People often ask me the secret to maintaining long-term weight loss. The short answer: diet and exercise. The reality: planning. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your intentions are to eat right and move more, if you don’t plan it into your schedule, it simply will not happen. In addition to putting together an exercise schedule each week, I always put together a meal plan. Not only does it save multiple trips to the grocery store, but it also prevents the 5 o’clock “What’s for dinner?!?” anxiety attack.
Want to know another secret? Make-ahead lunches that last several days. At the beginning of each week, I love making a healthy, well rounded lunch that not only tastes delicious the first day but gets better on days 2 and 3. In addition to my Pasta Salad with Tuna and Beans that I’m sharing today, here are a few other go-to lunch ideas that are great at home, in the office or at the park:
Rainbow Slaw with Chicken
Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Turkey Chili
Lemony Chicken Soup with Greens
Your fork is waiting.
Pasta Salad with Tuna and Beans
- 6 oz whole wheat penne
- 15 oz can cannelini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 6 oz tuna canned in water (drained)
- 1 red pepper (diced)
- ¼ c scallions (diced)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- ¼ c parsley (minced)
- 1 tomato (diced)
- ¼ c pine nuts (toasted)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook whole wheat penne in salty water according to package directions (about 8 minutes for whole wheat.)
- Place pasta in a large bowl and mix in beans, tuna, red pepper, scallions, celery, parsley and tomato.
- Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes until brown; set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice over the pasta salad and mix well.
- Take a bite to check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Sprinkle on toasted pine nuts before serving.