lower in cholesterol than mozzarella made from cow’s milk.
7. Boiled Eggs With Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, And Avocado
A boiled egg is essentially pure protein and only has 70 calories. Pair your egg with a small avocado salad and you have an easy to prepare lunch that you can eat at your desk.
8. Roasted Chicken And Veggies
Even if you are not that handy in the kitchen, you can probably manage a basic roasted chicken and veggies. The veggies and chicken are roasted at the same time in the same pan, so there’s minimal prep necessary.
Add a cooked grain to round out the meal. You can cook the meal on your day off and repurpose the leftovers all week for your lunch.
9. Chicken And Avocado Roll-Up
One way to use your leftover roast chicken is to place the shredded chicken on a tortilla and top it with avocado or other veggies to create a protein-packed roll-up that will get you through the afternoon crunch time. If you do not cook, you can always use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
Are you interested in a healthier breakfast? Have a look at our amazing post about how to make a healthy executive breakfast!