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Fitness & Wellness

Make Lunch The Night Before

While there are many healthy restaurant options in Alexandria, VA, there may not be ones near your work. That means you either have to carry your lunch or opt for an unhealthy option. You might consider the second choice, especially if your morning is hectic. However, my suggestion is to make lunch the night before to avoid the hassle in the morning and stick with your program of healthy eating. Most of these can be made on the weekend for the whole week and even stored in the freezer for those super busy weeks.

Mason jar lunches don’t take a lot of effort and can be perfect when you’re on the go.

If you have an air fryer, you’re in for a treat. You can make rotisserie tasting chicken that’s super low in calories. You do need a little oil, seasoning salt and of course, a chicken. It tastes like rotisserie chicken but with fewer calories and the best part is that you can shred in pieces and use it for Mason jar lunches. Use wide mouth jars. Put your favorite dressing on the bottom layer, then to with the layer like tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, cheese or chicken, making sure that the “wettest” ingredients are the closest to the bottom. Top it off with a layer of greens. When you’re ready to eat, shake the jar and pour it in a bowl. Lunch is served!

Wraps can have the ingredients made the night before to assemble when you eat it.

Get everything ready to put in the wrap and take those ingredients in a bowl, with the wrap or pita bread separate. I love chicken salad and I thought only the real mayo type would do, that is until I found out you could make it with Greek yogurt and avocado and it tasted delicious. My recipe varies, since I add a bit of this and that to season it. It uses one small avocado, a half cup Greek yogurt, two cups of shredded or finely chopped chicken and the juice from a small lime for starters. From there I add a bit of garlic powder, chopped red onions, a little salt, pepper and even some onion powder occasionally. It stores well for two to three days in the refrigerator. Fill the wrap when you’re ready to eat.

There’s nothing better than a hearty soup on a cold day.

Sure, it may be hot as ever right now, but that heat doesn’t last forever. It won’t be long before you’ll be looking forward to a warm meal. Soup is always a great go-to that saves money and time. You can use left over veggies before they go bad and make a batch that will provide weeks of lunches. Some of my favorites are stuffed pepper soup, Zuppa Toscana and hearty chicken vegetable soup—which uses some of that air fried rotisserie chicken.

  • You can use leftovers from the night before to create an entirely new lunch. Use chopped pieces of steak or chicken on a bed of spinach, tossing a sliced boiled eggs, some pecans, tomatoes and feta cheese on for a salad that’s delicious, filling and nutritious. Top with a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • If you want to make your wraps even lower in calories, wrap the ingredients in a large lettuce leaf. The Greek yogurt chicken salad is delicious that way.
  • If you’re vegetarian and want something more filling, put some chickpeas in your salad or kidney beans. I also have tried salads with a small amount of sweet potato gnocchi added and it’s delicious.
  • Make all your friends at the office envious by bringing your favorite pasta—vegetable spaghetti! Make it any way you wish the night before for dinner and then top the leftovers with a different sauce for lunch the next day. Just heat and serve.

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