All throughout elementary school my mom packed the same exact lunch for me each day, a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, an apple, a Capri Sun, and an assorted snack. As an adult, I still reply upon my trusty brown paper bag lunch to get me through the day but the contents are much different.
I still love the lunch that my mom would put together for me, but it wasn’t always the healthiest option. Packing a lunch for work or school is a great opportunity to save money throughout the week, and it can easily be modified to be really healthy. Below, I’ve listed my favorite gluten and dairy free lunch alternatives.
Before we dive into the lunch choices, it’s always important to revisit why those who may suffer from a chronic illness may choose a gluten-free lifestyle. A gluten-free diet is one that excludes the protein gluten, which is most commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten has been linked to damage and inflammation of the small intestine. And, as a consequence of this, further gastrointestinal problems may occur. When you suffer from a chronic illness such as Lyme Disease or osteoarthritis, any extra inflammation could lead to a larger problem.
1. Gluten-Free “Sandwiches”
A sandwich is the heart of a good lunch. Instead of bread, use lettuce. And, fill your sandwich with turkey, salami, and vegetables like carrots or peppers. Cut up some apple slices with hummus and some strawberries or watermelon, and some nuts.
2. Pasta Salad
There are many yummy and gluten-free pastas available. Boil your favorite, add salami, sauteed peppers and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Serve cold with Italian dressing and you have a refreshing summer lunch. Pack a few of your favorite seasonal fruits, and you’ll be the healthiest one in the lunchroom.
3. Breakfast Burrito
If you’re anything like me, you always make way too many scrambled eggs in the morning. Next time this happens, save the eggs, put them in a gluten-free tortilla and sprinkle a little pico de gallo on the top. You’ll find this makes a super yummy breakfast burrito. Grab a handful of your favorite fruits or vegetables, and you’ll be ready to face the day.
Making a lunch for yourself is really simple, and can easily be made fun. Maintaining a healthy diet should be priority, so put aside a few extra minutes each night to make a lunch and you’ll thank yourself in the morning. If you ever run out of inspiration, Pinterest is full of yummy ideas.
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