Greetings! It’s been a while to say the least. I’ve been super busy with the holidays, school, and personal training clients, making this my first official post of 2016. I think it’s safe to say that I’m failing at one of my New Year’s Resolutions: blogging more!
Today, I want to talk to you about lunch. I’ve written about lunch before, but I’d like to take a moment to talk about it again, because well why not? Lunch is one of my favorite meals. It gives me something to look forward to on crummy, stressful days, not to mention gives me a dose of energy and nutrients right when I’m starting to feel slumped.
People talk about skipping breakfast all the time and the importance of eating it. But what if I told you lunch was the most skipped and/or rushed meal of the day? Between last-minute meetings at work, crazy student schedules, and other obligations between 12 and 1 pm, for many people eating a healthy lunch often gets sacrificed.
The good news is, there are things you can do to eat lunch more often and choose healthier options. Check out these simple tips for eating a lunch that truly nourishes you from the inside out.
1. Lunch Tip #1: Mark Your Calendar
If you’re the kind of person that tends to work through lunch or schedule events during lunch, this needs to stop ASAP. Take a minute to create a reminder on your phone, Google calendar, etc. to eat lunch every day. Yes, every day. I know it might sound silly at first, but it will help hold you accountable until you get into a habit of eating a healthy lunch on the daily.
2. Lunch Tip #2: Have a Plan
The biggest problem I see with clients when it comes to lunch is that they wait until the last minute to decide what to eat. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with sitting with your hunger for a few minutes until you determine exactly what you want. But few of us have that kind of time haha. Instead, take a few minutes on Saturday, Sunday, or any other day when you’re not working, and prepare a few healthy lunches. Again, this doesn’t have to be rocket science. A turkey sandwich made on whole grain bread, a giant salad with leafy greens and protein, or a bowl of last night’s chili all make great lunches.
3. Lunch Tip #3: Go For Green (and Red, Orange, Yellow, You Get the Idea)
Another problem I see with clients’ lunches is the opportunities they miss to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their lunches. Of course, there are days when you’re really rushed, and turkey with a spread of mustard on whole grain bread is about all you have time for. I get that. But if you can, try to find ways to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Could you swap your chips for raw veggies? Or use arugula and red onion on your sandwich instead of iceberg lettuce? Would it kill you to eat a piece of fruit instead of a cupcake? These little swaps not only save you calories, but they also add nutrients and fiber to your diet. Instead of seeing meals as a time to eat, seem them as a time to nourish.
4. Lunch Tip #4: Turn Off Electronics
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who eat at their computer or in front of the TV. Sure, on busy days I’m guilty of this too. But in general, eating with electronics like phones, social media, laptops, tablets, etc. distracts you from the most important part of lunch: the food! Take a minute (or two) to unplug, sit back, and truly savor your food. Chances are, you’ll feel fuller on less food and feel less inclined to indulge later in the day.
5. Lunch Tip #5: CHEW
This last tip sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how many of us screw this one up. In a world where we’re always on-the-go, sometimes chewing our food well is the last thing on our minds. There’s no need for you to become obsessive about this, but take a moment to chew eat bite of food at least 15 times. You’ll notice how doing this exercise can slow you down, help you feel full, digest your food better, and overall enjoy your meal.
Eating a healthy lunch doesn’t mean making sacrifices or missing out on other important events throughout your day. All it takes is a little planning and consciousness of your eating habits and preferences! What are some of your favorite foods to eat for lunch?!