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Boot~ique: Ten low-carb lunch ideas

Bringing your lunch to work with you used to be as simple as sliding your favorite meats and a little mayo between two huge slices of bread with a side of potato chips and a coke - right?

Unfortunately, this national habit has led to a country full of obese people.

Now that you are eating a healthy breakfast and dinner at home, don't ruin your new diet plan with a calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient lunch.

Instead, here are ten easy ways to enjoy a low-carb, healthy lunch.

1. Salad, salad, salad: This isn't your ordinary and standard lettuce-and-veggies salad. Salads can come in a variety of ways. For example, chicken salad and tuna salad are great ways to change-up the standard salad. A regular salad can also be improved by including spinach, almond slices, one sliced hard-boiled egg, a few of your favorite vegetables and a light pomegranate vinaigrette dressing. Be sure to stay away from salads loaded with bacon, ranch dressing and croutons, though. Keep your dressing on the side and sprinkle a little on as you eat.

2. Sandwich time: You can substitute bread slices for either a tortilla or pita bread for a lower carb / higher-fiber choice. Add some lean lunchmeat and fresh vegetables to your tortilla or pita for a great lunch.

3. Queso: A little cheese, some diced chicken breast, some homemade salsa melted into a tortilla, and viola! You have a unique and tasty lunch on your hands. Rather than avoiding cheese for it's fat and calorie content, sprinkle a little on your meal to enhance the flavor, without going overboard.

4. Omelet: Eggs are a great source of protein. No need to restrict them to breakfast, only. Most offices have a microwave and omelets travel well. You can cook it before work and heat it up at lunchtime.

5. Leftovers: You cooked a great vegetable stir-fry the night before and you just can't wait to dig in for dinner the next day. Why wait? Bring your yummy dinner in to work and enjoy a nice home-cooked meal for lunch the next day.

6. Dinner for lunch: What's the difference between leftovers and dinner for lunch? Dinner for lunch is actually having a dinner-style meal (that you didn't make the night before) for lunch. If you have some time and a little money, order something healthy and filling for lunch and enjoy it. For dinner, be sure to eat something light, like a salad, to balance the larger meal you ate earlier in the day.

8. Sushi: Sushi is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. If your local sushi place can substitute brown rice for white rice, it's an even better lunchtime treat. Stay away from the spicy sauces, tempura (fried), duck and cheesy varieties. Instead, order sushi with steamed vegetables, hijiki or oshitashi, to satisfy you all afternoon.

9. Smoothie: Do you feel like you are too busy to eat? Why not drink your lunch? I'm not talking about going to happy hour during your lunch break. Having a smoothie is a good way to get some nutrients from fruits and vegetables and protein (depending on what you include in your smoothie). And, there countless ways to make a smoothie, ensuring you never have the same lunch twice.

10. Farmer's market: If you have the time, visiting a local farmer's market is a healthy and fresh option for lunch. True, it's not a traditional brown bag lunch, but there's no harm in treating yourself to a lunch outing once and a while.

There are numerous ways to enjoy low-carb lunches. Use these ten tips to stick to your nutrition plan all day long.

About Bootique Fitness

Getting in shape takes good nutrition and a great exercise program. Our boot camp program guarantees results! Call us (619) 602-8087 for a free trial (two sessions) of our boot camps for women or visit online at San Diego Boot Camp for a free trial and get ready for a Memorial Day Weekend celebration!

Jaylin Allen is a local fitness expert in San Diego, known for getting her clients in shape in record time through her popular "Boot Camps For Women" and "Zumba" classes. For more information about Jaylin, fitness, or her classes, be sure to check out Bootique Fitness or call (619) 602-8087.