Buying lunch from the many options available in London is extremely appealing, and can be a time efficient and not overly expensive way to eat. There are however some days you just don’t have the time to make something, it’s inconvenient to be carrying in Tupperware containers and the like, or you just can’t be bothered!
I know I look forward to my lunch break, particularly on days when I am going to eat something delicious, and buying my lunch out keeps it interesting as let's face it, I love food!
There’s so much choice available and more and more healthy choices coming out each month. Here are some of my current healthy choices from a few well-known chain eateries and a local café and supermarket.
Pret Pret has so much choice these days it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Through some trial and error – mainly as I am looking for something which fills me up without making me feel sluggish and less prone to wanting a sugar hit mid afternoon – I generally try to stick to the salads, healthy snack pots and soups when it comes to Pret. A mix of protein with veggies is always a good choice, plus I love Pret’s nuts as a quick snack and occasionally treat myself to their mouth watering dark chocolate and sea salt bar.
Leon A lot of the food in Leon is healthy, but I particularly love the chicken superfood salad (with the chimichurri dressing) and a side of grilled veggies. The added plus is this fills me up all afternoon and I don’t feel the urge to snack. The hot boxes are also great for the colder weather and a good way to get a mix of nutrients, which will keep you feeling fuller longer.
Itsu Asian inspired cuisine, particularly Japanese is my absolute favourite. With Itsu I love their miso soup with its gingery flavour and flavourful seaweed and tofu. In fact I enjoy all of their noodle soups. In warmer weather the sashimi, salads, fruit and raw veg cleanse smoothie are my go-to.
Wasabi Wasabi’s thin noodle soups are my new choice – with their fresh veggies, noodles, meat protein (if you want) and tasty broth. I also do love some sashimi with a seaweed salad as I feel really energised when I have this. I will also have a hand roll or a few pieces of sushi if I am particularly hungry.
Local cafés The world is your oyster when it comes to the local café. With the many choices of fillings, potatoes, salads and wraps your taste buds really are in for a treat. I try to stay clear of heavy mayonnaise laden fillings (or if I do have one, it’s a rare occasion) and go for tuna and salad in a jacket potato. Other good choices are any of the meats alongside, lettuce, sun dried tomatoes, olives and any other vegetables. Plus a wholemeal roll if you are really hungry.
Supermarkets If I want something healthy from a supermarket I generally go for the vegetable aisle and get a mix of salads, peppers, cucumber, beetroot, avocado - whatever takes my fancy, then add some protein to it such as cooked prawns, some chicken or turkey breast or perhaps a can of sardines or mackerel. I then dress the salad with fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and olive oil (which I keep in my desk drawer). If I’m extra hungry I’ll get a wholemeal bread roll to go alongside. In colder weather I might occasionally buy a good quality soup to heat in the office microwave. I tend to go for the vegetarian ones as I find they have slightly less salt added. Or I might microwave some spinach and butter beans or chick peas, then add some protein such as chicken breast and a little bit of olive oil and vinegar. Plus in a supermarket there’s the added benefit of fruit and nuts you can buy as snacks for a better price. There are so many things you can make from the supermarket, you just need some imagination plus a bit of time during your lunch break to prepare your meal, also sometimes a microwave or stove in your office kitchen. Look out for an upcoming blog post on quick lunch ideas from the supermarket.
In addition to the above suggestions there are a number of other healthy take away chains including: Tossed, Pure and Hummus Bros.