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Favorite Lunches

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by babysplash babysplash (Member) Member

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Hi all - I'm beginning my first semester of nursing school next week and plan on packing a lunch since I will be in the middle of downtown with limited quick/healthy options. Would anyone like to share their quick go to (semi) healthy and portable lunch ideas?

If this is in the wrong forum, I can move it - just wanted to know if any fellow students would like to share here.

Thank you all SO MUCH!

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My favorite lunch to bring to school is a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread. I just get canned chicken (one 12 oz can of Walmart brand is 1.50 and makes 3 sandwiches) and light mayo. I’m on weight watchers and it’s only 5 points. I also like to bring frozen dinners too. 

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3 minutes ago, angel0309 said:

My favorite lunch to bring to school is a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread. I just get canned chicken (one 12 oz can of Walmart brand is 1.50 and makes 3 sandwiches) and light mayo. I’m on weight watchers and it’s only 5 points. I also like to bring frozen dinners too. 

That sounds really fast and cost effective too! I will throw this in my rotation! Thank you so much!

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pre-cooked frozen chicken breast (bring dry seasonings) + steamer bag of frozen vegetables.  Both can be microwaved and ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

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Do a mason jar “salad” - You can get plastic “mason” jars if glass makes you nervous. 

Dressing goes in the bottom, then “hard” veggies that won’t get soggy (like peppers or carrots) or you can put meat and then the veggies, then lettuce on top. Don’t fill it ALL the way, but once you’re ready to eat, shake it up, and the pour into a bowl. 

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Currently living the lunchbox life. On a typical day, I pack or eat 2-3 of my meals on the go. Sometimes it can be a real struggle. I have always told myself I was going to learn how to meal prep for several days, and it has not happened. Hoping to get some inspiration from others in this post. 

My favorite lunches are dinner leftovers. Other than that, I often make hummus sandwiches. I toast some sprouted bread. Load up all the veggies in my fridge, add a little pesto and black pepper. Yum! Salads are another go-to. I will keep hard boiled eggs in my fridge ready to go. Add some sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, a good dressing. Done! I also keep those flavored tuna packets in my pantry for salads and sandwiches. Some good omega-3s.  I keep a few lighter frozen entrees stocked for days I am low on groceries or running late. In addition to the entree of my lunches have trail mix, a granola bar, veggies + dip (usually hummus, mustard, or ranch), a piece of fruit, a cheese stick, and carbonated water or tea. Breakfasts I like doing a smoothie with pea protein powder and piece of sprouted toast or a waffle. 

My biggest piece of advice to you, pack more snacks than you think you will need. You can always save them for a different day. Days I pack a good lunch I have something to look forward to. Nursing school is already challenging. Eat things you enjoy in moderation. You don't want to feel deprived or uninspired by your meals. I feel that a lot of my classmates underestimate how much food they will need when we have lecture 8 hours straight. Clinical days I am usually to busy to realize I am hungry, but a good breakfast and on-the-go snacks are important because sometimes you do not know when you have a lunch break. I also keep k-pods in my backpack because my school has a Keurig machine. 

I am so excited for you! Hope you have a great first week of school. 

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12 hours ago, elephantlover said:

 

My favorite lunches are dinner leftovers. Other than that, I often make hummus sandwiches. I toast some sprouted bread. Load up all the veggies in my fridge, add a little pesto and black pepper. Yum! Salads are another go-to. I will keep hard boiled eggs in my fridge ready to go. Add some sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, a good dressing. Done! I also keep those flavored tuna packets in my pantry for salads and sandwiches. Some good omega-3s.  I keep a few lighter frozen entrees stocked for days I am low on groceries or running late. In addition to the entree of my lunches have trail mix, a granola bar, veggies + dip (usually hummus, mustard, or ranch), a piece of fruit, a cheese stick, and carbonated water or tea. Breakfasts I like doing a smoothie with pea protein powder and piece of sprouted toast or a waffle. 

My biggest piece of advice to you, pack more snacks than you think you will need. You can always save them for a different day. Days I pack a good lunch I have something to look forward to. Nursing school is already challenging. Eat things you enjoy in moderation. You don't want to feel deprived or uninspired by your meals. I feel that a lot of my classmates underestimate how much food they will need when we have lecture 8 hours straight. Clinical days I am usually to busy to realize I am hungry, but a good breakfast and on-the-go snacks are important because sometimes you do not know when you have a lunch break. I also keep k-pods in my backpack because my school has a Keurig machine. 

I am so excited for you! Hope you have a great first week of school. 

I love leftovers too! I prefer to eat cold lunches or eat my food cold because I don't yet know about the availability of a microwave. Veggies and hummus is my go to snack along with string cheese! I really love Ezekiel Bread and hard boiled eggs too, maybe with an avocado! Yum. I also love a spicy tuna sandwich with lots of pickles and jalapenos. Never tried any of the flavored tunas but they seem great over salads.

I am looking for more recipes for cold pasta salads. One of my favorites is chopped kale, chopped broccoli, chopped chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, and any cut of whole wheat pasta with mozzarella cheese, mixed with a good heap of pesto and olive oil. Sometimes I buy a rotisserie chicken to throw in there instead of boiling my own to save time. This will usually last me 2-3 meals plus a serving to eat once I finish making it. 

I plan on dropping by Sam's for prepackaged servings of nuts and maybe granola or low fat protein bars and string cheese. Do you have any other dry snacks to recommend? I think my biggest challenge will be getting in a hearty breakfast. My plan is to make egg muffins - I usually crack 12 eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then add chopped broccoli, tomatoes, green onion and spinach. Place in muffin tins and bake for 20 mins or so. Of course I have to do this all on a Sunday because I am not a morning person. A whole grain waffle seems like a good option too because I can grab it and eat it while i'm driving, that's why I need other breakfast options aside from my egg muffins lol.

I was thinking of buying a low fat protein shake for mornings that i'm running late - do you have any recommendations or do you make your own shakes?

Thanks you so much, I am excited to see what's in store!

Edited by babysplash

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18 hours ago, tonyl1234 said:

pre-cooked frozen chicken breast (bring dry seasonings) + steamer bag of frozen vegetables.  Both can be microwaved and ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

Love this idea - How do you keep frozen until it's time to heat? I will have to see if we have a community fridge in our building. Thanks!

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14 hours ago, C_M_L_R18 said:

Do a mason jar “salad” - You can get plastic “mason” jars if glass makes you nervous. 

Dressing goes in the bottom, then “hard” veggies that won’t get soggy (like peppers or carrots) or you can put meat and then the veggies, then lettuce on top. Don’t fill it ALL the way, but once you’re ready to eat, shake it up, and the pour into a bowl. 

I've seen this on pintrest but have never attempted it - I will definitely have to try it though. Do you have any favorite mason jar salad recipes?

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4 hours ago, babysplash said:

I love leftovers too! I prefer to eat cold lunches or eat my food cold because I don't yet know about the availability of a microwave. Veggies and hummus is my go to snack along with string cheese! I really love Ezekiel Bread and hard boiled eggs too, maybe with an avocado! Yum. I also love a spicy tuna sandwich with lots of pickles and jalapenos. Never tried any of the flavored tunas but they seem great over salads.

I am looking for more recipes for cold pasta salads. One of my favorites is chopped kale, chopped broccoli, chopped chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, and any cut of whole wheat pasta with mozzarella cheese, mixed with a good heap of pesto and olive oil. Sometimes I buy a rotisserie chicken to throw in there instead of boiling my own to save time. This will usually last me 2-3 meals plus a serving to eat once I finish making it. 

I plan on dropping by Sam's for prepackaged servings of nuts and maybe granola or low fat protein bars and string cheese. Do you have any other dry snacks to recommend? I think my biggest challenge will be getting in a hearty breakfast. My plan is to make egg muffins - I usually crack 12 eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then add chopped broccoli, tomatoes, green onion and spinach. Place in muffin tins and bake for 20 mins or so. Of course I have to do this all on a Sunday because I am not a morning person. A whole grain waffle seems like a good option too because I can grab it and eat it while i'm driving, that's why I need other breakfast options aside from my egg muffins lol.

I was thinking of buying a low fat protein shake for mornings that i'm running late - do you have any recommendations or do you make your own shakes?

Thanks you so much, I am excited to see what's in store!


I love Ezekiel bread! Always have a loaf in the freezer. I am going to have to try your tuna salad sandwich with jalapenos and pickles. Sounds tasty. I agree rotisserie chicken is a big time saver. Always worth it. 

I too love egg bakes. Yum, your egg muffins sound great. I like to add sweet potatoes, spinach, jalapeños, and broccoli in mine. Basically whatever I can find in the fridge. For breakfast, I like to do steel cut oats with walnuts, PB, and blueberries. The oats take about 15 minutes to cook, I always hop in the shower and get dressed while my oats simmer. 

Yes, I make my own protein shakes and I buy iconic grass fed protein shakes (I love the golden milk one). In my shakes, I like frozen berries, vega protein powder, instant espresso, almond milk, and cocoa powder. Sometimes I will use peaches, greens, and use tea as my liquid. 

Banzo pasta is my favorite! Only ingredient is chickpeas. I use that for cold pastas. I like to add broccoli, cherry tomatoes, onions, pesto add ranch seasoning. 

Soba noodles are another favorite. They cook in 2-3 minutes, but are still an excellent whole grain. I eat them cold and warm. I like to add liquid aminos (or soy sauce), edamame (I buy frozen and steam), sometimes I will scramble an egg, sometimes PB for the flavor. Other stir-fry veggies sautéed. 

Avocado salsa salad. I add salmon or chicken. 

Snacks: 
•    Cheese 
•    Popcorn 
•    Salsa and corn chips 
•    Apples and PB 
•    Yogurt 
•    I like the healthy grains kind bars. These do have roughly 5 grams of added sugar, but it’s one of the better tasting granola bars I have found that are packed with nutrient dense ingredients. 
•    Dark chocolate 
•    Iconic grass-fed protein drinks 
•    Golden-milk smoothies (turmeric, protein powder, almond or coconut milk, ginger, pepper)
•    I love some treats too: fig newtons, alternative chocolate chip cookies (google Chelsea’s messy apron), dark chocolate. 

I think we are on the same food wavelength 🙂 Sounds like you eat some well-rounded meals
 

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34 minutes ago, elephantlover said:


I love Ezekiel bread! Always have a loaf in the freezer. I am going to have to try your tuna salad sandwich with jalapenos and pickles. Sounds tasty. I agree rotisserie chicken is a big time saver. Always worth it. 

I too love egg bakes. Yum, your egg muffins sound great. I like to add sweet potatoes, spinach, jalapeños, and broccoli in mine. Basically whatever I can find in the fridge. For breakfast, I like to do steel cut oats with walnuts, PB, and blueberries. The oats take about 15 minutes to cook, I always hop in the shower and get dressed while my oats simmer. 

Yes, I make my own protein shakes and I buy iconic grass fed protein shakes (I love the golden milk one). In my shakes, I like frozen berries, vega protein powder, instant espresso, almond milk, and cocoa powder. Sometimes I will use peaches, greens, and use tea as my liquid. 

Banzo pasta is my favorite! Only ingredient is chickpeas. I use that for cold pastas. I like to add broccoli, cherry tomatoes, onions, pesto add ranch seasoning. 

Soba noodles are another favorite. They cook in 2-3 minutes, but are still an excellent whole grain. I eat them cold and warm. I like to add liquid aminos (or soy sauce), edamame (I buy frozen and steam), sometimes I will scramble an egg, sometimes PB for the flavor. Other stir-fry veggies sautéed. 

Avocado salsa salad. I add salmon or chicken. 

Snacks: 
•    Cheese 
•    Popcorn 
•    Salsa and corn chips 
•    Apples and PB 
•    Yogurt 
•    I like the healthy grains kind bars. These do have roughly 5 grams of added sugar, but it’s one of the better tasting granola bars I have found that are packed with nutrient dense ingredients. 
•    Dark chocolate 
•    Iconic grass-fed protein drinks 
•    Golden-milk smoothies (turmeric, protein powder, almond or coconut milk, ginger, pepper)
•    I love some treats too: fig newtons, alternative chocolate chip cookies (google Chelsea’s messy apron), dark chocolate. 

I think we are on the same food wavelength 🙂 Sounds like you eat some well-rounded meals
 

Yessss, they sell Ezekiel bread with no sodium at Sprouts it's delicious!
 
I usually make my tuna with chopped radishes, onion, pickles and jalapenos (lots of jalapeno juice too!) I don't like mayo so I just add a spoonful for binding and the picked juices for flavor.

I will have experiment with my own shakes/smoothies. I've always said I prefer eating the food rather than drinking it but I see how much more convenient it is.

Sweet potatoes sound amazing in the egg muffins, I will have to try that next. I usually only eat a plain baked sweet potato as a side, but never tried them in a recipe. I season my sweet potatoes with a blend of cinnamon, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper - it's so amazing! You have to try it! I usually mix the seasonings in a 1:1:2 ratio (because I like it spicy) It's also great to sprinkle on sliced sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and bake until crispy.
Ah, yes - a dressed oatmeal is a great idea! I will  definitely use that!

Yum! I love chickpeas and tomatoes together - and that Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning? The best! I will definitely throw that in my rotation! I don't think i've ever had soba noodles but your recipe sounds amazing. I like roasting chickpeas in the oven too! So good!

Love all the snacks - I will have to try the kind bars - and the Iconic - I googled it and it just looks delicious! I am super excited to try it! Thanks for the heads up! 

I think so too! I'm going grocery shopping tonight - if I whip up or pick something tasty that would be great to pack I will be sure to share 🙂

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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On 1/16/2019 at 8:35 AM, babysplash said:

I've seen this on pintrest but have never attempted it - I will definitely have to try it though. Do you have any favorite mason jar salad recipes?

I just throw in whatever I have, although I use Tupperware and not the mason jar.  I usually use spinach, mushrooms, cherry tomato, slivered or shaved almonds (or sunflower seeds, for crunch) and, if you have access to a refrigerator or can bring it in a "cooler lunch box", cheese.  I bring a small can or packet of tuna and add that at the last minute, and sometimes a boiled egg.  (Protein and veggies).  I bring my dressing in a smaller Tupperware so the salad doesn't get soggy.  

If you have access to a refrigerator and a microwave, leftovers are the best!  today I have leftover red beans & rice.  YUM!

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