Phase 1 - Convenient/Instant Lunch and Snacks

  • Hi All,

    I'm starting the South Beach way of life after several non-committed failed attempts in previous years, but this time, I'm committed to making healthy life choices.

    I travel and spend quite a few hours away from home for my job, so I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions for some quick/easy/convenient meals and snacks? Any recommendations for canned soups or snacks that are Phase 1 friendly?
  • The thing with south beach is you have to take the time to prepare things to eat- for me, I usually prepare my lunches and snacks for work days in advance.

    I'll boil eggs and put them in the fridge and take 2 a day to work- that's my breakfast, for lunch I'll take leftovers from dinner (today leftover chicken fajitas with peppers and onions), and then I'll usually put together a salad also. Today my salad is spinach and greens, cucumber, cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. I keep the components seperate for my salad then put it together at lunch (I use the tiny ziplock bags).

    Also other good snacks are some sugar snap peas- just cut up and clean (yummy), edamame, sugar free jello cups, veggies and ranch dressing, pre-packaged cheese squares/sticks, low carb peanut butter with celery, etc.

    I tend to stay away from too much processed foods cuz of salt- you might try the healthier lower sodium soups- but I don't like them personally.
  • I don't have a job but am very interested to see other ideas because there are always times I just don't have time to make something. Right now, on Phase I, I am being very careful to be home well before meals to have plenty of time, and to plan leftovers for lunch. But sometimes you just are running and hit the fridge starving. And it is so cold here that salads just don't cut it. Oh for SB frozen meals. (I know, too processed. But a girl can dream.)
  • Beerab - Thanks for the suggestions. I think what will work best for me is to sit down and plan a menu on the weekends, that way I've got some direction. And I love the idea for the snack size ziploc bags!

    WaistingTime - Lately I've been making huge portions of soups and other Phase 1 friendly meals that I enjoy on Sunday's, and then putting them in containers for the week. I am a creature of convenience, so I've made it a priority to do some cooking on the weekends that will last through the week . . . just grab and go.

    But I am interested in some canned soups that would be Phase 1 friendly.
  • Looking around online these two soups were mentioned:

    Progresso Chickarina
    Progresso Chicken Barely.

    Also if you have a crock pot you can make all sorts of soups, freeze them into individual portions, then take them to work and pop them in the microwave there

    Not to plug my own blog but I take photos of what I eat now to help give others ideas
  • There are a lot of listings in the forum if you do a search for ideas on quick and easy snack/lunch ideas:
  • Convenient/Quick Snacks:

    pistachios, almonds or sunflower seeds and a can of V8
    string cheese and a can of V8
    SF Jello
    Laughing Cow cheese & veggies
    hummus & veggies

    I keep nuts, V8 and water in my desk at work and in my car for 'emergencies'. I often stop at the grocery store on my way to meetings and pick up pre cut veggies and a container of hummus for the snack table so that there will be something on plan to munch on.

    I guess it's not an official snack, but I go through a lot of SF chewing gum. When I know I'm heading somewhere where I'll be tempted, I pop a piece of gum in my mouth. It keeps me from eating without thinking about it.

    Convenient/Easy Lunches:

    These aren't quite as quick and convenient as a frozen dinner or a can of soup, but they're easy. I bring lunch from home every day and these are the things I've relied on since Oct. 3rd.

    Leftover soups and chilis
    are my mainstays. When I fix them for dinner I always make enough to have lunch leftovers. When I'm cleaning up after the meal I put the left overs in small containers so I can just grab one from the fridge when I'm packing my lunch. (This broccoli cheese soup is so easy and so yummy that I like to fix it on Sunday night and eat it for lunch several times during the week.)

    Tuna and Tomato or Cottage Cheese and Tomato. I grab a single serve container of cottage cheese or a foil pack of tuna and a good looking tomato. I pack them together in a slightly oversized plastic container so my tomato won't get squashed in my bag. When I'm ready to eat I cut the tomato, top it with the cottage cheese or tuna and salt and pepper. I really like tomatoes so I love this lunch.

    Turkey & Cheese Roll Ups. When I'm out of leftovers, or forget to plan ahead I'll pick up sliced turkey and RF cheese slices on the way to work. I like the roll ups best with lettuce, but they're ok without it, too and on those days I get my lunch veggies from a can of v8.

    I'm not a big fan of salads, but when I want a change I'll buy bagged salad and Purdue Short Cuts chicken. All I have to do is toss a handful of the salad in a container with a handful of the chicken and head out the door.
  • I just got a box of those new Rubbermaid food storage containers, the ones whose lids snap together so you can't lose them (hah, they don't know me!) for Christmas? That's a great purchase so during the weekend or something, you can prepare meals, freeze them in the Rubbermaid/tupperwares/gladwares/whatevers or store on the fridge, and pop into the microwave.

    Also someone said a crockpot, I got one of those for Christmas too. They are another convenient way to make lunches and snacks. While you're at work or busy, pop some ingredients into the crockpot. When you get home, divide the food into tupperwares and voila instant convenient food for during the week.
  • Mel - congratulations on joining the crockpot brigade I've been working on my DD for months but her BF refuses to have one in the house (sad memories of a childhood filled with overcooked beef and mushy vegetables...)

    And just to stay on topic - as others have said - do a lot of cooking over the weekend. I make a recipe in the crockpot each weekend day. I also over cook dinners (quantities not cooking time) so there are almost always leftovers. My favorite super easy dinner is refried beans, frozen spinach or broccoli, lots of salsa and a little cheese all nuked to warm meltiness. It's hearty, melty and everything is cooked and eaten in one dish If I need more protein I toss in some crumbles or scramble an egg with it.
  • Thanks to all for the wonderful and great ideas!

    You are all an inspiration.
  • There are two canned soups that I use in case of emergencies. One is Amy's Low Fat Medium Black Bean Chili and the other is Progresso Lentil. (It's the only one I've found that's Phase I friendly as a lot of them have carrots in them.) I usually eat the whole can but they do have a lot of sodium in them you don't get with homemade soups.

    My favorite for lunch is Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon in the 3 oz. foil pack with a RF cheese stick and lots of veggies/salad and a container of plain yogurt flavored with Splenda and vanilla.
  • I second that Anne- I love love love progresso lentil soup! I ate it a long time before I started beaching it!

    Also, I tend to make a HUGE pot of veggie chili and eat it for days... lol or any other soup for that matter!

    I love hummus with veggies, an apple with NSA pb or almond butter, I sometimes snack on 70% dark chocolate 100 cal pack from trader joes, cherry tomatoes, fresh fruit when in season(p2 of course!), raw nuts, pickles, a 1/2 an avocado with tomato....

    As for lunches on the go- I love beans with a bit of salsa as cyndi said! also sometimes I put a half of avocado with it sprinkled with a bit of salt and onion or garlic powder, 99% of the time I am just sure that I cook enough the night before to have leftovers for work. If I don't I will occasionally have a frozen amy's organics meal or most of the time progresso lentil soup!(repeating myself I know ;0))
  • I love veggies (celery, grape tomatoes, cucumber) with hummus. I could eat the whole container!
  • Hi LLL and

    It sounds that there are lots of great ideas already, but I just want to say that the most helpful thing for me is preparing things in advance. I've turned into a salad girl on SBD. I have enjoyed it all winter. Its my every day lunch. I just finished precutting a tub of veggies; broccolli, cabbage, radishes, zucchini, jicama, celery, cauliflower and carrots (P2). Tomorrow morning I'll cook a whole chicken, chop it into bite sized pieces and reserve the carcass for soup. I freeze part of the chicken to keep it fresh, but have my lunch ready to add onto lettuce for a week. It travels well if I need to take lunch with me.