100 Healthy Lunch Choices in NYC

quick lunch in the office - bun and fresh grapes

Who has time to pack lunch? Not me. So most us end up grabbing lunch on the run. But it’s easy to get into a rut. If you are bored with the same old salad or sandwich for lunch, look no further! I’ve put together a list of over 100 healthy lunches on the run including salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, quinoa bowls and Mexican food. No more boring lunches! Read on to get your FREE download that folds into a handy trifold brochure.lunch on the run

Lunches on the run can be tricky. Many choices are deceptively high in calories, fat and/or sodium. For example, who would have thought that a little container of vinaigrette salad dressing could have 375 calories or that a chicken wrap would have over 700 calories! Do you really bother to read the nutritional content on the menus or check out the websites? Well, I’ve done that for you. Whether your goal is to lose weight or just eat healthier, my FREE download will give you new ideas. Pic credit 

I tried to pick some of the most common lunch spots – ideally those that included the nutritional content of their food. As most of you know, chain restaurants with 15 or more locations are mandated to post the nutritional content. Other places do it voluntarily. Now keep in mind that these are “lunches on the run” so you won’t necessarily always find uber healthy choices like wild salmon and organic kale (though you do in some places!).  I tried to be realistic when making my picks. Some are obviously healthier than others. One problem I found is that many items contained a lot more sodium than I would have liked. So if you need to be on a lower sodium diet, pay attention.  This is actually my 5th Lunch on the Run Survival Guide. This time I included sodium along with calories, fat and carbs.

 Click on BLUE link below to get your FREE download ( blue link provides 2 sides whereas pic on the right is only one sided)  Then print it double sided to make a trifold brochure!
100 Healthy Lunches on the Run Survival Guide #5  ——————>

Here are the 15 lunch spots I picked:

Dig Inn     I love this place. I only wish there was one on the upper east side! Love that you can mix and match proteins, carbs and veggies. Great tasting healthy food for a quick lunch. See picture below of the lunch I had with colleague Jackie Topol RD. Pic by Jackie! 

Just Salad   Love the creative salad combo’s inspired by a chef/RD. There is one right near the hospital where I work and it’s always packed.

Fresh and Co. The name fits – the food is fresh and tasty. Love the quinoa bowls. fresh and co

Hale and Hearty. Love the soups (though they are high in sodium). Like some of the premade salads as well. Easy to grab one and not have to wait in line! 

Au Bon Pain. There is one in the hospital where I work and I often end up grabbing lunch there. Good soups and salads. 

Moaz. Haven’t eaten there yet but I have a lot of clients who do and love it. Heard the falafel is good … and reasonable calories  Great spot for vegetarians

Pret a Manger Love the slim sandwiches. You can get a low calorie lunch with a ½ sandwich and a soup. I like there salads as well.

Panera Bread. Like the half portion option so you can get the variety of a 1/2 sandwich or soup and salad. The new Lentil Quinoa Bowl is great. 

SubwayOne of the oldest fast food chains around that serves healthy sandwiches on the run. You can get a 6″ sandwich on whole grain bread with a lot of vegetables for under 350 calories … and pretty inexpensive as well. 

Pita Grill. A great place for grilled chicken on pita or grilled chicken on salads. As of yet, they aren’t posting calories, so I took matters into my own hands and did some calculationsburrito bowl

Cosi. A wide variety of choices for under 500 calories. 

Chipotle. There is one of these 2 blocks from my apartment. Tempting to say the least. You can’t beat their Bowls. Just choose wisely! (pic credit)

Lenny’s. The NYC standby for sandwiches!

Le Pain Quotidien. The food is fresh and healthy. The Avocado Toast is one of my favorites!  (pic credit) 

Calista Superfoods. Only one location on the upper east side. But healthy choices – I like that you can pick the protein, carb and vegetable to create your own mealle pain


My recommendations:
Calories: If you’re  watching your weight, I often recommend women aim for 400-500 calories for lunch, and men  500-600.

Fat: I’m not as concerned with limiting fat intake as I used to be. Fat helps keep you feeling full. However it’s a concentrated source of calories, so you still want to consume it in moderation. Fried foods or items with rich sauces didn’t make my list.

Sodium:  The average person consumes 4000 mg a day. Most health experts recommend 2400 mg a day or as low as 1500mg if you have certain health issues. And of course, limit your sodium intake if it bloats you. Nothing puffy eyeslike PUFFY eyes after eating something high in sodium  Pic credit

Carbs: Not everyone needs to limit carbs, but if you are watching your intake, you’re best off sticking to salads and certain soups if you want to keep you carb intake low. Some places also have hot food where you can get lean protein and sides of vegetables. If you want a sandwich, you might want to take of half of the bread.

Needs help with planning meals on the run? 

I specialize in helping busy New Yorker’s eat healthier “on the run”. I take a very practical approach to eating and can help you fit healthy eating into a busy schedule. I can help you meet your goals whether they be to lose weight, eat healthier, improve energy levels or deal with  medical condition such as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, IBS or pregnancy. Call or email me for more information on my counseling sessions at mmckittnyc@gmail.com. Check out my website MarthaMcKittrickNutrition.com





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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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