By Jan Hauser
Weight Loss Coach, Personal Trainer Food
With summer waning and kids going back to school, many of us are starting to think about getting back into our routine. As the pace of the season quickens, we need solutions for eating well and keeping up with everything we need to do.
Here are 10 Lunch Hacks that will save your sanity, time, and money (as well as your waistline). Use these tips to prep lunches for the kids or the office!
1. Leftover Sauce is Great for Little Dippers
Don’t toss that little bit of salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, mustard or mayonnaise! Transfer it to a small container with a lid instead. Pack your sauces for lunch along with some dipping vegetables, meats, or cheeses.
Personal Trainer Food Meatballs make great dippers for left over spaghetti sauce! You can also try dipping our Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast in left over Ranch dressing or Boneless Buffalo Wings in blue cheese dressing.
2. Skip the Cereal Bars, Do this Instead
It’s tempting to toss a cereal bar in the box for a sweet thing to snack on. And that’s just the problem—cereal bars have as much sugar as a candy bar! Cost-effective apples can provide natural sweetness and the smell of home-made pie.
Apple Pie Filling
- 1 Apple, cored and sliced into wedges
- 1 T Butter
- Non-caloric sweetener such as Splenda or Stevia to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) apple pie spice
How to make:
- On a small baking tray, arrange apple wedges in layers.
- Dab the butter on top of the apple. Sprinkle sweetener and apple pie spice over everything.
- Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Serve warm or pack into lunch containers and refrigerate until ready to use as a snack or with lunch.
3. Sugar-Free Roll Ups that You Will Love
Fruit Roll Ups are not fruit. They are pure sugar, and worse, dentists hate them because the sticky treats increase the chance of cavities and gumming up braces and dental work.
Here are five novel roll ups you and the kids will love:
- Roll some slices of ham around a dill pickle spear and Colby jack cheese stick.
- Roll smoked turkey slices around a mozzarella cheese stick and thin slices of apple.
- Wrap roast beef slices over sliced bell peppers and dip in Ranch dressing.
- Roll Swiss cheese over a slice of ham; use a dab of horseradish mayonnaise for an extra kick!
- Roll Pepperoni Bites or slices in a slice of provolone cheese and dip in spaghetti sauce.
4. Here’s a Smarter Way to Wrap
Wraps are all the rage, but have you looked at how many starchy carbs and empty calories one wrap contains? It isn’t worth it! Boost vitamins and minerals while getting the added benefit of healthy, complex carbs by using dark leafy greens instead. These wraps give you more health for your money!
Green leaf lettuce, kale, butter lettuce, cabbage or collard greens all have great leaf structures for wrapping. If the collard or cabbage leaves are too stiff, blanch them for 30-60 seconds in boiling water to make them easier to roll.
Zesty Tenders Fiesta Wrap
- 1 package Personal Trainer Food Zesty Tenders
- 2-3 leaves of butter lettuce
- Grated cheese
- Hot sauce or salsa, and guacamole and any other veggies you like. (optional)
How to make
- Heat Zesty Tenders in the microwave.
- Unfurl butter lettuce leaves and layer them on top of each other.
- Arrange the Zesty Tenders and on the lettuce, sprinkle grated cheese on top. Add hot sauce or salsa and guacamole and other veggies if you wish.
- Fold the bottom of the wrap over the filling and then roll the sides over to make your wrap.
Angus Burger Wrap
- 1 Personal Trainer Food Angus Burger
- 2-3 leaves of green leaf lettuce or collard greens
- 1 slice cheddar cheese
- 1-2 slices tomato
- 1 thin slice of red onion
How to make:
- Heat your Angus Burger in the microwave.
- While the burger is heating, unfurl your lettuce leaves and layer them on top of each other.
- Place the heated burger patty on the lettuce and garnish with cheese, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and mustard.
- Fold the bottom end of the wrap over the burger and then roll the sides over it. You can use a toothpick to hold everything in place.
5. Try a Salad Bowl Instead of a Lunchable
Lunchables are expensive– and not entirely healthy either, but we use them for the convenience. Try making these 3-minute colorful salad bowl instead. These delightful recipes will save you time, money, and provide greater nutrition.
3-Minute No-Chop Salad Bowl
- Pre-washed and chopped mixed greens
- Sliced deli meat, chicken strips or your favorite Personal Trainer Food meat entrée.
- Assortment of pre-washed ready to eat vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, snap peas, sprouts, sliced mushrooms. You can also use a few bags of Personal Trainer Food vegetables such as Sicilian Blend.
- Your favorite full-fat dressing
- Optional: 1-ounce grated cheese.
How to make a great salad in under 3 minutes:
- Fill a reusable container with mixed greens and vegetables of your choice.
- Layer slices of deli meat, strips of chicken or your favorite Personal Trainer Food meat (you can even use a breakfast items, such as Frittata and bacon!). Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
- Pack salad dressing separately in a small container. Keep cool until ready to eat.
- When ready to eat, pour your dressing in, put the lid back on the bowl and gently shake until evenly coated.
3-Minute Tomato and Chicken Salad Bowl
Here is another salad that you can make in three minutes or less –without chopping anything! Our fajita chicken is an excellent lunch hack that saves you time. Make sure you have some in your freezer at all times. Order some today!
- Personal Trainer Food Chicken Fajita Slices, thawed
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Personal Trainer Food Sweet Garlic Butter Sauce
- A splash of red wine vinegar
How to make it:
- Place the chopped chicken and cherry tomatoes in a reusable lunch container.
- Squeeze the Sweet Garlic Butter Sauce over top and add a splash of red wine vinegar.
- Toss everything together until evenly coated, cover tightly and keep cool until ready to eat.
6. Eat these Healthy Fats for Deep Thinking
Whole eggs and avocados top the list for healthy fats that help with brain function, and eggs are the most economical source of high protein you can buy. Mix this little salad up in a jiff to help your thinker!
Tossed Avocado and Egg Salad
This salad is especially enjoyable when used as a dip with crunchy sliced cucumber rounds.
- ¼ of an avocado, diced
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Personal Trainer Food Sweet Garlic Butter Sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to make the salad:
- Place diced avocado and hard boiled eggs in a small lunch container.
- Squeeze about 1 teaspoon of Sweet Garlic Butter sauce over the mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently fold the mixture together until the avocado and eggs are evenly coated.
- Cover tightly and keep cool until ready to eat.
7. Choose the Right Kind of Fuel
Protein and complex carbohydrates (such as apples and vegetables) are high-octane fuel for the body. Taking the emphasis off of starchy meals and snacks will yield more stable energy that will prevent snacking on expensive empty calories from fast foods and vending machines.
Apples, cheeses and nuts are excellent snack choices because you can take them with you anywhere and their fiber content keeps you full in between meals.
8. Use Fresh Veggies Before they Go to Waste
Then freeze your broth and veggies in individual serving lunch containers. The frozen broth will prevent nasty spills until you are ready to eat your soup around lunch time. The broth will also keep everything cool in the lunch bag until you are ready to eat.
To make a quick soup for lunch, grab your frozen broth and your favorite Personal Trainer Food meat. Heat them individually in the microwave until hot. Pour the Personal Trainer Food meat into your veggie broth, stir and enjoy.
Tip: You can add an additional bag of Personal Trainer Food veggies if you wanted a heartier soup.
9. Drink This, Not That
Pure water is the least expensive drink you can pack for lunch. Not only are drinks like sodas, juices and milk more expensive, they are high in sugars.
Tip: a cute reusable water bottle will cut the cost of having to buy bottled waters and is kinder to the environment.
10. The Best Way to Save on Groceries
Our customers rave about the extra money they find in their bank account when they order with us.
We can help you to stick to your budget because you are no longer tempted to buy extras at the store. We save you money on fuel by delivering your food straight to your doorstep. Frozen food keeps much longer than fresh food in your refrigerator so there is less waste. And, knowing that you have a healthy meal at your finger tips at any time can help you kick that expensive fast food habit. All those little things really do add up to big savings!
…and don’t forget our Loyalty Rewards Program offers all repeat customers $100 off any order placed within 90 days of their last. That means that you will always save when you order with us. Personal Trainer Food is the perfect solution for busy people to eat healthy and spend less!
About the Writer
Jan is a 13-year veteran in the fitness industry and has personally coached and trained thousands of people to live fit and healthy lives around the world. 100 pounds ago, she knew exactly what it is like to be obese, sick and unhappy, feeling like there was nothing that could be done about the excess fat she had gained. That is why she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team today. She has successfully and permanently lost the fat using the principles of this program.