Adapting to working from home isn’t easy, particularly when it comes to healthy eating. If you are working from home as an online business owner, you know that sometimes taking a lunch break is as tricky as figuring out what to make.
Making time to have a nutritious lunch is extremely important. It will give you a much-needed break and fuel you with energy for the rest of your workday.
We’ve rounded up fifteen simple lunch ideas to make while working from home.
15 Simple Lunch Ideas for Online Business Owners
1. Vegetable Soup
Soup is a comfort meal that is still classy enough to make you feel like you’re dining out, even though you’re slurping it alone at the kitchen table.
You can make a pot of ‘homemade’ vegetable soup once a week by mixing two cans of vegetable soup, black beans, and diced tomatoes with two tablespoons of Italian seasoning. Store your soup in containers in the fridge and microwave it for lunch.
2. Homemade Margherita Naan Pizza
Take whole wheat naan bread and top it with cheese, sliced tomatoes, and basil. Set it in your oven to broil for a few minutes. It’s quick, nutritious, and filling.
3. Easy Tacos
Top corn or flour tortillas with grated cheese and place them in a skillet to get the bottom crispy. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand, beans, an egg, avocado, salsa, or peppers. Change up the filler based on what’s in your fridge.
4. Kale and White Bean Salad
With five minutes of prep time, you can make a healthy salad loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Use two stalks of kale with the stems removed. Drizzle on some olive oil and add chopped tomatoes, shallots, half an avocado, and some black beans. Toss with lemon juice and salt.
5. Mediterranean Wraps
Top a whole grain wrap with hummus, chickpeas, feta cheese, red onions, and leftover veggies.
6. Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros requires a pan-fried tortilla, smashed black beans, cheddar cheese, a fried egg, and salsa. It takes about 10 minutes’ worth of prep time and uses ingredients most people have on hand. You can add whatever veggies you have in your fridge, including zucchini, corn, lettuce, or onions.
7. Tuna Sandwich
Add some depth to a tuna sandwich by adding tomato and lettuce. Pair it with a piece of fruit. Fish is packed with protein and omega-3s so that it will keep you full all afternoon.
8. Garbage Salad
Garbage salad is a chef’s term for a salad you throw together with whatever ingredients you have available. Leafy green, vegetables, chicken breast, beans, cheese, tofu, sunflower seeds, really anything goes here. Add seeds, nuts, meat, or eggs for some extra protein.
9. Tuna Cheddar Melt
Take a slice of whole-grain bread and top it with canned tuna, shredded cheddar cheese and toast it until it’s golden brown. If you have lettuce available, you can top it with that and some vinaigrette dressing. Try the cheddar melt with canned salmon for a variation.
Leftovers from dinner the night before are still a great way to make sure you have a healthy lunch. Pack leftovers in single-serving containers in your fridge so you can quickly reheat them the next day.
11. Veggie Quesadillas
Aim for 500 g of vegetables in these. There are no rules; you can use whatever veggies you have in the house. Dice them up, place between two tortillas, and pan-fry for about five minutes. Flip them over halfway through the cooking time.
12. Quinoa or Rice Bowls
You can use quinoa or rice as a base for your grain bowl, topped with egg, veggies, or chicken.
13. Grilled Cheese
Use whole grain bread and mix up the cheese for a classic lunch with a healthy twist. Grilled cheese sandwiches pair great with apple slices.
14. Strawberry Feta Salad
Spinach greens topped with sliced strawberries and feta cheese tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing make a wonderful summery feeling salad.
15. Skillet Mac and Cheese
Throw your regular mac and cheese recipe into a skillet and top with tomatoes and leafy greens.
Bonus: Mushroom and Lentil Soup
A comforting bowl of mushroom and lentil soup is perfect for those colder days when you need a cozy lunch. Sauté sliced mushrooms, diced onions, and minced garlic in a pot until softened. Add dried lentils, vegetable broth, and a pinch of thyme or other herbs of your choice. Simmer until the lentils are tender, and the flavors have melded together. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright and satisfying lunchtime soup. Serve with a crusty bread roll for a complete meal.
Why is Healthy Eating Important for an Online Business Owner?
When you’re working from home, it’s tempting to eat unhealthy foods. We all know healthy eating is essential, but be careful not to let your workload derail your efforts.
Working from home provides you with a unique set of circumstances, making it challenging to maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy will help you to stay fit and reduce illnesses. Setting yourself some simple guidelines and having the correct information will set you up for success.
Many remote workers find it easy to work through lunch or eat at their desks while they’re working. Taking breaks is essential for your mental health. Take the time to fuel your body with nutritious food during these breaks, and you will find that you are more productive throughout your day.
The Risks of a Bad Diet
There are many benefits to working from home regarding freedom, schedule flexibility, and independence, but there are health risks. Without outside pressure to prepare food, many remote workers neglect their diet. Extended periods of inactivity added to this can cause significant damage to one’s health.
In the short term, failure to eat a balanced diet leads to fatigue, increased levels of stress, and low productivity. Long term, the side effects get worse. Not maintain a balanced diet can lead to high cholesterol, eating disorders, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
A Healthy Diet Defined
According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet involves:
‘Eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar, and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and toward eliminating trans-fatty acids.’
The basic rules of healthy eating are simple, but you may want a plan to help you stick to it.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid snacking on things like cookies, pastries, potato chips, and other junk food. It’s important to avoid meals that are too high in calories, fats, saturated fats, and trans fats. Eating too much salt and sugar can also put your health at risk.
Take Meal Breaks
Many online business owners find that their work takes over, and they forget to stop for lunch or snack breaks. When there’s no physical distinction between your workplace and home, it’s easy to lose track of time.
Take proper breaks at lunch and dinner time to prepare and eat nutritious food. Doing this regularly will help to promote healthy eating habits.
How Can I Eat Healthy from Home?
Here are some easy-to-follow tips for eating healthy at home:
- Avoid sugary drinks – replace them with water, tea, or sparkling water
- Do meal prep to avoid snacking
- Use a service like Factor to get prepared keto meals every week delivered to your door step
- Set a meal schedule during your workday
- Keep track of your calorie intake
- Eat when you’re hungry, not because you’re bored
- Eat fruit and vegetable for snacks first
- Pre-cut veggies or peel fruit, so they are a ‘grab and go’ snack
- When you cook a meal for yourself, eat half and save half for later
- Find new recipes that motivate you to make healthy meals and avoid boredom
- Only order takeout for special occasions
- Don’t keep junk food in your house
- Limit sugary and dried foods
- Keep your kitchen stocked with staples like rice, pasta, olive oil, and coconut oil
- Keep your pantry stocked with healthy canned goods
- Keep a stash of frozen fruit when fresh fruit is out of season
- Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Find a comfortable eating space
- Try eating your lunch outside if the weather is conducive
- Stay hydrated – keep a reusable water bottle with you while you’re working
- Avoid refined sugar
- Limit salt intake
What is the Healthiest Thing You Can Eat for Lunch?
Eggs, vegetables, and fish top the list of the healthiest lunch foods. Lean beef and chicken breast follow close behind, along with beans and legumes.
What Can I Eat Instead of Sandwiches for Lunch?
Wraps, salads, quesadillas, and soups are all great ideas for healthy work from home lunches. Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to pack a lunch and plan ahead for your week.
Hopefully, these tips and meal ideas will help you stay on track with healthy eating while running your online business. Putting some thought into your meal planning will be worth it for your long-term health.