Healthy Lunches for Runners with Busy Schedules
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Quick lunch packing ideas and eating out solutions

By Andrea Holwegner BSc, RD “The Chocoholic Dietitian”www.healthstandnutrition.com

Often runners focus their attention on the meal immediately before a run or the few days leading up to a race. While this is important, prioritizing your daily meal and snack choices in the months and weeks leading up to the event is critical to optimize your running performance, recovery and ability to keep your immune system strong. Lunch is often a meal that is poorly planned for busy people and can result in quick fix meals that are not ideal to meet your nutrition needs. To structure a healthy lunch, think about planning three things. Include starches/grains with fruits and/or vegetables and a source of protein.

Here are a few lunch ideas to get you started:


Packed lunches for the office

  • Leftover chilli or hearty soup from supper last night or your freezer. Whole grain bun. Tomato juice. Fresh kiwi or strawberries.
  • Vegetable soup with whole grain crackers and pre-flavored mini tin of tuna. Cantaloupe or melon wedges.
  • Whole grain wrap with hot or cold refried beans, sliced avocado, grated cheddar or crumbled feta cheese and salsa. (assemble at work)


Healthier food court, mall and airport options

  • Wrap, panini or sandwich with chicken or lean meat, cheese and grilled/raw vegetables.
  • Fresh fruit smoothie with unsweetened fruit, juice and yogurt along with a protein bar.
  • Grilled chicken salad with a whole grain bun.


Mobile lunches for the car (don’t forget to bring an ice pack!)

  • Pasta salad with whole grain pasta, chopped raw or cooked veggies, cubes of cheese and chicken/ham/black beans and vinaigrette salad dressing. Apple or banana.
  • Grapes. Reduced-fat muffin. Snack size bag of nuts. Raw veggies such as carrots, cherry tomatoes and snow peas.
  • Rye crackers or whole grain pita/wrap. Sliced cheese and/or hard cooked eggs. Sliced red peppers and cucumbers.

Lunches at home

  • French toast made with whole grain bread. Yogurt or cottage cheese and fresh/frozen berries.
  • Grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread with red peppers, spinach and onions added. Fresh fruit salad.
  • Quesadilla made with a whole grain wrap, grated cheese, leftover chicken from supper (or black beans), green/red peppers and serve with salsa and sour cream. Apple.

Healthier restaurant choices

  • Small steak sandwich with bread instead of garlic toast and a side salad with vinaigrette.
  • Meal sized salad with salmon, chicken or shrimp and vinaigrette. Whole grain bun.
  • Grilled chicken breast on a bun with lettuce and tomato. Choose a side salad with dressing on the side.

Andrea Holwegner is president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc., media expert for theDietitians of Canada, professional speaker and independent consultant to Jugo Juice. To askAndrea your personal nutrition question, visit the “Ask the Dietitian” section of the Jugo Juicewebsite here:www.jugojuice.com.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This