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Healthy Lunch Recipes to Beat Diet Boredom

Cook, eat, repeat. It's easy to put meals on autopilot when you're trying to slim down, but monotony is a recipe for weight gain. Shake up your eating plan with these delicious lunch recipes.

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Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Turkey sandwich with cream cheese spread
Peter Ardito
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If you're tired of tuna salad...

Nix the bread.

Mix 4 ounces drained water-packed tuna with 1/2 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup drained juice-packed mandarin oranges, 1 1/2 ounces low-fat feta, and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Divide and serve in red bell pepper halves.

Nutrition facts: 364 calories, 38g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 18g fat (7g saturated), 3g fiber

"Serving tuna salad in a pepper adds crunch and cuts calories," says Devin Alexander, the author of The Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.

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If you're tired of tuna salad...

Lose the mayo.

Mix 4 ounces drained water-packed tuna with 2 table­spoons nonfat Greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Fold in 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, 1/4 cup diced fennel, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Serve on a whole wheat sandwich roll.

Nutrition facts: 409 calories, 40g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 5g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

Aida Mollenkamp, the host of the Cooking Channel's FoodCrafters, likes Greek yogurt's creaminess and extra protein.

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If you're tired of grilled chicken salad...

Add grains.

Toss 2 ounces skinless roasted chicken with 2 cups spinach; 1/4 cucumber, sliced; and 1/4 cup each cooked couscous, drained canned chickpeas, and chopped carrots. Whisk together 1 tablespoon each extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon each Dijon mustard and honey; drizzle over salad.

Nutrition facts: 440 calories, 27g protein, 46g carbohydrate, 17g fat (3g saturated), 9g fiber

"Couscous provides texture and flavor," Mollenkamp explains.

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If you're tired of grilled chicken salad...

Trade tomato.

Toss 4 cups arugula with 1 cup diced watermelon, 1 ounce crumbled low-fat feta, and 3 ounces skinless roasted chicken. Whisk together 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tea­spoon each Dijon mustard and honey. Drizzle over salad. Top with chopped fresh basil.

Nutrition facts: 384 calories, 36g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 18g fat (6g saturated), 2g fiber

Watermelon is a sweet, lycopene-rich stand-in, Alexander says.

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If you're tired of turkey sandwiches...

Think global.

Cut 1 large whole wheat pita in half. Fill each pita pocket with 1/4 avocado, sliced, and 2 ounces deli turkey. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sriracha. Top with 2 table­spoons fresh cilantro.

Nutrition facts: 290 calories, 16g protein, 41g carbohydrate, 8g fat (1.5g saturated), 7g fiber

Cilantro, sliced avocado, and hot sauce turn turkey into a take on the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, says Ellie Krieger, RD, the author of Comfort Food Fix.

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If you're tired of turkey sandwiches...

Do a DIY spread.

Mix 1/2 ounce drained, diced peppadew peppers with 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese. Spread on 2 slices bread. Layer 1 slice with 2 ounces deli turkey and 1/4 cup watercress. Top with other slice of bread.

Nutrition facts: 283 calories, 21g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fat (2.7g saturated), 6g fiber

"You don't need extras like cheddar or bacon," says Claire Robinson, the host of 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2012.

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arrevion wrote:

I like the suggestions and am incorporating them into my family's diet. However I would have loved to see some without meat. While the rest of my family eat meat, I am a vegetarian

4/7/2013 07:56:52 PM Report Abuse
Ruthspivey6 wrote:

I absolutly love all these recipes! I'm looking forward to making them for my family:) I know that they get to eat a well balanced diet because I have the time to make them. I'm able to do this because I work from home. Bringing in an income makes our family balanced, secure and balanced. If you had ever thought about making that move, (or would just like some extra cash) go to essentialconsumption.advancingwithus.com to learn more about it. I look forward to sharing:)

7/11/2012 12:25:48 PM Report Abuse

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