What You Need To Build A Healthy, Balanced Lunch (that’s not just tuna & salad)

April 11, 2018

A healthy, balanced lunch should include a source protein, low GI carbs, veggies & a healthy fat. If you get this mix right, it will ensure you get the vital nutrients you need and the sustained energy to power you through the afternoon and prevent that 3:30-itis and stop any snacking late into the night.

Use the following steps to help you build a balanced lunch:

  1. Pick a low GI, high fibre carbohydrate – this will keep your blood sugar levels steady and provide you with sustained energy throughout the afternoon. Options:
  • sweet potato
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • freekah
  • lentils
  • beans – chickpeas / kidney beans / black / cannellini beans etc
  • wholegrain pasta or alternatives
  • wholegrain bread / wrap / roll
  • wholegrain soy and linseed/chia bread/wrap /roll
  • dark rye or sourdough bread with seeds
  • wholegrain crackers with seeds

  1. Choose a protein – to fill you up and work with your carb source to prevent drops in sugar levels. Options:
  • fish – tuna, salmon etc
  • lentils / lentil patty
  • beans – 3 bean mix / baked beans etc
  • tofu
  • other lean protein option of choice e.g. egg, chicken breast

  1. Add vegetables. Choose a variety of the following including at least 3 difference types:
  • greens – rocket, baby spinach, lettuce, cabbage, beans, snow peas, broccoli etc
  • tomato – cherry, sun-dried etc
  • beetroot
  • cucumber
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • stir-fried or steamed cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin etc
  • spanish onion, onion sprouts, shallots etc
  • mushrooms
  • carrot
  • capsicum
  • grilled veggies e.g. eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin etc
  • or any other vegetables you like!

  1. Add a healthy fat – to help with satiety & brain function. Options:
  • avocado
  • nuts / nut spread
  • olive oil
  • seeds e.g. linseed, chia seeds etc


For extra flavour, try:

  • fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, basil, dill, mint etc
  • avocado, hummus, tzatziki, chutney, mustard
  • spices
  • chili
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • balsamic
  • lemon juice
  • fresh or dried fruit
  • nuts


Rebecca Gawthorne – Dietitian & Nutritionist (APD, AN, DAA)

Rebecca is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Freelance Nutritionist & owner of Rebecca Gawthorne – Dietitian & Nutritionist; a private Dietetic Consultancy in Sydney, Australia. She also owns the popular, vibrant and healthy Instagram @nourish_naturally which has over 90K followers.

I: @nourish_naturally

w: www.rebeccagawthorne.com.au

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