The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year! Studies show it’s more addicting than drugs, and often just as harmful. Cutting refined sugar from your diet improves your health, complexion, and mood, and has tons of other benefits. But it can be tricky, given that the majority of the packaged foods we eat contain added sugar. Ditching it takes work, but the results are well worth the prep. Here are five sugar-free work lunches that will be your best friend when you decide to quit sugar.
Chicken Fajita Bowls
As if you need another reason to love Mexican food, many of your favorite spicy dishes are naturally sugar-free. Plus it’s super easy to prep bowls of brown rice, black or pinto beans (if canned, check labels for added sugar), and chicken breast cooked with bell peppers and onion. Forget the store bought “taco seasoning” mix, and season simply with salt, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Pack up your choice of toppings (like shredded cheese, salsa, avocado, onion, cilantro, or fresh lime) and any day can be Taco (Bowl) Tuesday.
Deli Meat + Veggie Rolls
Who doesn’t love a good roll-up? Skip the tortillas, and turn your usual wrap ideas inside out by wrapping sliced deli meat around thin strips of your favorite veggies. Try roast beef around bell peppers and cucumbers dipped in grainy mustard. Or chicken around celery and carrots dipped in buffalo wing sauce. Add a sliced apple with (no sugar added) almond butter on the side, and you’ve got a deliciously dip-able lunch.
Kale & Quinoa Salad
There’s a reason your favorite café makes more delicious salads then you do at home—it’s all about unique and contrasting ingredients! Start with a base of your favorite grains and greens (kale and quinoa are a great combo), include a mix of fresh toppings and finish with some crunch. Think feta + beets + sunflower seeds. Or roasted sweet potatoes + shredded Brussels sprouts + bacon. Be creative! Avoid sugar-laden store-bought dressings, and make a simple dressing of your favorite vinegar and/or lemon + olive oil + Dijon mustard instead. Say goodbye to boring salads once and for all.
Chicken Salad Bell Pepper Cups
Tired of avoiding added sugar and carbs by wrapping things in lettuce? Bell peppers provide a crunchy and convenient alternative to bland iceberg. Chop cooked chicken and mix it with mayo and your favorite chicken salad ingredients (such as salt and pepper, celery, red onion, apples or grapes) then refrigerate overnight. Bring to work with a whole red bell pepper, sliced in half vertically with the stem + seeds removed to create two shallow “cups”. Fill ‘em up and enjoy! If you’re really serious about eliminating sugar, make sure to read your mayonnaise labels. Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil mayo contains no sugar, doubling the health benefits.
Ezekiel’s sprouted grain bread is one of the few options out there with no added sugar. While it can be a bit dry for traditional sandwiches, it works well for the toasted, open-faced variety. Experiment with different ingredients like turkey + brie + pear, or avocado + sundried tomato + feta. Some simply dressed mixed greens or a fresh fruit salad on the side round up this lunch perfectly.
Let’s not forget a delicious, sugar-free beverage! Stock up on a variety of hint water flavors to pair with your lunches!
Have any other favorite sugar-free work lunches? We’d love to learn more! Share with us in the comments.