Do you struggle with what to eat at midday? With so many options to choose from and so little time to decide, it can be hard to make healthy choices. Here are a few tidbits and tips to keep in mind.
We all know processed food should be eaten minimally but we also know that it’s all around us and it’s easy and convenient. But did you know that one of the reasons why we want to eat less is that processed foods are virtually void of nutrients so in order for you to digest them, your body must pull nutrients from its reserves to do so? So it’s not just that the products are mainly unhealthy, empty calories, they actually rob your body of nutrients it already had!
Do you get home after work or school and fall back on frozen food instead of cooking? Well, you can choose to make yourself dinner and make leftovers to bring with you for lunch the next day. It’s a two for one! So why not consider a cooking challenge as part of taking back your lunch? If you have family, roommates or kids who share your kitchen, plan a night where you’ll all work together to assemble a group meal (from real food ingredients of course). Make sure to plan for leftovers! If you’ve got your kitchen to yourself, turn on some music, maybe pour a glass of organic red wine (for the antioxidants!) and enjoy cooking yourself a nourishing meal.
On a day when leftovers are not in your bag, make sure your lunch includes some vegetables! Not a pickle on the side of your burger or salsa on your burrito but actual vegetables like seasonal asparagus instead of fries, a vegetable bowl instead of pasta. If your food is provided at work or at school, go for the salad and vegetables first so that they fill half of your plate. Avoid the donuts!
As you make your conscious choices to eat real and minimally processed foods, think about eating a rainbow. Each color of fruits and vegetables carry different nutrients. For example, the orange pigment of carrots provides beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A and supports healthy eyes. The red in tomatoes and the blue of blueberries provide antioxidants to help slow the aging process. So fill your plate with a variety of colors to ensure your body gets a variety of nutrients!
Now that you’re all geared up, why not find a buddy to complete this challenge with for some moral support? You can take full advantage of your food photography skills to document your real food lunches. Share with family, friends and coworkers and encourage them to do the same. The more the healthier!