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Lunch.  The often forgotten meal of the day.  It gets skipped or shoved in wherever it ‘works’ and probably falls under my husband’s phrase of ‘just getting the mission done’.  But, then how does the afternoon go for you?  Are those 3pm meetings just torturous because you can’t stay awake?  Yes, I know, they used to be for me too.  What about the dreaded hour right before dinner, you know, the one where all bets are off with your current clean-eating plans?

With a little planning, lunch can be completely transformed and return to its intended purpose: nourishing you for your afternoon!  Here are 5 easy-peasy lunches:

1)  Leftovers.

Most meals of the week, we ensure there are some leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day.  I have no intention of cooking at lunch, I want to heat and go.  These are my most favorite meals, particularly at the end of the week when I have lots of veggie leftovers to really fill my plate.  Don’t be afraid to save the veggies!  So good later in the week.

2)  Liver pate and vegetable soup.

This is how I do freezer meals.  I make a big batch of liver pate and freeze them in small ball jars (you don’t need much and a serving a week is perfect) and then I also like to make large batches of vegetable soup and again, freeze those in pint size jars.  On mornings where I don’t have leftovers, I pull these two items out of the freezer to thaw and just heat the soup at lunch time and the liver pate is ready to go.  My son loves these lunch days.  In my freezer right now I have beet-fennel soup, ginger-carrot soup and pumpkin soup.  Another favorite is zucchini curry soup!

3.  Egg Drop Soup

I totally adore this soup, particularly on those days when you feel like you are coming down with a cold, or trying to get over one.  This soup is so nourishing and lovely.  And, it is super easy to make.  It does take a little cooking, but it is pretty easy to do first thing in the morning while making breakfast and throw it in a thermos for lunch.

4.  Salmon Salad or Tuna Salad with a big vegetable salad.

Using high-quality mayonnaise (no canola or soybean oil) and adding in some capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes and lemon juice to kick up the flavor a notch.  Then make a big, vegetable salad with a variety of chopped or shredded veggies (do this part at the beginning of the week to make this faster for morning prep), some nuts and seeds, olives or avocado to ensure you have plenty of good fats in there to keep you AWAKE for the afternoon.  Yum!

5.  Hodge Podge

Some days, you just need to throw some things together and call it a meal.  Make a couple of hard-boiled eggs, grab some olives, half an avocado, some cut veggies and maybe a little sauerkraut and call it a meal.  Lunch doesn’t have to be complicated, just ensure a little protein, a little fat and a whole lot of color and you are set.

Get back to making a meal out of lunch and see how your afternoon turns around!