Quick and Easy Lunches for a Busy Schedule

nata_vkusidey/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
nata_vkusidey/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

With our busy lives hovering over us like a neglected to-do list, it’s easy to lose focus and forget to feed ourselves properly.

When you’re so busy you can’t differentiate between your grocery list and your daily to-do list, giving up good eating habits won’t help lower your stress levels. Stay on your feet with these easy-to-prepare food combinations to pack for a quick and simple lunch amidst your hectic life.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches might bring back unwanted memories of elementary school lunches, but the protein from the peanut butter and carbs from the bread and jelly won’t leave you hungry for long and are definitely worth the mental trigger. You can even eat them with your hands, which makes multi-tasking more efficient if you don’t have time to stop and sit. Average prep time, if you like your bread toasted, still adds up to less than five minutes. Brewing coffee in the morning takes a lot longer than that, so while you’re waiting, put together a sandwich to take to work with you.

Fruit and yogurt, mixed with a little granola, can turn a few simple ingredients into a quick and delicious parfait. You’ll definitely get a good percentage of your daily fruit and calcium needs in, and the added granola can help fill you up so you can maintain the energy and momentum you need to plow through the rest of your day. It doesn’t take much time or effort to dump yogurt and fruit into the same bowl. Just make sure there’s a refrigerator nearby if you’re taking it on the go.

Quesadillas have a quick prep time and can be easily adapted to your needs and preferences. You can just add cheese or get creative with chicken or vegetables for added nutritional value and a little dietary fiber, especially depending on the type of tortilla you choose.

Salads aren’t quite as convenient to store or carry if you’re running from place to place, but a simple combination of lettuce, tomato, cheese and cucumbers is simple to assemble and can even fit into a Tupperware container without taking up too much room in the fridge. If you have any leftover chicken from another recipe, tossing that in can add a little protein and a lot more worthwhile flavor. On-the-goers, one individual packet of dressing and a plastic fork are the only things that stand in the way of this satisfactory lunch.

The amount of things to do between waking up and going to bed might seem insurmountable. Keeping up a routine of balanced meals, no matter how busy you are, will get you through the most hectic pace. The healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel.

Meg Dowell on Twitter
Meg Dowell
Meg Dowell is one biochemistry course away from a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She recently graduated with a B.A. in English, blogs for Kitchology.com and is the health/fitness/nutrition editor for College Lifestyles magazine. She hopes to begin her master's program at Benedictine University this January, pursuing an MS in nutrition and wellness with a concentration in nutrition entrepreneurship. Follow her on Twitter @MegDowell.