|Posted on March 12, 2012 at 12:05 AM|
For those working a long day, lunch may be the meal that suffers. It may be a problem of improper nutrition, or perhaps even it is the meal that gets skipped regularly. It’s hard to imagine anyone not wanting to enjoy a delicious lunchtime meal. Which leads me to believe it’s not a lack of desire that negatively effects lunch.
Whether you work 20 or 80 hours a week, there is no doubt work takes up a significant amount of your time. Surely you have more pressing things to do than think about what you’re going to eat for lunch tomorrow. All things considered, having lunch on the job can be difficult to maneuver, but with a little foresight and a few minutes of preparation, encouraging changes can be made.
1. A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
A few minutes of meal preparation the night before, or the morning prior to work, can be the difference between keeping to a healthy diet, and resorting to a desperation double cheeseburger on a whim. Enjoying a homemade lunch at the office simply requires making your favorite healthy food ahead of time. Simple acts like mixing a quinoa salad, or packing a whole-grain sandwich are much healthier than any fast-food option. What’s more, pairing a complex carbohydrate and lean protein with a healthy and savory dressing can really boost energy levels and self-efficacy for a long workday.
2. Pack a Snack
Bringing a snack along with your lunch to work is a helpful practice as well. A small portion of food on your daily trek can provide a boost when in need. Something small, yet nutritious, like almonds, or local produce, are perfect bites during a long client meeting, trip out of the office, or bumper-to-bumper traffic.
3. Preserve Your Food
With your food already prepared, it will likely go uneaten for several hours. This is a potential problem – wilted salads and soggy sandwiches are far from enjoyable. Personally, I like to use an ice pack and soft cooler, or the office refrigerator to preserve my food. If you need to heat your food, make sure to utilize the office kitchen if there is one; if not, I advise preparing food that is best enjoyed cold, like a pasta salad.
4. Find a Healthy Grocery Store
In a pinch, instead of running to Burger King, use the same effort to search out a local grocery store with an organic salad bar, or healthy deli. Doing so can be a nutritious lunchtime stop. The amenities of a healthy grocery store usually offer salad varieties, or calorie conscious wraps – far more healthy than any menu item at a fast-food place. Healthy grocery stores also stock food for specialty diets for those who are vegan, lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive. Not to mention, such a trip to the grocery store gets you out of the office. Can’t be mad about that.
5. Find a Healthy Cafe
Healthy and reliable restaurants can be scarce, but like a healthy grocery store, most areas have at least one. With that said, there is a certain amount of trust that should be established with a restaurant (chain or local) before one can give it a healthy stamp.