29 Aug How to Pack a Healthy Lunch
Let’s face it…coffee and granola bars aren’t enough to get us through a workday. You’ll be tired, lose concentration, and your performance will suffer as a result of not eating a balanced meal.
Lunch is an opportunity to relax your brain and refresh your body with the nutrients it needs to be energized for the rest of the day. A balanced lunch should include all these components:
- Protein. Protein aids in body repair and keeps you full for longer, so it’s important to include it in every meal. Lean protein sources include fish, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, beans, tofu, low-fat cheese, and Greek yogurt.
- Complex Carbs. Consider carbs to be the fuel for your car’s engine. Carbohydrates are our bodies’ main source of energy, and it’s important to choose complex carbs such as peas, beans, whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta), and vegetables.
- Healthy Fats. Fats help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, which you especially need if you work in an office all day. Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, nut/seed butter, hummus, olives, avocados, olive oil, vegetable oil, and fatty fish.
- Fruits and/or Vegetables. Did you ever hear someone say to “Eat the rainbow?” Well, they were right, you should aim to do just that! Each color provides various health benefits and no one color is better than another, which is why a balance of all colors is important.
- Water. BYOW to make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day. Drinking enough water can make a positive impact on your energy and concentration levels which is essential during the workday. Add a little lemon, cucumber or mint for flavor!
Here are some delicious & easy lunch suggestions:
- Eggs with low-fat cheese and spinach with whole wheat toast
- Oatmeal with almond butter and blueberries
- Chickpea salad with avocado and quinoa
- Chicken wrap with veggies and hummus
- Greek yogurt with berries and granola
- Salmon with asparagus and brown rice
Make your lunches ahead of time during the beginning of the week if possible and remember, eating balanced doesn’t have to be complex! Find meals that work for you and your family!
|Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultan