Tips for Packing LunchesBy
As tempting as it may be to get through your lunch hour on a cup of coffee and a candy bar, you don’t want to take the risk of an afternoon crash. Skipping meals can result in less energy, mood swings, a decrease in concentration and an increase in cravings for junk food like soda, candy, chips and cookies. Whether you have a long day at work, in school or on the golf course, eating a healthy lunch provides you with the energy and nutrients to keep your body healthy and brain sharp during a hectic day. Below are 3 tips for enjoying more nutritious lunches.
1. Balance Nutrients
Healthy lunches should be balanced with quality protein, natural fats, nutrient-dense veggies and fresh fruit. The easiest way to make sure your meals are balanced is to choose whole foods over processed products. Pizza with cookies and soda is the perfect example of an imbalanced lunch. Whereas, a chicken salad with spinach, strawberries & walnuts would be a great balanced lunch.
2. Choose Greens Over Grains
Beware eating starchy, high carb foods at lunch such as bread, pasta, pizza, white rice, potato chips or french fries. Those refined foods encourage the body to produce serotonin, making you lethargic and sleepy. Make the switch from processed foods like grains (bread, pasta, rice) by choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods like lettuce, cabbage or leafy green wraps, salads, and cooked or raw veggies. While transitioning to more natural foods, select “sprouted” or sourdough bread and eliminate half the bread so you have an open-faced sandwich. Over time you’ll realize that the “good stuff” is on the inside.
3. Plan Ahead
Eating around the same time every day can help to regulate your appetite. Be flexible, but try to plan ahead so you’re not suddenly ”starving” at 3PM, reaching for a quick-fix from a vending machine. Apart from piling on the pounds those processed products provide minimal nutrients and will only leave you hungrier for more junk food. Be proactive by packing a healthy lunch from home. You can also keep some snacks in the office fridge or have a go-to list of decent restaurant dishes or healthier fast food options you can enjoy in minimal time.
- Chicken with hummus, carrots, cucumber & red peppers
- Salmon salad with spinach, strawberries, walnuts & Zukay
- Roast beef rolled with mustard, arugula, cheese & tomatoes
- Sausage kebabs with diced apple, grapes & raw milk cheese
- Pork meatballs with mashed sweet potato, diced apple & almonds
- Spicy chicken lettuce wraps with beans sprouts, carrots & ginger
- Lettuce-wrapped turkey burger with baked sweet potato wedges
- Shrimp tacos with romaine lettuce, tomato salsa & guacamole
- Tuna salad with green beans, red potatoes & cherry tomatoes
- Ham stacked with green apple & raw milk cheddar cheese
- Sourdough sandwich with turkey, avocado, tomato & spinach
- “Sprouted” bread sandwich with almond butter & sliced banana