Switch Up Your Lunch
June is Employee Wellbeing Month. One way that you can ensure you are keeping your wellbeing in mind is to feed your body wholesome foods at consistent intervals. The idea here is to avoid getting over hungry aka ‘hangry’, or conversely, crashing from too heavy of a meal midday. Your lunch choice has the ability to impact and improve your afternoon energy, focus and mood! Considering we have more control over what we eat when we prepare it ourselves (as well as saving yourself time and money), bringing your lunch to work is a great potential goal to improve your health, work-day time management and finances.
As a Registered Dietitian and Health Advisor, one question I often get from participants is “what is a quick, healthy lunch option?”. Remember the old PB&J standby from your school brown bag days? With a few tweaks, this quick, balanced, affordable staple can be a regular in your rotation. This visual from is a great demo of how you can modify the sandwich and meal to increase your nutrition and satiety. First, choose a whole grain bread. Look for a slice with 3 grams or more of fiber per 100 calories. Fiber helps the feeling of fullness and offers a plethora of health benefits including lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose.
Next, switch out your typical jelly which has added sugars and instead, slice a banana for another dose of fiber/sweetness without the added sugar. You’ll also get the blood pressure lowering potassium. Stick to a serving or less of your favorite nut butter such as peanut, almond or cashew butter, whose heart-healthy fats and lean proteins help your body stay full, focused and absorb the vitamins from your meal.
Finally, pair with a cup of crunchy vegetables in lieu of potato chips. You can play around with variety here so you don’t get bored. Consider cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, cauliflower or broccoli or sliced bell peppers. Oh, and don’t forget your water bottle.
Here’s to enjoying your lunch hour!