Working Out Lunches
Unfortunately for many people, lunch is often a last minute decision made during a quick dash to the local takeaway on your lunch break, or at the shopping centre while you are running errands. There is very little thought or preparation involved, and this leads to unhealthy choices that are more than likely high in fat and sugar and low in fibre and other vital nutrients. Lunch is a very important meal of the day. We do most of our thinking and activity during the day, so we need a good fuelling meal to keep us alert and on the go. A lunch laden with fat and sugar will not only leave you feeling sluggish and tired in the afternoon, it will add considerable to you overall daily kilojoule intake, which will end up adding to your waistline.
Lunch is a great opportunity to get in some foods from the 5 major food groups. It should consist of a wholegrain carbohydrate, a lean protein source, vegetable sources and even a low fat dairy source if you can fit it in! Putting in a little effort the night before, with the help of the ideas below, is your best bet at having a nutritious lunch. For those of you who know you are not the preparing type, read on to find out how to get the healthiest takeaway lunch on the go.
Here are some examples of lean, fuelling lunches that can be easily prepared the night before and taken to work, university or on the road.
Wholegrain sandwich with lean ham, low fat cheese & salad. Keep the fillings separate and add them right before you eat.
Dinner leftovers - rice and pasta dishes with lean meat and vegetables are great to re-heat. Save a small portion from dinner .
Dice up a tomato and mix with a can of low fat flavoured tuna. Serve on wholegrain corn or rice crackers
Healthy fried rice can be made ahead for a couple of days lunches - see recipe over page
Low fat high proten dips (homemade or store bought) with vegetable sticks and low fat crackers (try Snakata’s or Sakatas)
Microwave soups with a wholemeal roll. Have a stash of soups ready to go at work. Choose soups that contain vegetables and legumes, not those with cream
Make a salad more filling with four bean mix and boiled eggs for carbohydrate and protein
For those of you who insist on buying lunch whilst at work, university or on the road, try these healthy hints.
Search the supermarket instead of the local takeaway for healthy lunch options, such as sushi rolls, tuna and cracker packs, canned beans and pre-made salads
Don’t be tempted by shopping centre food courts. Know what is available and go directly to the salad bar, sushi store or sandwich maker. Don’t look’at the oily curries, pizzas and creamy pastas.
Wok it up! Look for a local Thai or Asian takeaway (such as Hans Café) that have stir fried meat and vegetable lunch specials. Choose lean meats, such as chicken, seafood and lean beef that are combined with vegetables. Ask for a small portion of rice. Avoid curries with coconut milk and dishes with cream based sauces. Beef basil and garlic seafood are great choices.
Don’t grab a snack for later! Just because you are in a supermarket, does not mean you need to grab a chocolate bar for the 3pm munchies. To avoid this, bring fruit or dry biscuits from home and have a fruit bowl at work, or buy a piece of fruit or some canned fruit instead.
Avoid sugary drinks. Many lunch specials come with soft drinks or other sugar laden choices. Say no to the bonus drink, or choose water instead.
Walk! If you have time to go and get your lunch, then why not make the most of it and walk. If your short on time, walk there and back and eat lunch at your desk.
Added to site on : Tuesday, 21 June 2011