Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Lunch box ideas

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Just a quick post from me today but I'm after a bit of help and inspiration. I'm sure most of you are aware that as of next Monday I'm going to be interning in a beauty department of a magazine in London. Now, as exciting as it is, I'm a bit worried about what I'm going to eat - this is my chance to really knuckle down and use these four weeks as a stepping stone for me, I'll have a routine and I'll hopefully not be bored so I won't need to turn to food for entertainment, thus hopefully resulting in a decent weight loss!

I'm going to be commuting from Leicester which will mean 12/13 hour days and this is where you come in, I need ideas for healthy lunch box ideas that'll keep me full, potential snacks I can keep in my bag incase I get mid-morning/afternoon munchies and then ideas for quick and easy dinner solutions. I'm planning on doing a Tesco-delivery shop at some point towards the back end of this week, has anybody got any key ingredients I should get that will keep well? I'm thinking of maybe getting a piece of gammon or chicken and cooking that on Sundays and having it in sandwiches for lunch and maybe with new potatoes and salad for dinner? But that'll get boring after about day one!

So yeah, your go-to recipes when you can't be bothered - throw them my way please along with any other ideas you may have! :)


  1. Cous cous is a great food to keep you full and it only takes 5 minutes to make and you can mix it up with any thing.

    My fav is cous cous wit ha veg stock cube, raisins and a little bit of ham.


  2. I always have some babybell lights in my lunch box and something small like a breakaway bar to go with a cup of tea in the afternoon when I need a little sugar boost or an options hot chocolate.
    I have quiche for lunch quite a lot and salads with ham and boiled egg.
    You can also get great books at your local library that have lunch box ideas in. I know those little Good Food cookbooks have a 101packed lunches and picnic ideas book xx

  3. Totally agree with couscous. I love it with broccoli and a bit of feta cheese.
    Sandwiches are another classic - my favourite is cheese and tomato or pickle, I suppose ham, tuna, turkey, chicken breast...for meateaters are the easiest and healthiest ways.
    Salads of all kinds and as for veggies, what I always used to when I was working was taking a couple of boxes of "hard vegetables" - cucumber, carrot, radish, pepper...cut in sticks. I did have to buy a bigger backpack, though, as my daily food dose was rather space consuming, but it´s all worth it for sake of knowing what exactly you´re eating.
    I´d say on those cold drizzly days, you could make soup and take a bit with you in a flask. It´s a bit strange but I used to work in a coffeshop that always got super cold in the evenings and soup was the way to go.
    As for treats, my favourite are Go Ahead yoghurt slices - especially raspberry and blueberry.
    Hope this helps! x

  4. I find bananas keep me full, and things like grapes too. Fill up sandwiches with salad and some protein. Wraps are a bit better than bread calorie wise. Olives, ryvita and cottage cheese is a nice lunch.

  5. I always take a salad for lunch as I find it easiest to add in the right balance of fats, carbs and protein. Chickpeas, falafels, rice, cheeses, oils...all good nutriets that will also help you think and function.

    Snack wise, energy bars (nakd bars are fab), roasted soya beans, dried fruit and at a push protein bars keep my energy and blood sugar levels stable.

  6. I struggle MASSIVELY with eating healthily at lunch time. As much as I'd love to give up carbs, I need the fix most days so I try to get them into my lunch and out of the way earlier in the day so that I have energy for the afternoon and can have healthier, carbfree dins! Definitely agree with the couscous comments above- it's my current favourite as I don't feel like I need a nap after it. Most days I probably have a chicken salad with couscous or pasta.

    Ainslie Harriot couscous's are really good and save so much time in the mornings!

    Apart from that, I'm all out of good ideas as I normally resort to crisps at some point in the day...so I will be checking back for everyone elses ideas!xx

  7. Be wary of quiche, Gem - they tend to be really high fat. They only masquerade as healthy food!

    Couscous is a good option, or rice salad, or pasta salad or you can make a wrap. If the kitchen has a toaster you can bring in pittas and toast one with a salad, that's a really nice lunch. Soup is brilliant - filling and low fat - but a bit unappetising in hot weather.

    Snacky bits I always keep a bag of Penn State pretzels in my drawer, they're really low. Also fruit, a bag of apples is good.

    What I do a lot is, on Mondays, I go to sainsburys or m&s or somewhere, and buy a couple of the salad pots - couscous etc - a bag of lettuce and some tomatoes, and some dressing (I recommend balsamic glaze). Then I make it up at work, for lunch every day. It's like a fresh salad, but it's a much cheaper way of doing it. This is because I'm too lazy to cook couscous etc from scratch!

  8. As others have said, I totally agree with couscous! If you want a bit of variety you could mix it in with a salad which is what I do :) Nuts are great for snacks as are dried apricots if you like them! They're prefect for giving you a bit of an energy boost because of the natural sugars in them so they'll be good for your long days :)
    Good luck with your internship! :)

    Rhiannon xo

  9. couscous - so nice they named it twice. don't forget it!

  10. Lunch time is my worst, I hate having to plan lunches for the week! I posted a few last week ( http://bit.ly/myemL8 ) and I'm going to post some more tonight hopefully, just what I've been taking to nibble on etc x x x

  11. I love quinoa! It's so much better for you than couscous because it's full of protein - keeps you fuller for longer. I mix it up with veg (beetroot, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots), some beans (chickpeas or kidney beans) and some coriander or houmous on top to season. Yum. I also like pasta salads using wholewheat pasta and some basil tofu for protein, some vegetables and pine nuts too. It's important to fill up with a good balance of carbs and proteins - too much carbs will just make you sleepy and bloated. I also snack on nakd bars (although I've been making homemade ones lately! http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/baby-making/ easy and delicious and CHEAP!) and fruit & veg. Oh and also peanut butter on ryvita makes a perfect mid afternoon snack before I go the gym!

  12. My handy always-in-my-bag-snacks are: oatcakes, brazil nuts and Almonds. You just have to be caerful with portions for nuts, I always count out 10 Almonds or 2-3 Brazils! Fruit is a no brainer! Measure out a tablespoon of peanut butter in a mini tub to dip in apple slices! The protein and fat will help keep ypu fuller for longer. Nakd bars are awesome, I can't recommend them enough. For lunch I have houmous and salad sandwiches a lot, and then an apple. A plus side to working, as you pointed out, is that you are usually too busy to mindlessly snack!

  13. You didn't mention breakfast but if you're looking for a portable, healthy and tasty breakfast then I'd thoroughly recommend my new obsession, overnight oats. Just put some oats (or indeed one of those instant sachets) into a plastic tub or beaker, add an equal amount of liquid (water, milk, juice, a dairy-free alternative - whatever you like!) and any add-ins like grated apple, chopped banana, raisins, dried fruit, nuts etc that you fancy, and leave it in the fridge overnight. YUM.

    I'd also advise making up a big batch of some kind of salad (couscous or quinoa with roasted veg, pasta salad, that sort of thing) in advance, and then you can take a portion of that for lunch. Or you could make a batch of soup - there are loads of amazing soup recipes out there!

    As far as snacks go, I love nakd bars - really filling and much better for you than a lot of snack bars - or, as others have recommended, raw fruit and veg. I love snacking on sugarsnap peas - they're gorgeous and have barely any calories!

  14. to be honest, i don't think you can go wrong with a sandwich! i completely prefer wraps though, with lots of salad and a bit of ham i never get bored! obviously you can switch it up though. also try bagels as they keep me full for ages. for snacks, pots of fruit, cereal bars, fruit flakes and jelly is also a good one! good luck, wish i had your lucky job! xxxx

  15. If you have a microwave at work my lazy option is to just cook an extra portion of tea the night before then reheat that the next day. You can eat it out of the tub if you don't mind!

    Sushi is really filling, you can make your own if you have time but lots of places sell it - it's really healthy.

    I also love cous cous, mix up a salad with whatever you have in - bits of veg, meat etc. You can make your own salads - my fave is chicken ceasar with a handful of croutons, a few shavings of parmesan and some hellmans ceasar dressing - mine is always under 300cals.

    Make sure you pick food you enjoy and look forward to or you'll be tempted to wander to the nearest fastfood or cafe!

  16. I'd wait and see what your first day brings - chances are someone will offer to take you for lunch - and what the facilities are. My work has no microwaves, fridges or kettles for staff use because they want you to spend money in the canteen! Bringing in lunch is a total faff unless you have a cool box/food flask and because I'm lazy I generally end up at M&S. (Never, ever buying from the staff canteen though - NO WAY!)