There are quite a number of benefits to packing your own lunch for a long day at the office. First, you spare yourself spending on expensive restaurant meals, which we all know can add up to a hefty sum at the end of every month. Second, you get to choose exactly what foods you’d like to enjoy that day. All it takes is some quick planning the night before to avoid rushing in the morning. And, last but not the least, you know exactly what goes into the preparation of your meal. This allows you to control your own diet and ensure that you are nourishing your body with fresh and wholesome ingredients. Here are smart tips on preparing your own healthy meals with ease:

Plan your healthy meals in advance. Create a calendar of meals for a week, two weeks, or even a month. Include a grocery list to make it quick and convenient for you to shop for your ingredients on weekends so you won’t be scrambling for these items on work days. This trick also helps you stay on track with your wholesome diet.

Cook in batches on weekends. If your planned meals frequently call for grilled chicken or broiled tuna, cook enough to cover 2 to 3 recipes when you have time on your hands. Refrigerate the unused portions if you’ll be using them within the next few days or freeze if you’ll need them the week after to save time on meal preparation.

Running out of fresh and healthy ideas? Surf the net for wholesome recipes, purchase healthy cookbooks, or healthify your favorite meals by switching some ingredients for their healthier counterparts such as using low-sodium soy sauce in adobo or using tuna instead of beef in salpicao.

Don’t forget healthy snacks. Your healthy diet can often be sabotaged by mid-day hunger. With no clean alternatives, you often succumb to your colleagues chips, instant noodles, or sweets. Along with lunch, pack another snack container with sliced apples and mangoes, baked kamote fries, or yogurt with granola.

Encourage your colleagues to pack healthy lunches, too. Invite your colleagues to pack their own healthy meals and have lunch together. This way, you avoid being tempted by workmates offering fatty meals or sinful treats. As a bonus, you create a support system for each other when it comes to eating healthy.