We’ve all done it.
We start the day with the best, healthiest intentions, but then life happens. Next thing we know it’s 5 o’clock, we are starving and popping the first thing we see into our mouths.
Here are some tips to help eat a healthy lunch even when the whole world is crashing in around you.
Have a Plan: Planning is the key to success in life and it is no different when it comes to eating healthy. Take a look at the upcoming week and see what you have planned – work, appointments, social commitments, etc. Next, choose a lunch for each day (and the rest of your meals while your at it). If you know a specific day will be hectic, pick something quick, easy and portable.
Shop Savvy: If you don’t own it you can’t eat it. This goes for both healthy and unhealthy foods. If we say we are going to have a turkey sandwich for lunch, but don’t own any bread or turkey. Guess what? We aren’t having a turkey sandwich for lunch. Write down every item needed to make the week happen, eat something and go grocery shopping. Don’t forget to read the nutrition labels while making your choices.
Be Prepared: It’s impossible to predict everything life has in store for us. Sick kids, flat tires, emergency meetings, etc. As I said before, life happens. After grocery shopping, take some time to meal prep or even cook dishes in advance. The more we have prepared, the easier it is to stick to our plan.
-Wash and chop fruits and vegetables.
-Make a large pot of sauce or soup
-Cook some brown rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa for future use
-Grill a couple chicken cutlets
-Throw a few bottles of water in the freezer to use as ice packs
Don’t Forget to Eat: Ever bring lunch to work, but forget to eat it? Set a reminder for yourself. We set alerts and alarms for all sorts of things. Why not set one to remind you to eat. It may sound ridiculous, but it works.
Skipping meals only leads to a slower metabolism and poor choices later. On the other hand, eating a high calorie, high fat lunch will leave you feeling tired and less productive. Set yourself up for success by eating healthy throughout the day.
Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN