Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD
Edited by: Breanne Hughes
The options below come already prepared and are perfect for those days when you still need something healthy, but do not have time to prepare something homemade. The items listed also work for supper and when you are traveling and eating out of a cooler. They are all items I order and rely on for healthy lunches. The links are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, Agroshare earns a small commission. It doesn’t cost you any extra, and we use the money to make sure our site can continue to provide quality and up-to-date information. Thank you in advance for your support!
Soups can be a welcome change of pace. However, they do often have to be heated. There are some that come in aseptic boxes that travel well and are delicious for lunch. I try to stay away from canned soups because of many ingredients that we should avoid. Homemade soups are usually the best, but I will add a link for some healthy boxed soups to take in a pinch. Cold soups may also appeal to some people. Check back frequently for updated recipes!
I have recently purchased some soups from Amazon (affiliate links below) that I can keep at the clinic in case I run out of time to put a lunch box together.
Kettle and Fire Keto soups are made with bone broth. I have tried these personally, and I enjoy the flavor. There are two servings per box, and it is just under $5 per one cup serving. I have tried eating an entire box in one sitting, but it is too much for my stomach. If you want to have a quick, healthy soup, this would substitute for eating out, and if you can afford it, this is an option. But I feel homemade soups are tastier and less expensive.
I also have a few items non-perishable items for quick snacks I can keep on the shelf with the soups.
Chips, Crisps and Crackers:
What about chips? I don’t eat chips, but I will often add pork skins to my lunch box. There are some keto type crackers that are a pleasant change occasionally. You can also add baked cheese snacks to your lunch box to give you some crunch.
The baked cheese crisps below come in at about $1.50 per bag. I get them with Subscribe and Save on Amazon, which is cheaper than just ordering them once. You may find some at Walmart that are less expensive, however I don’t shop frequently so I am not sure.
Most of the Keto, low-carb crackers on Amazon are fairly expensive. Many are as much as $2 – $2.50 and ounce. We buy one package and use them sparingly, which costs us about $1.69 per ounce. I don’t even really like them that much, but will eat them occasionally when Tim makes a crab dip. We also use pork skins when he makes crab dip, which is delicious! I will add the crab dip recipe when I can drag it out of him! The link is below for the keto friendly crackers I buy for Tim. He likes them, so it is a treat.
Another great, easy food to pack in a lunch is nuts! I eat raw nuts every day. Many people want to eat nuts that are roasted and salted. Unfortunately, these are cooked in unhealthy oils. Regardless of which oil is used, the oil gets too hot and is denatured, becoming unhealthy oil. As a physician, I only recommend eating raw nuts.
You can purchase raw nuts from Walmart and Amazon. You may also find them at gas stations while traveling on road trips. That is not always the case, though. Below are several links for the nuts I buy on Amazon. I get a variety. When I visit Southern Alabama, I buy pecans, because there are hundreds of trees down there. I have had patients bring me pecans that they have shelled from trees in their yards. They often give me a good deal, so I will buy a lot and freeze them. When I buy nuts on Amazon, I rarely get organic as I don’t feel that it is necessary for the extra cost. I often buy the least expensive option, but not always.
Brazil nuts – Brazil nuts have selenium in them which is really important for our health. It only takes about 4 nuts per day to get your daily allowance of selenium!
Macadamia nuts – These have the highest amount of healthy fats of all the nuts. They are more expensive than other nuts. If you buy pieces or in larger quantities, you can get them for a lower price per ounce.
Walnuts – I recommend walnuts to all my patients because of the healthy fats in these nuts. There is some research that shows they may help prevent prostate issues in men. I will try to blog on this in the future and put in the links to the scientific evidence. No matter what, they are good for us, and delicious. I buy this brand below.
Sugar free meat sticks:
Meat sticks are a delicious and protein- packed snack you can add to your lunch box. They are cured and prepackaged, so they don’t require refrigeration. However, many brands (especially those available at gas stations and big box stores) are highly processed and do more harm to your health than good. The ones I eat and recommend are grass fed and have zero sugar, nitrites or nitrates. It is important to me to avoid nitrites and nitrates, because large amounts can contribute to a higher risk of colon cancer.
Most of the products I include on these pages are both the things I use and eat at home, and I also get them through Subscribe and Save to get 5 – 15% off of each item. They come to my door monthly because they are pantry staples. The prices may vary depending on how frequently you order them.
There are many types of olives, ranging from inexpensive to extremely pricey. You can get them plain or stuffed with garlic, blue cheese, pimentos, even orange slices! Publix and other stores have olive bars to give you lots of varieties. Smaller cheaper jars are just fine also, green or black olives. I do not purchase these from Amazon as they seem more expensive to buy them this way. Shipping such heavy jars does not seem practical.
Just like olives, pickles can add lots of variety and flavor to your lunches. It is important to make sure your pickles are not sweet. There are many types of pickles, and you can even make your own fermented pickles at home. The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods can be good for your gut. It is simple to make fermented vegetables, and you can take them in your lunch because they have less need for refrigeration during the day. I typically buy olives and pickles at the grocery store and not Amazon. I will often purchase specialty pickles and olives to try something new. You can get spicy pickles if your stomach can handle it.
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale Lemon balm, scientific name Melissa officinalis, is so easy to grow, it is almost foolproof. Like most other members of the mint family, lemon balm spreads easily after it becomes established. It does well in...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale Stinging Nettle, scientific name Urtica dioica, and commonly known as nettles, has a long history of folk usage for food and medicine. For hundreds of years, nettles have been used to treat lung issues. The...
The following recipe for keto-friendly Lime Pie comes from my (Dr. Koe’s) friend and patient, Peggie Griffin. Ms. Griffin is passionate about protecting the natural and agricultural heritage of Alabama, as well as promoting nutritious, locally grown food. She...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale I did not realize how lonely some people get as they age. There is often a lot less interaction with family members who have to work and are tired after spending long hours at their job all week. These folks...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale The diets of our parents are far less nutritious now than in the past. The lack of proper nutrition is causing chronic disease to manifest more frequently in the older population today than in previous...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale When you take on the role of caretaker, it isn’t just the person’s physical well-being that you need to address. Before I began to care for my elderly father, I did not realize how much time it takes to...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale My dad was living independently until he fell about four years ago. Perhaps this story sounds familiar to you. So many families are dealing with their elderly parents now differently than they have in the...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale When it comes to gardening, I am addicted to composting and mulching; I love mulch! I also have a fondness for all-natural materials and the understated beauty they have. To me, there is something so...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Editing and Photography by: Breanne Brazeale Alabama is not only beautiful; it is also incredibly rich in its biological diversity! I am so fortunate to call this place home. Over the years, I have learned that my property on the...
Written by: Dr. Frannie Koe, MD Edited by: Breanne Brazeale October 1st was the 15th anniversary of opening my clinic, Wills Valley Family Medicine, in Collinsville, AL. I can hardly believe it has been 15 years! The following is a story I have often told. The first...