It's very easy for weekday work meal prep to suddenly take a turn into something you just simply won't eat.
Credit: Sara Tane

Have you spent lots of time trying your best to meal prep in advance of a long work week and then find yourself dreading lunchtime? You're not alone. Half of the job is getting around to slaving away in the kitchen to create a takeout lunch for work – but the other half of the work lies in how you're thinking about eating healthy while at work, too. 

Thinking of lunch as ‘just lunch’

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Lunch doesn’t just mean salads and sandwiches! Get inspired by the bento-box ‘snack method’ or our take on Starbucks Bistro Boxes. Environment is just as important as content when it comes to work lunches as well – amping up your lunch hardware is a surefire way to class things up and have a zen moment during your lunch break.

Forgetting to mix it up daily

Credit: Photo: Rachel Johnson

Get creative with those make-ahead meals! Mix up your weekday routine by dressing up a big batch of grilled chicken into all sorts of different styles. Lunch gets more interesting and exciting to make if you remix your typical flavor profile. Whether it’s through mixing up the seasoning or the vessel, or both. For example, season half of your week’s worth of chicken breast with Indian flavors, the other half with Latin flavors. Use tortilla wraps and salad components to mix things up so you have a different lunch each day and aren't eating the same dish five times in a row.

Not stocking your office arsenal

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This is a critical component to rely on to have a fully satisfactory lunch, as well as some built-in insurance. Keeping basics like salt, pepper, olive, and vinegar in a small corner of your desk can resurrect your leftovers you brought from home and fill in those potential missing gaps. If your dish missing acid, or salt, you’ve got it covered!

Packing it wrong

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There is no point in taking the time to pack a good lunch if it turns out crummy by the time you open it at work. Consider what temperature your lunch is best at and make sure the container you pack it in is proper. Would it be better to assemble your sandwich at work rather than early in the morning? Separate your dressing from your salad so it remains fresh and crisp before you begin. And for hot leftovers, sometimes heating things individually will ensure that nothing gets too soggy or sad.

Gorging yourself on office snacks

No wonder you don't feel like eating your packaged lunch! You've overdone it on pretzels or granola that your office keeps stocked in case of emergencies, and now that bagged lunch doesn't seem so satisfying anymore. Being hungry and ready to eat are keys to enjoying any meal, and mindless snacking all morning doesn't help.