Lunch can be one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a nourishing lifestyle at work. Bringing your lunch from home is probably the wisest choice, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t always happen. This is the perfect opportunity to set up some structure around lunchtime by including your coworkers.
Enter the office lunch club. Gather your coworkers with similar lunchtime goals and start a weekly potluck-style lunch club. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Stick to 4-6 people. More than 6 people can be expensive to feed and a lot of work to prepare your portion of the meal each week.
- Set a time, place, and point person. Choose a regular day, time, and place each week to reduce the amount of coordination needed. Choose a point person who will be responsible for assigning food items each week.
- Stock supplies. Aside from food, you’ll also need plates, utensils, and maybe some salt and pepper. Check to see if your office already supplies these items or if you need to bring them yourselves.
- Decide on dietary guidelines. As a group, commit to a set of nutrition principles for your lunches that will help you reach your health goals and account for any food sensitivities. For example, you may agree to choose “paleo”, “dairy-free”, “plant-based”, or “sugar-free” meals.
One of the easiest potluck-style meals to prepare is a lunch salad. In fact, your lunch club could be a “salad club” where everyone brings one or two salad fixings each week. Here’s what you’ll need for your salads:
- Greens: Pre-washed, pre-chopped lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale
- Protein: Pre-cooked, pre-chopped chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp, chicken salad, tuna salad, beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Veggies: Tomato, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, onion, asparagus, bell pepper, green onion, artichoke hearts, squash – these can be raw, grilled, roasted, seasoned… – be creative!
- Healthy fats: avocado, pine nuts, walnuts, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, olives, feta cheese, shaved parmesan
- Extras: grain (brown rice, quinoa, millet), fresh or dried fruit, sauerkraut, kimchi, hard-boiled egg
- Dressing: vinaigrette or sugar-free dressing
Enjoy your lunches this week and stay tuned for more “lunch club” ideas!