Simple lunch & snack swaps

Man, taxes suck. Owing over $1,000 in federal taxes REALLY sucks. I’m turning my side hustle meter way up and applying to every date-night babysitting gig I can find!

I’m also sticking to packing  lunch and snacks- it is such an easy way to NOT spend money. I’m so used to it, I don’t even know where I would find that money to spend on eating out! But if you’re not, then think about how much you could save if you switched. Here are some things to keep in mind for lunches:

  • For salads, instead of boring iceberg lettuce that has really no nutritional value and a bottle of dressing, trade it for spinach or another leafy green that is chock full of vitamins and minerals. For dressing, I throw together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard for my usual lunch salad- so yummy and there are no additives, sugar, or carbs that can sneak into those bottled dressings!
  • Packed a sandwich? Instead of slathering on mayo which is filled with fat, spread mustard on your (whole-wheat) bread! It’s fat-free- just make sure the sugar count is low. Also, watch your meats! Fatty meats like bacon (and this goes for breakfast too), beef, and pork just should be avoided or cut down on if you’re trying to lose weight. Because it’s not the good fats! It’s the bad fats that cause heart attacks and the like. Choose leaner meats like turkey and chicken, especially at lunch.

For snacks (not just at work, but anytime!):

  • Instead of pulling out a container of cream cheese based dip for a party or before dinner, put out salsa! Who doesn’t love chips and salsa? Plus, it’s spicy and we know that ups your metabolism!
  • Now, I’m not saying to dip your popcorn in salsa, BUT swapping air-popped popcorn for greasy potato chips is definitely a better bet.
  • Don’t just dig into the box! Remember when we talked about measuring things out? Measure your portion out and eat from a bowl or plate. Mindlessly grabbing into a bag is a surefire way to empty that bag without noticing.
  • I am a peanut butter lover. I really am. But I have been trying to cut down on my consumption and swapping it for raw nuts. It makes a big difference because there are more fats and sugars in nut butter than in almonds. Also, unless you’re measuring it out (which you should be), it’s easy to over do it.

Also, just some friendly reminders about things that we’ve discussed in previous posts but that are very easy to forget or not be consistent on!

  • Chew slowly! I’ve really been working on this as I am a speed-eater at heart. This morning was difficult because I was late- but really like to slow down and give your food a good chew.
  • In keeping with slowing down, eat at the table. This allows you to focus and slow down instead of mindlessly eating in front of the TV. I rarely eat in front of the TV but I do eat in front of my computer at work which is very hard not to do!
  • Cut your portion sizes down easier by swapping out your large plates for medium or small ones. It tricks your brain and you probably didn’t need all that anyways!
  • When you eat slower, you should get those satiety signals sooner. That should prevent you from cleaning the plate (unless it’s the right portion for you!). But don’t feel forced to clean the plate- that’s something that has been ingrained in us as small children and it’s very difficult to break that habit (I really struggled with it). Stop when your full and keep it as leftovers.

Yesterday’s food journal

Pre-workout coffee

Breakfast- protein shake & 3 eggs


Lunch- normal salad

Green tea

Mid-afternoon snack- yogurt with strawberries & flax

Dinner- leftover casserole and some pineapple


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