Most of us are away from home at lunchtime, so what we pack for lunch is key to our health. A lack of preparation often leads to making less-than-ideal food choices, and worse still, regretting them later – both physically and emotionally.
Lunchtime offers us the opportunity to take-five away from our busy day, perhaps breathe some fresh air and revive. This is how I would encourage you to start viewing it and being excited about taking that time for you and your wellbeing.
Instead of experiencing an afternoon slump and dreading the hours ahead of you, imagine sailing through the rest of your day with ease, energy and focus? Surprise, surprise – this is where the food decisions that we make can best support us.
Adding more nutrition to your lunchbox can be this simple:
• If you love leftovers, get in the habit of cooking double at night
• Think about add-ons that travel well and satisfy, like hard-boiled eggs, uncut cherry tomatoes, whole fruit and coconut water
• Throw together bits and pieces from your fridge and pantry – they don’t need to be a ‘meal,’ they just need to be simple, delicious + nutritious
• Pack a salad jar
Salads are a wonderful way to enjoy fresh, nutritious ingredients, and salads in a jar are the perfect way to transport salads to work, without the soggy mess! The secret is in the layering – the dressing first, followed by heavy ingredients, then the lighter, leafier ones on top.
There’s a great recipe for you to try below, though you can use this same layering formula for other combos. You can also try mixing this up for flavour variety and more satisfaction with quinoa, soba noodles, cooked chicken, fetta cheese or fresh chilli – absolutely yum!
By spending just a little time getting real about what’s going on in your life and preparing yourself – you can be enjoying delicious lunches and feeling fabulous for it. This is how to thrive!
This recipe is suited for vegetarian and gluten free diets.
½ medium carrot, spiralised
½ cup red cabbage, finely shredded
½ small red onion, sliced thinky
½ cup brown lentils (I used canned)
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs
¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 hard-boiled eggs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Wash, peel and prepare vegetables. Pick leaves off herbs.
Pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add carrot, followed by cabbage, lentils and sprouts. Top with onion, radish, herbs and egg.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Seal the jar.
When you’re ready to eat, simply tip the jar into a bowl to mix the dressing through the salad.