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I've taken 2017 as a time to really focus on improving my health.  I've been trying to get in better shape and make some healthier decisions.  I'm 42.  In the past, I would often brush off decisions I knew weren't healthy by telling myself I could fix them down the road.  Well, after hitting an age that's roughly half of my expected life exptency, give or take a few years, I realized that road was getting shorter.  One of the things I've thought to do is to come up with some lunch meat alternatives.

My Typical Lunch

I'm a brown bagger, which is something I'm proud of.  Keeping my costs down for lunch has always been a big thing for me.  I see people go out to eat every day, but I'm fine to sit at my desk and eat.  This also gives me time to go for a walk.

Lunch for me is usually four items.

  • A few baby carrots (have recently switched to organic).
  • A sandwich with wheat bread, deli meat, cheese, and condiments (usually mustard, maybe a little mayo).
  • Fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, or pineapple.
  • A cup of yogurt (I've switched back to the Yoplait brand which has 1/3 less sugar than what I was eating).

Lunch Meat

I've always thought that getting lunch meat from the deli was a reasonably healthy alternative.  But, then I did some

Image from morguefile via lauramusikanski

checking and realized that deli meat is not very healthy at all.  It's very processed, containing lots of fillers and preservatives, and it's also very salty.


Some of my favorites are salami and bologna, which turn out to be among the worst.  Even low sodium versions still have quite a bit, and they still have the preservatives and fillers.

I also like ham, turkey and chicken, which aren't as bad, though you still won't hearing anyone call them healthy.

So what to do?

My Ideas On Lunch Meat Alternatives

I'm looking for ideas on what I could do to substitute in healthier options for lunch meat.  Here are some of the things I've thought of.

  • Tuna – I like canned tuna.  While I've seen fish on ‘very healthy items to eat' lists, tuna never really seems to show up.  So, I'm wondering if this is healthy or if there are problems.
  • Egg Salad – It's Lent, so we don't eat meat on Fridays.  Egg salad is a fun Friday option, but is this a good option to eat regularly?  I know that many have backed off eggs as being bad for you, which was once thought.  Still, I always thought it was something to eat in moderation.
  • Left overs – I already eat left overs now and then as opportunity arises.  We often hold back left overs from lunches and make an entire dinner out of them after the cache grows.  Whether they would be healthier than a sandwich would depend on the dinner.
  • Salads – I know salads are a good option, but I get sick of salad quickly.  Too many salads and I tend to move on after a while.
  • Slice My Own Meat – One option I've seen is to buy fresh meat and slice it yourself.  This sounds great but I wouldn't even know where to begin.  Would I have to buy my own meat slicer?  That sounds expensive, hard to maintain, and one more thing to take care of.

What Are Some Other Alternatives to Lunch Meat?

I know I can't be the only one out there that brown bags it and wants to keep it simple and healthy.  So, what are some ideas of you have or that you've seen?  Please let me know what you think in the comments below.