Healthy habits, no matter how small, are incredibly important when you’re in the trenches of building a startup.
You want to feel and perform your best over the long haul. Sleep, exercise, and eating healthy are critical aspects of well-being and performance.
But time is short! How do you balance health and a hectic schedule?
Here’s 5 easy, veggie-packed lunches you can make in 5 minutes or less.
I vouch for their deliciousness and speed, having eaten all of these myself over the past 15 years.
brown bag, ahem, reusable-lunch-bag-friendly or great to whip up in your kitchen between meetings.
5 Fast, Healthy Lunches For Busy Startup Days
1. Spinach Salad
Prewashed baby spinach leaves
Dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
Sliced apples or pears
Crumbly cheese (goat, feta, gorgonzola)
Nuts (pecans, walnuts)
Balsamic or fruit vinaigrette
It has vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
It takes 3 minutes to put these things in a bowl or Tupperware.
I’ve used this reusable lunch bag for years and it’s amazing. You can pack 2 really big salads since the neoprene is stretchy. It’s easy to clean, somewhat insulating, and water resistant! (Just like a wetsuit. Neoprene FTW.)
2. Hummus, Pita, Veggies
Whole wheat pita
Easy-to-prep veggies (cucumbers, carrots, pepper slices, cherry tomatoes, green beans)
If you live in Atlanta, Aleppo Kitchen makes the most amazing hummus. Woman-refugee owned. Find them at your local farmer’s market!
3. Burrito Bowl
Kale or spinach
Brown rice or quinoa
Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chicken
Tomatoes, chopped cabbage, frozen corn, olives, other random veggies
Salsa, greek yogurt, avocado
Cook the grains ahead of time. Open a can of beans. Add veggies (corn, kale, cabbage). 2-3 minutes in the microwave. Top with cold stuff like salsa. Add cilantro or green onions if you have the luxury of 2 extra minutes.
Keto or low-carb? Drop the grains. Focus on meat and veggies.
4. Asian Grain Bowl
Kale, spinach, frozen stir fry veggies mix, broccoli, carrots
Brown rice or quinoa
Tofu, frozen shelled edamame, chicken, scrambled eggs
Soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, teriyaki sauce
Seaweed, avocado, sesame seeds
Notice a pattern? Grains + protein + vegetables + microwave + seasoning.
You caught me! Same thing with a few ingredient and flavor tweaks.
Whole wheat couscous (found at Trader Joe’s) is a quick grain if you haven’t prepped ahead. Add couscous and boiling water to a bowl and cover it for 5 minutes.
5. Homemade Sandwich
Whole wheat bread (like, actual whole wheat. If it doesn’t taste like whole wheat, it probably isn’t.)
Mashed avocado, white beans, hard boiled eggs with lemon + salt (vegetarian)
Grilled or roasted meats (omnivore)
Hummus or mustard
Sprouts, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, shredded veggies
Here’s the thing. Sandwiches can be healthy but you have to do it right.
Put some veggies on there. Sub hummus for mayo. Avoid deli meats (lots of salt and additives). No white bread.
Sometimes local delis or coffee shops will have a delicious, healthy sandwich. Still trying to find that healthy chain sandwich shop...🙃
Building a company is a marathon not a sprint. It’s important to stay healthy along the way — for yourself and for company performance!
Eating a healthy lunch means a happier, smarter, more energized self in the afternoon.
Multiplied by 5 days/wk over 5-10 years and the results are significant.
What are your favorite fast, healthy lunches?? Share your recipes or tips! 👇👇
Want more (realistic & practical!!!) tips for staying healthy while building?
These all sound super-tasty, healthy and doable. Thank you! I'm going to start making some of these AND timing myself to see how quickly I can put them together. <smile> Here is what hubs and I do on the weekends for his lunches as an alternative to sandwiches: 1.) Make a big, hearty salad, 2.) Grill a bunch of chicken on our Big Green Egg, 3.) Each morning, he assembles the salad and adds the grilled chicken. Boom! A big, healthy, hearty lunch that fills him up for his 10-hour day at his hospital job as a Physical Therapist.