A South Beach Diet Lunch

One of the tough parts about the South Beach diet (or almost any diet) is dealing with my husband’s work lunches. On the plus side, packing a lunch is much cheaper than eating at the local cafeteria or restaurants. However, it can get challenging to keep finding interesting and satisfying things to pack for him. At the moment he doesn’t really have access to a good microwave or refrigerator at work which further limits things.

We use an insulated lunch cooler with an ice pack. We include a couple bottles of water so he won’t get so tempted by the soda machine.

During phase 1 we include the following sorts of things:

A small container of plain yogurt. During phase 2 we include another small tupperware of frozen mixed berries (which thaw by lunch time) to mix with the yogurt; I prefer dried berries myself, but either will do.

A small container of some sort of dip, such as hummus (the original South Beach book has a great hummus recipe) or homemade guacamole. These are easy to make and really delicious. During phase 2 we sometimes leave this out when including things like the berries to go with the yogurt.

Vegetables to dip in said dip. Definitely baby carrots; sometimes broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, or raw green beans.

Cheese–light string cheese works well, as do light Laughing Cow baby bella rounds.

Nuts–a small baggie of walnuts or pecans or, even better, spiced and flavored pistachios from Trader Joe’s.

Salad–mixed greens from one of those bags of pre-washed greens, and shredded fresh broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage from one of those mixed shredded vegetable bags. We try to vary the salad so it doesn’t get boring by adding different types of lunch meat, nuts, or cheese. We include a small container of salad dressing, and we keep a variety of dressings on hand so we can switch those in and out.

We also include a few small sugar-free hard candies or chocolates, and during phase 2 we might include a tangerine or other piece of fruit for dessert.

You can add a little variety with the occasional seasoned tuna salad in greens (which during phase 2 you can sandwich between whole-grain toast) or easily microwaved hard-cooked eggs. During phase 2 we also include Triscuits (or, even better, the Trader Joe’s version, which has no saturated fat) or something similar.

I pack all or most of this the night before and stick it in the fridge, freezer, or whatever else is appropriate so I can just toss it together in the morning. During phase 1 cereal is out, so I like to have time to make an omelette. It’s pretty quick and easy if you use Egg Beaters or something similar, a pre-mixed spice mix (I keep several around from various cookbooks), and a couple slices of Canadian bacon or the like. I might put the pans and plates out the night before if I want breakfast to be particularly relaxed.

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