One of the greatest rewards of a packing a fitness lunch box is the way you feel after lunch—perky, revived, able to make it the end of the day without falling out. Eating a huge lunch, full of salty and caffeinated foods and drinks, will leave you feeling tired, unfocused, and often cranky (thanks to the sugar crash). Contrary to popular belief, a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be tasteless, or take hours of preparation. Read on for some easy fitness lunch box possibilities.
Veggie pizza for your fitness lunch box
Veggie pizzas can be made the night before, and it’s not much more work to make one or four pizzas, so you can potentially make lunch for your whole family in a little more than half an hour. You can use your favorite vegetables, about a handful of each, for this recipe. Tomatoes, squash, or zucchini all work well; roast them with a minced garlic clove, some salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil, at 350°F for about twenty minutes. It’s best to roast vegetables in either glass or cast iron cookware—cooking in aluminum is harder on the digestive tract.
A soft tortilla shell, sturdy rye cracker, or whole-wheat bagel makes the crust of your pizza; lay the roasted veggies down and top with goat cheese or feta. Put this all back in the oven to bake for another ten minutes, and then let the pizza cool for a few before either eating it or putting it in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s fitness lunch box. To make multiple pizzas, just up the ingredients. Plain yogurt or humus is another layer to add, if you’re feeling fancy
A popular variation is the spinach pizza, which is pretty much the same process, but with naan, spinach, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and chopped almonds or sesame seeds. Bake the pizza at 350°F just until the cheese melts. Some people go another direction, making kelp and strawberry pizzas—which are actually delicious.
Don't forget to drink!
What you drink midday is just as important as what you eat, for overall health and wellbeing. Most people are walking around slightly dehydrated, which results in fatigue and irritability, sometimes headaches. Try to drink two tall glasses of water with your fitness lunch box, or just drain your water bottle twice. Cold water is harder for the body to regulate than room temperature—a lot of energy is needed to mellow out the cold internally. One cup of black coffee or tea is okay, provided it’s not the main feature of your lunch. For a healthy lunch, sodas and high-sugar fruit juices are out, as are energy drinks—these always lead to a crushing low about an hour after lunch.
How to pack a fitness lunch box
When you pack a lunch box, particularly a Slimline Bento Lunch Box, it’s easy to think about healthy portions: don’t pack more than can comfortably fit in the lunch box. For a balanced lunch, give fruits and vegetables the biggest space, and grains and meats smaller squares. Much of learning to pack a fitness lunch box is just learning restraint; to have more energy later in the day, lunch light.