This is something I found really difficult when working and sushi was no longer an option, nor was a quick kebab or any bakery food really. Unless it was a pie, which is totally okay during those weeks where you’re not feeling well, but once you’re through the other side, you should try and start getting some good nutrition back in to your diet. Sometimes even café food wasn’t an option either!
During my first pregnancy, I worked full time and there were no days during the week where I could just make a quick scrambled egg on toast (I hate microwaved eggs, I know, picky right?!). I also had strong cravings for a good 3 – 4 months for full-fat dairy. Greek yoghurt, cheddar cheese, cream, you name it. This time around, I’m working three days a week, so I still need to find good food, that I feel like, that doesn’t require too much prepping and is easy to take to work. This time I’m craving anything carby (breads, pies, scones, brioche) which isn’t so healthy! And just food in general, all the time. I’m having lunch at 11.30am some days! Afternoon tea at 2pm and then at around 5pm I need something to see me through until dinner! I hope this subsides soon….
Anyway, in both instances, no matter what I am craving, I still find it difficult to think of what to take for lunch and in fact it’s the bane of my life most of the time. It’s hard enough to plan the dinners for the week! But I try to make it easy. Most of the time I get either chicken drumsticks or a few salmon steaks and bake them in the oven on Sunday. I’ll then mash a big serving of kumara and potato together and take in 2 heads of broccoli for the week. Every day I then have a bit of protein, some kumara mash and ½ a head of microwaved broccoli. Sometimes you’ve got to work with what you’ve got! Microwave is the only option… and yes, ½ a head is right. I am a bit of a fiend when it comes to broccoli! So that would do me for the week. And when you work out the cost per meal, it’s about $5 or something.
Other days, I’ll have some left overs if there are any (we have left overs for the next night almost 99% of the time, as I hate cooking two nights in a row) or I’ll take a little can of baked beans and have that on toast with a handful of spinach on the side. During summer I’d always have avocado with whatever I was having to ensure I had a decent helping of fats with my meals. I always have a few bags of those Pitango or Naked soups or risotto’s in the fridge and a few boiled eggs with tomato on toast is a current favourite. I also like making my green egg cups (recipe to come soon) as they can be kept in the freezer, so you don’t have to have all 12 over the week. Two of these with some spinach and mashed kumara on the side is delicious! In case you hadn’t noticed, carbohydrates are my friend when I’m pregnant. I can’t not have them (even if it is kumara), especially during this pregnancy where it’s all I feel like.
If I make a big serving of chilli or spaghetti mince, I’ll freeze portions in sandwich size Kai Carriers and take those in with some toast and spinach on the side. At the moment I’m also loving soups as they’re easy to bang in a slow cook on a Sunday morning and then you’ve got lunch for most of the week. Cauliflower and bacon is my favourite! But only when cauliflower isn’t $10 a head…And on those days when I’m really lazy (although not very often in winter), I’ll have a smoothie for lunch.
Some days I don’t have enough left overs or the lunch I’ve got isn’t filling enough so it’s really important for me to have snacks. I’ll make bliss balls over the weekend and keep them in the fridge at work (with my name on them! They’re rather moreish and others have been known to get in to my stash…) and I’ll take mandarins and apples with me. Carrot and cucumber sticks are good too but sometimes I can’t be bothered cutting those up the night before.
I hope this has given you guys some ideas, and in turn I’d love to hear yours! I’m always on the hunt for lunch inspiration.