A Chic Upgrade to Your Lunchbox

Bringing lunch to work is hard. Okay, it's not hard, but life without a dining hall is a huge adjustment for me. Not only do you actually have to take the time to pack the lunch, but you actually have to put some thought into what will keep you full until dinnertime- (side note: 10 chocolate chip cookies and a bag of skittles won't).

For the first few weeks I kept things basic:  sandwich, chips, cookies, apple. But that got boring. And eating Uncrustables in a professional office is weird (don't even get me started on Lunchables).  And there's only so many turkey sandwiches one girl can take before she loses her mind. In a moment of darkness I considered going to the McDonald's across the street. Every day. For the rest of the summer. But then I remembered Beyonce. And then I remembered her body in the Drunk In Love video. And I was like, what would she do?

So then I got creative. And it was awesome.
Making my lunch for the next day became fun and eating it was actually something I looked forward to.
And then I was like, so many other college grads probably are eating pb&j sandwiches every day.
So if that's you, and you're looking to change that here's what I've been making for the past week:
(and if you're not, that's totally cool because pb&j sandwiches are GREAT)

Monday: Spinach Turkey-Brie Wrap
Okay I know I said turkey sandwiches get boring- but I swear this is different. I love getting Spinach and Tomato Basil wraps because they add some extra flavor. I like to fill my wraps up with a lot of veggies like spinach, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes. For this wrap the Brie helps keep the wrap sealed, plus it's a super-chic cheese.

When I have a wrap, I usually like to pair it with Wheat Thins (my favorite is the buffalo) and either grape tomatoes, grapes, cucumber slices or celery/peanut butter.  Or, if you're lucky enough to have a microwave in your office, I like to bring the tomato soup-at-hand cups for a quick, easy and filling side.

Tuesday: Crispy Chicken Salad 
Making a salad that will last you until dinnertime can get a little tricky. So I like to add chicken tenders to mine! As always with a salad, pretty much anything goes:  tomatoes, green peppers, cheese, corn, edamame. Whatever. Nothing you do is wrong. I like to put two to three tenders in the salad to make sure I get full. My favorite dressing to use with this salad is just plain and simple buffalo sauce, but I hear that buffalo sauce/ranch hybrid or a honey mustard dressing is awesome too!

p.s. if you're a vegetarian (or looking to cut back on a few calories) cut up some Morning Star (or any brand!) chick'n nuggets or chick'n patties. Just as delicious, I swear by it.

Wednesday: Shrimp Cocktail 
I LOVE shrimp, and can eat it in any form. I like to have at least 10 shrimps with this lunch to make sure it fills me up, and use a little container of cocktail sauce on the side. With this lunch I also like to put in some cheese slices with basic crackers and some fruit on the side (grapes and apple slices work really well with the cheese!) This lunch is super-chic and super delicious, but works best if you have an icepack in your lunch box- or better yet, if you have access to a fridge during the day.

Thursday: Burrito Bowl 
Think of it like Chipotle when you make this lunch. Rice, beans, then whatever you want. I like to use chicken, corn, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and cheese - but if you have pico or guac on hand ADD IT. It's pretty quick to make (you literally just throw everything into a bowl) and will fill you up without any side snacks. (Using Quinoa instead of rice works well too!)

Friday: Proscuitto Rolls and Caprese Salad 
I like to keep it light on a Friday since I already KNOW by weekend will be filled with calories galore. Proscuitto (or turkey or ham) rolls are usually a go-to when I'm trying to cut back on carbs, like bread, which are necessary in a sandwich. I also like to have a caprese salad (slices of mozzarella, tomato, and basil) because that fills me up well. However, I skip any oils or balsamic that caprese salads usually have because it tends to get a little messy... aka I learned from experience. It's still just as delicious though, I promise!

(Side note to all of the above:  I usually bring Naked juices with me to work either to drink with my lunch or when I get hungry throughout the day. They fill you up just enough to satisfy your hunger, plus they're good for you. Yay!)

So if you're looking for a way to change up your lunch routine, look no further. Try some of these, see what works for you and add your favorites! And if you have great lunches too, please share!!

Stay chic!

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