That bowl of leftover pasta slowing you down after your lunch break at work? Feeling like you need to mix up your lunch menu? Let me be of assistance with these Whole30 lunch recipes. I know what you're thinking, another fad diet? But wait, hear me out. Think about a re-boost in your relationship with food and physical and mental health. Think about ridding your body of all the toxins from processed food.

In April 2009, co-founder Melissa Hartwig revealed to the world her 30-day lifestyle breakthrough. The Whole30 diet focuses on resetting your metabolism and digestive tract and reduce internal inflammation. Incorporating real foods into your diet will heal the gut and increase your energy levels. Both medical professionals and average everyday people have testified about looking and feeling better than ever before.

There are a couple of rules when following the Whole 30 diet. No grains, legumes, or dairy. Any processed food is strictly forbidden. I'm sorry, you're going to have to put down that box of cookies. No artificial or real sugar, MSG, sulfites, carrageenan, junk food, baked goods, or alcohol. Instead of focusing on what you can't eat, it's best to focus on what you can eat. 

What can you eat? Real whole food! Lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and moderation of lean meats, fish, and eggs. Some oil, such as coconut and olive oil, is allowed along with ghee. And yes, coffee! But you're going to have to take it black, strictly no Unicorn Frappe. Real whole foods does not mean you have to stick to a boring old salad. I challenge you to try at least one of these Whole30 lunches recipes to pack for school or for work. The excuse that eating healthy takes too much time to prepare is a lie, as all these recipes can be whipped up within 30 minutes. 

1. Chipotle Pulled Pork Lettuce Wrap

This savory meal is beyond simple to make. Chipotle seasoning and avocado aioli is a match-made in heaven. Slow cook the pork and pull away when finished. These lettuce wraps are easy to bring on a picnic or a tailgate.

2. Peanutty Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are truly underestimated. Filled with the fresh veggies and chicken, these chicken lettuce wraps are a perfect light lunch. The sauce gives a creamy flavor to every bite. 

#SpoonTip: To make this Whole30-approved, use a different nut butter instead of peanut butter, and use coconut aminos instead of tamari. 

3. Fajita Skewers

Slap a bunch of meat and veggies on a stick and fire up the grill. Fajita skewers are essential to any summer cookout. Not to mention how easy theses are to make.

4. Shakshuka

soup, bread, parsley, vegetable, cream, meat
Rebecca Simonov

Typically, this Mediterranean dish is served for breakfast, but it's also eaten as a light lunch. You can prepare it to your taste by adding your favorite vegetables like tomatoes, onions, red peppers, or broccoli. This dish is very versatile!

5. Salmon Burgers with Avocado Garlic Sauce

Salmon has great benefits for your health. Packed with tons of protein and omega-3, these salmon burgers will keep you full and energized through that afternoon slump.

5. 3-Ingredient Lemon Chicken Skewers

Three ingredients, right up my alley. Budget and time friendly, chicken skewers are a great meal. You can add these to a salad or other grilled vegetables and bon appetit.

6. Pesto Omelette

omelet, omelette, scrambled, egg, spinach, parsley
Josi Miller

Breakfast for dinner, sure. Breakfast for lunch, why not? An easy pesto omelette is simple for any lunch. Make sure you have some Whole30-approved pesto on hand for this recipe. 

7. Green Meatballs

These green meatballs give you a full serving of protein and veggies with every ball. Pile them on top of a bowl of zoodles and you have a delicious meal! Skip adding in the feta cheese to make it Whole30-approved.

8. Curry Zoodle Shrimp Soup

A chilly fall day calls for some soup. This curry soup is packed with flavor. Just a handful of ingredients and your soup can be made within 20 minutes.

9. Spicy Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed with turkey, vegetables, and spices, you can meal-prep these stuffed peppers the night before and take them on-the-go the next morning. 

10. Avocado Pork Burgers

A little different than your typical hamburger, but worth the try. You get both protein and healthy fats in this avocado pork hamburger. Skip the bun and opt for a lettuce wrap instead.

11. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Did someone say bacon? Yes, bacon is allowed in the Whole30 meal plan. Find a nitrate and sugar-free bacon or try a pork bacon from US Wellness Meats. Skillet recipes are easy to put together and quite tasty to enjoy. These roasted Brussels sprouts don't taste like your average diet food. 

12. Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are my favorite food, and when I saw this new twist on sloppy joe's, I couldn't wait to try it. It left me full for hours!

13. Tuna Avocado Boats

The avocado trend is in full force and here to stay. Simple to make for a lazy day or ahead of time. These avo-tuna boats are no where near boring. 

14. Chili Lime Tuna Cakes

5-ingredients tuna cakes are straight up perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add to a salad or between homemade paleo hamburger buns.

15. Creamy Taco Soup

Ideal for a cool fall or winter day. Make a huge pot of this taco soup for the week and take it to class for lunch. Or cozy up with a bowl on the weekend; either way, soup is essential for the cold weather.

16. Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

I studied abroad an Italy, and bruschetta was the crowd-pleaser at every appretivo. This is a slight change of the recipe, however. Instead of bread, chicken is used. Topped with fresh tomatoes and balsamic, this bruschetta chicken an ideal Italian lunch.

17. Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa

Fire up the grill for this delicious salmon recipe. It's excellent for a summer lunch or even dinner. 

18. Jalapeno Turkey Burger

Not your typical burger, but these turkey burgers will give your tastebuds a hot kick. Guac on top, yes please! Add a side of baked sweet potato fries and it will fill you up through the afternoon.

19. Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl

Egg rolls are my favorite when I go out to eat Chinese. But this much healthier homemade version is low-carb, paleo, and packed with flavor.

20. Cajun Shrimp Lettuce Wrap

Not being able to eat grains, legumes, or dairy is clearly restricting, but you can find a way to add tons of flavor and texture to every meal. Shrimp lettuce wraps will spice up your typical boring salad.

21. Curried Salmon Salad Sandwiches on Apple Buns

Whole30 strictly forbids grains, such as bread. It gives you the option to become creative with your "bread" options. This creative salmon salad recipe has apples as bread, a unique twist to a protein-packed lunch.

22. Paleo Broccoli Slaw

Traditional coleslaw can tend to be the same flavors. Switch it up a bit with a broccoli slaw. No need for heavy spoonfuls of mayonnaise, this is a much lighter version.

23. Salmon Asparagus Bundles

Another recipe full of omega-3s and tons of vitamins and minerals. This recipe is a light and easy lunchtime meal. These asparagus bundles will leave you in a bundle of joy.

24. Crab Salad with a Fresh Coriander Dressing

If you're looking for something different, I suggest this recipe. I've never had coriander before, but after finding this light crab salad recipe, I'm going to head down to my local farmers and fish market to pick up some fresh ingredients. 

25. Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice

The replacement of cauliflower for rice is almost unnoticeable. This cauliflower fried rice is a healthier then the takeout option and is a good way to sneak in loads of veggies.

26. Mushroom Onion Quiche Bites

Muffins tins are the ultimate meal prep device. You can pop these quiche bites in the oven the night before or the morning of for a delicious meal.

27. Balsamic Glazed Asian Noodles

Asian zucchini noodles will not weigh you down from the carb-overload. They're a refreshing meal that you can add any veggie or protein to your desired liking.

28. Shrimp Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Abbi Brown

I know I promised all these recipes to be under 30 minutes, but this pesto spaghetti squash will cost you 15 extra minutes. Use the skin as a bowl to keep your dish-duty low. To make this Whole30-approved, omit the Parmesan cheese and use nutritional yeast instead. 

29. Ground Beef Zucchini Sweet Potato Skillet

Low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly, this one-skillet recipe is delicious and a breeze to make. With this recipe, you'll be able to meal prep lunch for the week!

30. 5-Ingredient Burgers

Clean eating doesn't mean you have to give up a juicy hamburger. Five ingredients is all it takes to make this burger recipe. Simply replace the bun with grilled eggplant, sweet potatoes, or portobello mushrooms. 

Even if you're not following the Whole30 diet, I highly recommend all of these Whole30 lunch recipes. It's a fresh way to lighten up any meal. Eating healthy should not be a hassle, which is why all of these recipes require minimum time and effort. Go back to the basics and try it yourself. Start eating real whole foods again.