The Long Lost Lunch Hour

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I recently realized that I never hear anyone talking about taking his or her lunch hour anymore. What I most often hear is that they ate on the run on their way to a meeting, ate something at their desk, grabbed something from the vending machine, or simply skipped it all together!

I think it’s time we brought back the long lost lunch hour. Taking the time during the middle of your work day to eat a wholesome, healthy lunch has many health benefits, and you only need a little bit of planning to make it happen.

Some of the benefits to taking the time to taking a proper lunch hour include regulating your blood sugar, stabilizing your mood and energy for the rest of your work day, encouraging you to simply slow down to give your mind a break, better decision-making when it comes to what foods you’re eating, and digesting your food properly and completely. Another big benefit of eating a proper lunch is that you avoid overeating at dinner at the end of the day, which often leads to weight gain.

As I said, all it takes to get a healthy lunch is a little preparation, and it won’t come from the drive-through! Here are some of my favorite ideas:

•Leftovers! Before you even sit down to dinner the night before, pack yourself a little lunch from the dinner you’re about to eat. There are some great little containers that you can use to separate some of the sides and make them easily transportable (don’t forget those veggies!).

•Cook once, eat two, three or even four times. Very often on a Sunday, I will roast a large platter of veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc.) and I will simply put them into 4-5 individual containers and have them ready to go for the week!

•Don’t want exactly what you had last night? Okay, then how about a variation on a theme? Take the main course from your meal the night before, whether it was chicken or fish, grab a bag of prewashed organic mixed greens and toss them together with a little olive oil and lemon juice for a yummy salad for lunch.

•Have those lunch bags ready! The night before, or better yet, on Sunday, have five individual bags ready to go for the week. Toss in a piece of fruit, some of your roasted veggies or even cut-up carrots. The night before simply pop in your leftovers and you’ll be ready to go!

Do try to get away from your work environment to clear your head. Ideally, find a place to breathe some fresh air, take a walk in the park, or even meet a friend. You’ll be glad you did, and you will likely have more energy and be more productive in the afternoon.

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