About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy Lunch Ideas

I searched my blog today thinking that I had already posted about easy lunch ideas, but I couldn't find a post on this....so I am writing one now. When you work outside of the house it is very tempting to eat out lunch often. Here are some ideas of things you can take with you to work without having to eat a plain sandwich everyday.

Easy Lunch Ideas- choose a protein, grain and at least one fruit/vegetable (preferably two)


  • String Cheese or other low fat cheese
  • Peanut butter (keep a jar at work - have one serving on crackers or fruit)
  • Nuts (one serving)
  • Tuna in oil (don't need mayo if it is already in oil, they have them with a pop tops too)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt
  • Leftover meat
  • Hummus
  • Canned beans (check sodium)
  • Canned bean soup (check sodium)


  • Triscuits or Kashi crackers
  • Popcorn - 3 cups
  • Brown Rice Cakes
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole grain pita & tortillas


  • Any fresh fruit: apples, oranges, kiwis, etc.
  • Any fresh veggies: broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, salad greens, etc.
  • Canned fruit in own juice, drained.
  • Canned veggie soup
  • Salad w/ dark greens and veggies or fruit.

Examples of how to make lunch from this:

  • Greek Yogurt, whole grain cereal mixed in w/ fresh, frozen or canned fruit.
  • Tuna in oil w/ whole grain crackers & canned lower sodium veggie soup. (keep at work for a "back up lunch")
  • 100 calorie serving of nuts, 3 cups of popcorn and an apple
  • Hummus, whole grain pita & lots of fresh veggies
  • Canned lentil soup (Low sodium Amy's is good), crackers and fruit

Maria's favorite quick wraps you could quickly make at home and pack with you:

  • Fat free refried beans w/ low fat cheese on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle some cumin, microwave before eating.  Bring salsa and guacamole if you have it to garnish- but is still good without!
  • Fresh spinach, hummus, chicken, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese.
  • Lean roast beef (nitrate free), fresh spinach, mustard & crumbled blue cheese.
  • Roasted chicken (great w/ left overs), hot sauce, low fat blue cheese dressing and spinach. Bring along some carrots and celery sticks. 

Pack any leftovers for lunch.....

  • Prep a packed lunch the night before when you are cleaning up from dinner, pack your leftovers or make a meal from what is available. If you don't have a whole meal from dinner, here are examples of how to make meals from what you might left and what you have in the pantry. Don't be scared to toss what you have in a bowl or a wrap and heat it up the next day. Be creative!!
  • Leftover brown rice or whole grain pasta, fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, chick peas or white beans, feta cheese. Microwave for a minute or so. 
  • Left over brown rice, black beans, low fat cheese. Garnish in separate container: Lettuce, tomato, salsa or canned tomatoes & green chilies, guacamole.
  • Make a pasta salad with leftover whole grain pasta, whatever veggies you have (can use frozen), canned beans, and Italian dressing. Add some parmesan or low fat cheese.

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