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5 Healthy Lunches for National Brown-Bag-It Day

May 25, 2014

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Happy National Brown-Bag-It Day! That’s right, today’s the day to celebrate the good old art of bringing your lunch from home. While checking out new places to eat by your office can be fun, and sometimes grabbing a sandwich from the local deli feels like the easiest thing to do, packing your own lunch is a much healthier—and less expensive—choice. Even those healthy-seeming salads from the local cafe can hide some not-so-nutritious ingredients.

Packing your own lunch for work may be more time  consuming (although how long do you spend waiting in line at the sandwich shop?), but with some simple planning and a weekend trip to the grocery store, it can become an easy part of your routine. To help you on your way to a healthier lunchtime habit, we’ve created five easy lunch options for every day of the work week. With each bite, you’ll feed your body, calm your mind, and rejuvenate for your afternoon!


Brown Bag #1: Kale salad with radish greens and zesty lemon dressing

After you’ve made it through your hectic Monday morning, treat yourself to this filling salad. Kale is an antioxidant-packed superfood that will help you detox from any weekend revelry, leaving your immune system recharged for the week ahead, while vitamin C-dense radish leaves rev up your immune system. This zesty lemon shallot dressing adds some inflammatory action for a revitalizing and nutritious lunch.

Brown Bag #2: Avocado on toast with seaweed chips

Spread some hummus on whole wheat or gluten-free toast, then add a few slices of nutrient-packed avocado. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne for a spicy metabolism boost. This goes great with fiber- and protein-rich seaweed chips.

Brown Bag #3: Fruit salad with a side of mixed nuts

For a middle-of-the-week energy boost, try this lunch of fruits and nuts. Choose immunity-boosting citrus, fiber-filled apples, potassium-packed bananas, or antioxidant-dense berries. The natural sugars of the fruits will give you a steady energy boost. Go nuts with your nuts! Walnuts are filled with omega-3’s and antioxidants; almonds pack vitamin E, folic acid, and tons of other vitamins and minerals; pistachios are high in fiber; cashews have bone-building magnesium; pecans can help ward off heart disease; Brazil nuts are bursting with selenium—and they’ll all give you enough protein to power through the afternoon.

Brown Bag #4: Tomato-hummus sandwich paired with apple slices and almond butter

This veggie sandwich swaps out the meat for a thick slice of heart-healthy tomato. Add a few slices of  red or white onion, and place between two slices of whole wheat or gluten-free bread, evenly spread with hummus. Add hunger-satisfying apple slices and protein-rich almond butter for a sweet side.

Brown Bag #5: Cucumber, kale, and walnut salad with a side of dark chocolate

This salad is a great way to use up any leftover kale before the weekend. For one more salad before happy hour descends, add cucumber, walnut, and strawberries to your leafy greens for a fruity, crunchy tang. Finish with several pieces of dark chocolate, which are great for a quick energy and mood boost. After a long week, you deserve a treat.

What do you pack in your brown bag? Tell us in the comments below!