New Years Resolutions: Ditch the Bread for a Few Weeks

Bread, Mmmm. Bread is so yum. And it's such a staple part of our daily diet too. But it's not all that good a friend to us - it can cause food intolerances, bloating and it's full of calories. Giving up bread for a few weeks can have a dramatic effect on your waistline, and it's something I try to do every now and then.

Mates and I were discussing the other day just how hard it is to not eat bread though - what are your lunchtime options without it? Practically zilch. So that got me thinking. Magazines are always full of ludicrous and impractical suggestions for bread-free lunches that you can only achieve if you have access to a full kitchen, loads of time or if you're made of money. So with that in mind, here are a few suggestions for lunches that most of us should be able to make.

If you have a fridge/microwave in work

You're in luck here cos you can make your own lunch at home, and bring it in. Good, filling yet sinless lunches include the following:

3 Bean Salad with Tuna
Does what it says on the tin - mix up a tin of kidney beans, one of chick peas and one of butter beans (make sure to drain them first!) with a tin of tuna in brine. Throw in some chopped parsley and diced red onion and add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Sprinkle over some black pepper too, if you fancy it. This should do you for a few days - eat it all at once and you'll be sick!

Lettuce Wraps
Regular wraps are fairly sin free, but this is practically HOLY. You'll need a lettuce - an iceberg one would be perfect. Bag lettuce won't cut the mustard here. Carefully unwrap the leaves, keeping them as intact as possible. Now add your filling - low cal coleslaw, ham; salsa and chicken - whatever you fancy really. Roll them up, and roll on lunchtime!

Veggies & Houmous
Get an auld pot o' houmous from the supermarket and chop yourself some carrots, celery, cucumber or peppers at home. Throw into a bag and use to dip into the houmous dip. Yum! Really filling, really holy.


Ricecakes & Toppings
I know, ricecakes practically spell D I E T. I quite like them though, and they make a nice low-cal dessert when drizzled with honey too. But they're not bread, and that's why they're allowed into this post. Put whatever toppings you want on them - this should be done just before you eat them or they'll be all gross and soggy.

Mmm soup. Vegetable, carrot and coriander, tomato and basil - all of these can be on your non-bread lunch list. Avoid anything with cream in it though! Bring it in in a carton or container, blitz it in the microwave and enjoy.

If you're eating out
Eating out at lunchtime when you're bread-free can be tricky tricky - most cafes and eateries rely heavily on bread for lunchtime eats. So have soup or a salad instead. If you go for soup, avoid having bread and if you're asked if you want cream, refuse! If possible, ask for a salad to be made up for you - and avoid things like egg mayonnaise, potato salad and coleslaw. Some places do gorgeous salads that are really a meal in themselves - see if you can find such a gem of a place near you and make very good friends with them. If none of these appeal, have a wrap and get it filled with something relatively virtuous.

The other thing you can do is eat your main meal at lunchtime and have soup or a salad at home at your usual dinner time. This has the potential to be extremely expensive though, so is only for those of you on champagne budgets.

If you work in a pre-historic office with no facilities, and you want to eat in

This would be me. No kettle, no microwave, and as for a fridge? Hahaah, you're kidding. I do have a supermarket nearby though which comes in very handy. So options for those of us working in the Jurassic Era are on the slim side. But all isn't lost - we have the Houmous & Veg option - buy your pot of houmous and a bag of carrot batons - the sort you can microwave. Chow down at your desk while reading Cheap, filling and healthy! Fruit is also our friend. A big pile o' nice fresh fruit and ricecakes can make a detoxy change every now and then too.


Pre-packaged salad can also be your friend - and throw away the dressing pot. My work-local Dunnes also has a fantastic salad bar I use often. I get a Japanese Rice & Chicken salad which is really tasty and filling. When I'm on a bread-diet and feeling bold, I'll go for a wrap - something like cajun chicken which is pretty ok on the calorie front. Of course, you can also get take out salads and soups from cafes and restaurants near by too.

If you've any suggestions for bread-free lunches, we'd love to hear them - so get commenting!

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