When it comes to health and fitness many of you will first think of the gym. Whilst of course the gym has a crucial part to play, there is an equally important element– nutrition. What and when you eat can affect your weight, metabolism, endurance and even your mood. They say that the split between nutrition and exercise in terms of impact is around 80/20. If you’re not convinced then consider the ease with which you could reduce 500 calories from your daily intake compared to the slog you’d face to increase the calories expended at the gym by that same figure. Diet is key!
So here we look at the issue of nutrition and probably the mealtime that suffers the most – lunch. We’ll examine why a healthy lunch is critical and thereafter introduce you to 4 easy to make healthy lunches. If you’re someone who just grabs whatever is lying around your desk, or perhaps someone who buys expensive and perhaps less than healthy mealtime options then read on. Not only might you save money, you’ll also be looking after yourself a whole lot better. So if it’s easy make healthy lunches that you’re after, or you realize a change is needed, then here is some help.
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. Most people know that they should have something to get the body working. However, come lunchtime, or sooner, all of the good intentions with which you started the day could be lost through poor choice. When considering lunch, there are several key elements which you need to include to ensure you’re eating well. Protein is a key ingredient, but it must come from a naturally lean source. Protein takes longer to digest so will keep you feeling full longer, and it is the food source most demanded by your muscles. So if you already workout and are looking to maintain your gains, eat more protein. Fiber is the second element and is again a great way to feel fuller for longer – and thus avoid unhealthy snacks. The final element is hydration – but a good source. Caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you, many energy drinks are based on unrefined sugar which can be disastrous, so instead think simple, think water. You will often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated will ensure that you don’t pick up those extra treats. It’s also great for your body and skin too!
The best tip is to make lunch at home and take it to work with you. You can make it the night before whilst cooking dinner to help save time. A little energy expended at this point will save you time in the morning and moreover ensure that you’re getting a great lunch. Think of pairing veg’ with protein, or something as simple as homemade soup will make you feel better.
Don’t eat at your desk, you won’t enjoy the food in the same way, and you’ll probably eat too quickly meaning you’ll think you’re still hungry. Engaging with your food, and eating slower makes it more enjoyable and you’ll appreciate it more too. So step away from the desk – this can even include eating out, but if you are then plan ahead as impulsive meal choices are often the least healthy ones.
4 Easy Make Healthy Lunches
Now you know why you should lunch properly, here are four ideas:-
- Butternut Squash And White Bean Soup.
As the winter draws in, a great way to make sure that you’re eating the right amount of vegetables is to make soup. Here the squash is combined with onion, garlic in a chicken broth, with added white beans, couscous and chickpeas. There are many soup makes on the market to make the process even easier.
- Chicken With Peppers
On a baking tray take chopped mixed peppers, harissa dressed chicken legs and chickpeas and roast until cooked. Eaten hot (for dinner) or as a cold lunch this is a simple, one tray dish that’ll taste delish and tick the health boxes.
- Salmon And Almond Rice
You can easily cook a piece of salmon in the microwave or oven at home. If you also cook some brown rice and flake through some toasted almonds, the combination makes and interesting and healthy lunch. You might add additional veg’ such as broccoli to the rice.
Before you turn up your nose, think Romaine lettuce, chopped chorizo/chicken, roasted red peppers, Manchego shavings and a little olive oil/vinegar dressing. Not so shabby!
Lunchtime should be enjoyed, not skipped. It isn’t for wimps, it is for the health conscious and dedicated. So eat well, eat right and then both see and feel the benefits. Tuck in!