Seeking a healthy lunch: frozen meals ARE an option!

I am a member of the Collective Bias ® Social Fabric ® Community. This shop has been compensated as a part of the social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own. #cbias #SocialFabric

I’ve been talking a lot about eating lately. I really struggle when it comes to making good food choices at lunch. Who else seems to get so busy in the middle of the day that they forget to eat and end up shoving anything in sight into their mouths by 2pm? I do this all the time! Realistically, the middle of the day is right when my metabolism has started to ramp up as my muscles recover from my early morning workouts. Since I eat breakfast(s) at 5am and 7am, by noon it’s often been 5 hours since I’ve had anything to eat. During this last bout of keeping a food log, I got even worse about eating lunch because I couldn’t think of anything healthy to eat that would be fast enough for the middle of the day. What I need is lean protein, a small amount of whole grain, and some veggies. Then I discovered a solution I never thought I’d suggest for a healthy lunch: frozen meals!

In the past, when I thought of frozen meals I’d (rightfully) imagined processed ingredients using a lot of artificial colors, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (trans fats), and a high sodium content. All things that I avoid in food. But this year at BlogHer in Chicago, I met Lean Cuisine and tasted their new line of meals called “Honestly Good”.

Awesome news — Lean Cuisine has created an array of healthy meals in their Honestly Good line with NONE of the nasty additives we want to avoid. No trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives. And the Lemongrass Salmon meal is wild-caught (ethically sourced)!

I tried my first meal this weekend right after I taught my 2 Megaformer Pilates classes in the morning. I was running home to change out of workout clothes and into a swimsuit so I could meet my family who were already at the pool for the last swim of the season. If I could pick up a Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meal, I could use that time at home to also have a complete lunch! I stopped by my local Walmart and found the meals in the freezer section next to the Vegetarian section.

I grabbed a Lemongrass Salmon meal and a Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish meal. Look: lean protein, veggies, and brown rice! You can see pictures of my shopping trip and some organic produce available at Walmart in my Google+ photo album. One meal was for today and the other I ate the next day.  NOTE:  With the fish meals, make sure that you always thaw the sauce packets in water before heating.

If you are concerned about heating the plastic containers in which the meals come, you’ll notice that I actually put the salmon meal onto a “real” plate before heating and it worked just great!

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Lemongrass Salmon. YUM! #shop #EatHonestly
Lemongrass Salmon, right out of the box: looks pretty awesome!

If you are heating on a plate, remember to cover the plate during the heating (per the instructions on the box) and wear oven mitts when removing the plate from the microwave, as the plate will get very hot.

I ate these meals on two separate days, but I just had to show you both of them when they were completed! I paired the Plum Ginger fish with a nice kale and lemon smoothie (stainless steel straw, ftw!).

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Lemongrass Salmon meal. YUM! #shop #SocialFabric
Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Lemongrass Salmon meal
Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Ginger Plum Grain-Encrusted Fish meal! YUM! #shop #EatHonestly
Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Plum Ginger Grain-Encrusted Fish meal

I have to say that the taste of both meals was GREAT. I even got distracted while eating the salmon and left it out for a few minutes. When I came back, it was still just as delicious even though it was no longer piping hot. All this with no unnecessary ingredients. Just food! Thank you, Lean Cuisine, for leading the way in convenient clean eating!

New healthy lunch option - Lean Cuisine Honestly Good line has removed all the preservatives, artificial colors, trans fats, HFCS & high sodium from their meals! Great option for a fast lunch! #shop #EatHonestly

Make sure to follow Lean Cuisine on Facebook to learn about the Honestly Good line and their other healthy lunch frozen meal options. If Twitter is more your thing, you can find out what other bloggers think of the Honestly Good meals by following the hashtag #EatHonestly.

Have you tried the Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals?

If not, here’s a coupon for you: Save $1.00 on an Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meal.
Let me know what you think of the other meals!


9 thoughts on “Seeking a healthy lunch: frozen meals ARE an option!

  1. Laurel Standley says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I so appreciate how hard it is to avoid processed food but this appears to still come wrapped in plastic, which can increase your body burdens of phthalates and BPA and add more plastic to landfills/the environment. Have you considered making more when you’re cooking and making you’re own ‘frozen’ meals in pyrex containers?

    1. Jenny says:

      Hi Laurel! This is definitely why I chose to remove the plastic before microwaving and cover with a paper towel instead, and on the second meal I actually removed the entire meal from the plastic tray and put onto a real plate before microwaving. It would be great if meals came in aluminum like they used to when I was a kid! While I actually do cook meals from scratch for my family most of the time, I know that not all of us have the bandwidth in our lives to cook ahead and I love to use my blog to give my readers who might just be starting on their “green” journey ways that they can take small steps, using products that can be found easily in mainstream stores. The goal is to eventually take more steps toward health and sustainability, both personally and at a corporate level. I also feel that it is very important that we support and encourage large companies who are taking steps to take their formerly conventional products in a clean eating direction. The packaging for the Lean Cuisine meals is also significantly less than other brands, and I love that too. I am sure we will see continued advances in sustainability if we combine the power of our purchasing dollars with an effort to refuse those brands that do not make these efforts. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. diane says:

    I love seeing mainstream companies start to realize that consumers want healthier and more natural choices, even if we are extremely busy some days. The Plum Ginger Grain-Encrusted Fish meal sounds delicious!

  3. Lisa says:

    This is my first visit to your website, and after reading this article, my first thought was, Are you kidding me? Forget the plastic lining or the cardboard box, have you missed the point that Lean Cuisine is owned by Nestle, perhaps one of the most un-green, un-consumer friendly evil corporations next to Monsanto? Are you actually giving them props for not having preservatives in their frozen foods while they continue to manufacture baby formulas full of toxic waste?
    Shouldn’t the conscientious part of your blog be kicking in at some point? As in, do your research before you spend money on products made by corporations that have no interest in your health, your children’s health, or the health of our planet?
    I am thoroughly disappointed in what I have read here. And then you go and offer coupons.
    You really are confused.

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