Healthy Lunchtime Meal Alternatives

As a student, I don't really have the luxury of a huge food budget to play around with all the time, which is why I think that it is so easy to fall into the routine of skipping lunch, relying on takeaways or indulging in the dreaded microwave meals. I'm pleased to say that I have not touched a microwave meal and only had the odd takeaway (everybody needs a treat sometimes) since starting university, and I have been trying my best to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising as well as eating healthily!

Planning is key when it comes to eating healthily on a budget. Where you purchase food, what food you buy and how much are all important factors to consider, you don't spend a fortune on food that you can get cheaper elsewhere or buy tonnes more than you need which you will never end up using before it goes past the 'use by' date. If you lack self control and end up walking around the supermarket grabbing every chocolatey, sugary treat in sight like me, writing a shopping list to plan out meals for the week before carrying out the weekly shop will help you to avoid wasting money on any unnecessary food items (You can still pick up some treats if they're on the list though)!

I am about as far from a gourmet chef as you can possibly get, but I am trying really hard to improve my cooking skills and experiment a lot more with different foods. I thought that it might be helpful to share a couple of simple and healthy alternative lunches that are tasty as well as easy on the wallet, because if I can do it then you definitely can too!

Salads have become a particular favourite of mine lately, literally because of how many different varieties and combinations that you can make. Throwing together a simple salad with minimal preparation is a super convenient way to work a couple of servings of vegetables/fruit into your diet while being healthy and low calorie, so you can get that satisfying full feeling in your tummy without the added guilt. I like to include crunchy onion and lettuce as well as tuna and boiled eggs for a bit of added protein, making it a perfect post gym snack after an intense workout. Obviously you can add in a banana if you want people to think that you're super healthy..

Omelettes seem to be everyone's worst nightmare to get right, but they seem to be something of a speciality for me as I seem to have been gifted with supreme omelette making abilities. Omelettes are such a versatile and inexpensive meal since you can throw pretty much any ingredient you like into them. I personally tend go for cheese and ham and either add in some peppers or other veg or construct a little side salad for some added healthiness.

If you are one of those people that struggle with avoiding that eggy mess stuck to the bottom of the pan, then I have a few omelette making tips for you to follow:
  1. A medium heat is usually best when cooking omelettes, heat butter in the pan until it is sizzling but not brown before adding your egg mix
  2. Two eggs is usually a good amount for an omelette, the more eggs you add, the harder it is to cook (you can always make more if you're still hungry!)
  3. A decent non-stick pan really is a life saver in ensuring that your omelette doesn't stick
  4. Don't add too many ingredients as it will make the omelette difficult to fold
  5. Thicken the edges of the omelette by tipping the unset mixture around the edges of the pan, making it loads easier to fold over

I find that it really helps to have some simple and easy lunches up your sleeve for those busy days where you don't really have much time to throw together a healthy meal to keep you going through the day, plus a substantial meal at midday will calm those food cravings until dinner time, helping you to avoid snacking on junk food!


Emma Reilly said...

Love seeing posts like this :) I'm always in need of a little healthy inspiration!

Emma xx

Jennifer K said...

These look delicious. I'm always trying to to remind people that a healthy diet isn't necessarily an expensive one - it's just about buying sensibly! In fact I'd say that eating out or getting microwave meals probably adds up to being more expensive. The salad looks particularly good, I always forget that eggs are a great addition!

Also as a student, it's really important to stick to regular meals in order to keep your brain functioning - eating the wrong food at odd times of the day sends your body crazy and it's so hard to work properly!

Jennifer x

Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

Abbie said...

These look incredible. I used to make such good lunches when I lived on campus, but now I don't, I am stuck with boring sandwiches for lunch! Will definitely have a go at an omelette when I am home a lot more revising!
Abbie x
Another Student Blog

James Bickle said...

This is what I try to get through to people too, everyone assumes that a healthy diet involves the most expensive foods when it is possible (with a little motivation and effort) to eat healthy on a budget. I really wish that eating out at restaurants wasn't so expensive, I love finding new little places that serve delicious food!

I know people at university that pretty much live off of pizza and nuggets with not a single piece of fruit and vegetables in sight, I don't know how they do it!

Mel said...

Can't find the 'like' button here... ;-)

Arianne said...

Omelettes for lunch? I'd eat that any meal of the day :) I think eggs in general are easy to make.


© Blogger James

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig