Tempted to skip lunch and run errands instead? These healthy and delicious ideas will change your mind.
Have you seen those Snickers commercials that say “You’re not you when you’re hungry?” Well, it’s true. When you don’t eat, your blood sugar drops, leading to fatigue and that “sluggish” feeling. Your energy is drained, and your brain can’t function as well. Nutritionist Jacqueline Aizen puts it this way, “Your brain is like a baby, if you don’t feed it, if you don’t nourish it, it’s going to start crying.”
Now, don’t get too excited. We’re not saying you should start crying for candy bars whenever you feel hungry. We’re just saying that you should stop skipping lunch – whether it’s because you’re trying to lose weight, or you’re just “too busy.” We’re here to refute both of those excuses and to provide you with some quick, healthy lunch recipes so that you’re not tempted by fast food (or a Snickers).
Why is Taking a Lunch Break So Important?
While it may seem counterproductive to stop everything in the middle of the workday, taking a lunch is actually extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental health. Only 1 in 5 Americans step away from their desks for a lunch break – an unhealthy habit that eventually catches up with them. Working straight through lunch can cause stress, as well as physical and mental fatigue, eventually leading to a burnout.
It can be tempting to skip lunch when you’re trying to lose weight, but that can actually backfire as well. Eating an easy and healthy lunch will keep you from getting too hungry and overeating at dinner.
Aside from keeping your blood sugar happy, taking a mid-day break can give your mind a chance to recharge for a more productive afternoon. Even if you have to squeeze some errands into your break, be sure to eat a little something. The best on-the-go lunch ideas include protein, like Greek yogurt, or some nuts and a piece of fruit.
Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas:
- That’s a Wrap!
White flour tortilla wraps often contain just as many calories as white bread, and not much nutrition. Opt for whole grains, or really “go green” with a lettuce wrap. Keep some on hand and use leftover proteins from dinner (shredded chicken, beans, low-sodium deli turkey, etc.) for an easy and healthy lunch.
Try some of these combinations:
– leftover chicken tenders and couscous, sliced tomatoes, and cucumber
– white beans mashed with avocado, cheddar, onion, and coleslaw
– turkey, corn kernels, tomatoes, lettuce, and feta cheese
- Dip It!
These are some great on the go lunch ideas, perfect if you’re short on time or absolutely have to eat at your desk.
–Sunflower lentil spread with pita chips and veggies
–White Bean and Herb Hummus with raw veggies
–Avocado Whip with baby carrots and sprouted grain tortilla chips
- Pack a Doggie Bag:
Leftovers get a bad rap, but they are the perfect quick and healthy lunch idea. If you’re already cooking a nutritious dinner, why not make a little extra and pack it up for lunch the next day?
What are your go-to ideas for a fast and healthy lunch? Let us know in the comments, and for more ideas on healthy eating and living, get in touch with Wellworks For You. (And whatever you do – no candy bar lunches!)