Create an Energetic Safety Net with Healthier Lunches
Think of your energetic system like you fuel your vehicle, plan for what’s ahead rather than catching up (think running out of gas) later in the day. Studies site the importance of eating most of your food early in the day. When you skimp on lunch you are more likely to have a blood sugar episode in the afternoon which can lead you to resort to the vending machine or another poor choice for survival. Without a quality lunch you are more likely to hit dinner and eat with poor quality abandon.
5 Tips to up level your wellness game plan for lunch:
1. Have a Game Plan: Make a list of five Go To lunch foods you really like to eat. Put these lunch faves in rotation. Mix it up for variety. You need not have each one every week. Remember most anything can be healthy or unhealthy depending on what’s in it. Nothing need be off limits, rather healthify it with its ingredients. Think wraps, sandwiches, salads, dinner leftovers and tapas. Lunch tapas are the items you can keep on hand like a little lunch pantry with canned wild salmon, jarred artichokes, olives, garbanzo beans, and fresh fruit.
2. Recycle: Choose a favorite dinner that makes great leftovers, double up the recipe and enjoy it for dinner and lunch. Making it ahead on the weekend is a bonus. Capturing the freshest seasonal foods like spring greens, berries, and radish can parlay into any meal. For instance berries top salads, blend in smoothies and are great finger foods with lunch tapas. Include fresh seasonality in each meal to amp up the nutritive value.
3. Front Load: Routinely plan a week of lunches the weekend before. The night before prepare the wrap or sandwich (put healthy fat like paleo mayo or avocado that would make it soggy in separately). Put the leftovers, and dressings/condiments in little containers. Load your lunch box so you are ready to grab and go in the morning.
4. Take the Break: Eating on the run or wolfing down your food is nonsense for your body. You don’t digest when you do this. You will be left with digestive discomfort whether it is internal and or external. Get the full benefit of your food. Give your mind a respite from work. Grab a nice view and relax. Thirty minutes can be very restorative and impart a more productive afternoon.
5. Order Well: When restaurant dining, choose according to how easily you can identify ‘what’s in it’. You may not be able to see ingredient lists, but you can make choices where you clearly see the food. Avoid sauces which are likely packaged and contain who knows what. Go light on grains like rice. Avoid the bread which is likely poor quality. Think salads with olive oil and lemon on the side for dressing (you choose how much), unbreaded protein and veggies. Ask for steamed veggies and add olive oil or a pat of butter to avoid unknown restaurant oils. Get A Fresh Wellness Mindset for a complete guide to restaurant dining when you have food issues like gluten.
Practice makes perfect. Every action you make to shift your food life to more real lively food is health supportive. Over time you can add to your game plan Go To list with more choices. Recycling and front loading all get easier with practice. Your body and mind will soon reward you with better feeling mood and performance. Your body loves small easy changes practiced into life loving habits.