Stuff a whole-wheat pita pocket with tuna, sprouts, lettuce and sliced tomato. Fish is a rich source of protein. Mix your tuna with light or regular mayonnaise.
A little bit of fat is fine, as it tells the brain that you have eaten and makes you feel satisfied. Add carrot and celery sticks, along with a 1/4 cup of hummus (chick pea dip) for extra minerals, fibre and protein. Toss in an apple for some antioxidants and a low sugar cookie like Arrowroot™ biscuits to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top up your lunch bag with a small container of yogurt to supply calcium, which is good for the bones, teeth, nerve function and for overall health and well-being.
Top a whole grain bagel with roasted turkey breast, which you can buy in slices from the deli counter. Add veggies, such as lettuce, tomato and cucumber, along with Dijon mustard and a slice of Swiss cheese. Pack a baggie of raw zucchini sticks and a small tub of low fat yogurt, mixed with dill for a dip. You can also include a small bag of pretzels. For dessert, pack five dried apricots and a wholesome date square, or a few Fig Newtons™ for an iron boost. For a drink, try a bottle of sparkling fruit juice to quench your thirst.
Use a whole wheat or corn tortilla and wrap up leftovers from the night before. For example, if you had a chicken stirfry with rice and veggies, it can work well for a nutritious wrap. Heat your wrap up at work if you wish, and top it with some salsa. Pack a green salad with vinaigrette dressing and a quarter of a cantaloupe for some vitamin A. Add a few gingersnaps, for a treat, and a container of milk, soymilk or calcium-fortified orange juice.
Plan ahead and make a three-bean salad with kidney beans, white beans and chickpeas. Add chopped tomato, green onion and minced cilantro or parsley.
Mix in an Italian dressing. In addition, pack a whole grain roll, a small tub of yogurt, and a whole peach for vitamin A. For dessert toss in a package of Sesame Snaps™ or make your own healthy trail mix containing raisins, nuts and seeds. For your drink, have a container of milk or soymilk.
Some packaged foods are fine. For example, Lean Cuisine™ frozen entrees, with chicken and wild rice, are a healthier choice than the pasta varieties. Michelina’s™ frozen black bean chili is a healthy meal, as it is loaded with plant proteins and fibre. Instant soups can be high in salt and preservatives, low in fibre and often provide little nutritional value. Primo™ brand soups and minestrones tend to have fewer of these less desirable qualities. Make sure to pack raw veggies, a salad, or fresh fruit to add nutrients and fibre.
Last, try emptying out your fridge.
Pack whatever looks great. Take sliced cheese or meats, whole grain rye crackers, pickles, grapes and a juice box, to create a picnic-style lunch.
At lunchtime, you grab a quick bite at your desk, or have something greasy at the cafeteria or nearby restaurant, or perhaps miss lunch altogether. By three or four o’clock your blood sugar is low, your head is pounding and you want nothing more than a nap. Napping is out of the question, so instead you head for the coffeepot, search the premises for a cookie or run to the nearest store and buy a chocolate bar. By the time you get home from work you are too tired to cook or even think of getting some exercise.
If this sounds all too familiar, you are missing a daily opportunity to fuel your body properly and boost your energy levels. Planning and preparing a healthy lunch loaded with nutrients helps ensure physical and mental energy all day long. Less than 30 per cent of people bring their mid-day meal from home.
To ensure that you are getting the 60 nutrients your body needs each day, you need to put together a 'power lunch'. When you put together a lunch you must remember to pack enough food to ensure proper fuel for your body. A sandwich is not enough. Your lunch should be as large as your supper meal. Your body uses up the fuel from breakfast in the morning and it needs more high octane fuel for the afternoon.
When you pack your lunch, be careful not to rely on refined grains like frozen pasta meals, white rice or white noodle soups. They are quick and easy, but they don’t provide the nutrients you need to fuel the brain or body. The body quickly metabolizes these refined foods. They provide short-term fuel and lack nutrients.
To prevent the blood sugar roller coaster, pack a lunch with a mix of whole grain carbohydrates, protein, dairy products, and fruits and veggies, to supply your body with constant and evenly burning fuel. Choose whole grains such as leftover brown rice, rye breads, 12-grain breads, and whole-wheat pitas and tortillas. They are rich in the stress-fighting B vitamins, vitamin E, fibre and plant protein.
By packing a healthy lunch, you can get more nutrients on a regular basis and avoid fat, salt, chemicals, preservatives and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Five, easy to prepare power lunch menus that supply fuel for the whole afternoon are shown here to get you started.
Remember to eat throughout the day to ensure that you maintain proper energy levels. Plan to snack around 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Try not to reach for a doughnut or chocolate chip muffin, as these will only make you sleepy. Instead try having a piece of cheese on an apple slice, some nuts, a cup of popcorn, or a V8™ juice. Remember to drink eight glasses of water each day, and for every cup of coffee you drink, drink an extra cup of water. Caffeinated beverages are a diuretic (increase the flow of urine). If you get a headache or have no energy by mid-afternoon, it might be because of poor fluid intake. So, keep a glass or bottle of water on your desk to drink throughout the day.