High Performing Meal Options: Lunch
If you missed the last article in this series, check it out here…High Performing Meal Options: Breakfast.
Make sure to read the intro so you have a quick understanding of how many calories you want to shoot for to according to your goals, as well as a brief description of what Carb Cycling is as that will help you maximize the meals within these articles!s
And if you want even more recipes than those included in these articles, make sure to check out my wife’s recipe book over at toughmommytips.com.
The recipes in this article are great start, but Jamie has put together even more with her free recipe book that also include many of my favorites not within this article. You can find that here…Tough Mommy Recipe Book
And if you want even more, check out her meal plan which you can find here…7 Day Challenge and Meal Plan
So now, here are 5 high performing meal options for lunch!
Healthy Chicken Salad
I love chicken salad!
But honestly, I’m not a fan of my chicken swimming in highly processed mayonnaise.
Instead, I enjoy a “clean” chicken salad that has a base of Greek yogurt instead of mayo, with maybe a little higher quality may mixed in.
And depending on if your lunch is your post training meal, you can make it a chicken salad sandwich…the added carbs from the sandwich are a solid option post training as long as it works into your overall caloric intake.
So here is how to make the chicken salad:
1) Bake or grill your chicken breast, or you can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store…if you can, try to make sure the chicken is from a good source, not a farm raised, hormone injected chicken.
2) Shred your chicken. I usually just pull it apart with my hands, but some prefer to do so with a couple of forks.
3) Chop a little onion, some grapes and celery and set aside.
4) In a bowl, spoon a few scoops of non fat plain Greek yogurt. Add some garlic powder, a little salt and pepper. Stir it together and check for taste preference. If you need more just add a little at a time and stir it in, checking again fro taste.
5) Add your shredded chicken to the bowl and mix the Greek yogurt and chicken so it is evenly covered. Add your onion, grapes and celery and mix together. Here you can also add some chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds for an extra boost of healthy fats and crunch factor.
6) Enjoy straight out of the bowl, or make your sandwich!
“Expert” Tip: Make a large batch and pick on it throughout the week. You can also make different flavor chicken salad, like buffalo chicken salad just by switching up the added ingredients…Franks buffalo sauce with onion and celery is a good one 🙂
You will see eggs popping up in each one of these articles.
Eggs are extremely nutritious, and easy to make in all different forms.
So one of my favorites for lunch, especially because lunch is my post training meal, is a healthy egg sandwich.
Here is how easy this one is…
- Cook one to two eggs to your desired gooey factor preference (over easy, medium or hard), and put some healthy bread option in the toaster…we like Ezekiel Bread, but there are many lightly processed, no sugar added breads out there now.
2. While the egg is cooking, wilt some spinach in the pan, and heat up some nitrate free meat (I like ham) in the same pan.
3. Once the spinach is wilted, put the spinach on top of your egg, cover that with the meat and place a piece of cheese on top. Let the cheese melt slightly.
4. Once the cheese has melted slightly, use a flat spatula to remove the egg stack and place it on your toast.
5. Enjoy with a side of baby carrots and hummus 🙂
“Expert” Tip: If your goal is strictly fat loss, you may want to go with an open face sandwich to reduce the amount of calories in the meal. Or if this is not a post training meal, you can skip the bread all together and add another egg or piece of meat.
Salad with Chicken
You knew a salad would have to pop up somewhere, and you will actually see another one for the dinner options in the article that follows.
A salad with protein, in this case chicken, is an awesome option for lunch especially if you are on a fat loss journey, it is an off day or you just did some conditioning.
It provides you with the vitamins, minerals and protein you need to support your health, fitness and performance goals, as well as the “fullness” factor that many of us are looking for in a meal, without blowing your calories way out of bounds.
So this is pretty straight forward:
1) Cook your protein. Again, we are using chicken here, and I suggest cooking your chicken in the beginning of the week and using it for different meals, including salads.
2) Make a bed of greens (I like spinach) and top it with your choice of veggies.
“Expert” Tip: I cook up a couple pounds of frozen stir fry veggies with a McCormick Spice Packet in the beginning of the week and can add it to meals like a salad, or just munch on them as a quick snack. This is what I usually put on top of my greens for a quick salad.
3) Add some healthy fats and crunch…I like to add avocado, and either walnuts, sliced almonds or sun flower seeds for a solid crunch factor.
4) Use your choice of dressing. We like Bolthouse Greek yogurt based dressings. They are low calorie, have minimal ingredients and taste delicious.
5) Add some cheese if you’d like and it works into your calories.
Pretty simple and straight forward.
Mediterranean Power Bowl
Again, we are huge fans of simple to construct, healthy and delicious meals.
“Power Bowls” can come in many forms, and one of my favorite that the Queen of TAW puts together is the Mediterranean Bowl. And for those who aren’t meat fans, this one is a vegetarian option.
- Cook your choice of healthy carb base. This can be quinoa (shown in the pic), rice, farro, barley, etc.
2. Chop up yellow pepper, black / kalamata olives, cucumber and tomatoes and put it over your carb base.
3. Add chickpeas (we like the cooked chickpeas for the crunch factor), feta cheese and a couple of scoops of original hummus and enjoy!
“Expert” Tip: Mix the hummus in before you start to eat as it acts as a “sauce” like substance that you get a little with every bite 🙂
I’m well aware of what I’m about to show you is not true “antipasto” and some of my Italian family members and friends would like to take me to a dark alley and go Godfather on me.
But, I don’t know what else to call this one, so “antipasto” bowl it is.
This one is a low carb, healthy fats and protein rich option and is perfect for an off day or strict conditioning day…and it is stupid simple and delicious.
- Chop up nitrate free salami, red pepper, tomato, avocado and mozzarella cheese.
2. Combine this all in a bowl with a little olive oil and balsamic dressing. Mix evenly.
3. Enjoy 🙂
There you have 5 High Performing Lunch Options that can be adjusted a bit according to preference.
Up next are some dinner options.