…PLUS…COMPETITION TIME….KEEP READING…!
Days at work can sometimes get so busy that many of us forget to stop for lunch or just eat at our desks. This results in being overly hungry at night or to a 3pm blood sugar slump which leads us to choose sugary snacks to get our energy back up. Taking a lunch break is not just important for our diets, but is also a critical part of stress management at work. Taking a break away from your desk, even if it’s just for 15 minutes can help reduce daily strain and will actually make you more productive and focused for the afternoon. The ideal work day lunch provides lean protein, a high fiber carbohydrate, and a healthy fat. It is best to bring your lunch to work if you can, so you can control exactly what you are eating and are less likely to be tempted by high fat, high calorie restaurant choices. Here are some lunch ideas to keep you productive and healthy during a busy day at work:
1. Salmon salad. Canned salmon is an easy, nutritious source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Mix together 1 small can of salmon (approximately 100 grams), 3 cups of greens such as lettuce, baby spinach, kale etc (your choice), ½ cup beetroot, a whole grapefruit or orange in sections, and ¼ cup of nuts (your choice). Add a small can of four bean mix or chickpeas for some low GI carbohydrates. Drizzle with olive oil, white wine vinegar, and chili powder for dressing.
2. Leftovers. Leftovers from the night before always make a great lunch the next day. If you are cooking chicken or fish, make a little extra for lunch. Rice and beans or a bean soup keeps for about 5 days in the fridge and makes a filling-high fiber lunch. Make a large batch on a Sunday and eat it all week.
3. Wholemeal pita sandwiches. Pita bread is a great pocket for just about any lean meat, vegetable, or healthy fat. Pita can get soggy easily, so pack the bread separately from the fillers and make your sandwich when you are ready to eat. Some suggested toppings: hummus with roasted red peppers and cucumber slices, the salmon salad above, or turkey with tomato slices, lettuce, and olives.
4. Frozen or pre-packaged meals. Although it may be tempting to just throw a pre-packaged or frozen meal into your lunch bag, be careful with what you choose. These choices can be high in sodium and low in nutrition. Look for choices that have less than 500mg sodium per serving. Choose those that include whole grains and vegetables. Avoid frozen pizzas, pastas, or fried choices. If you do find a healthy option that is low in calories and sodium add a side salad, fruit, or low fat yoghurt to balance out your meal.
5. Quirky quinoa salad. Quinoa is a great whole grain that provides a significant amount of protein and fiber. Our recipe has chickpeas for additional protein and a ton of vegetables. It can be made ahead of time and tastes even better the next day. Get creative with quinoa, toss in leftover chicken and vegetables along with your favorite dressing. The combinations are endless!
Lunch can give you more energy, help you save money, and make you a more productive worker. Remember lunch doesn’t have to be a traditional sandwich, it can be whatever makes you feel healthy and well-nourished to make your work day more productive. Feel free to start with these ideas and create your own energy boosting lunch.
We love food…and we also love quinoa! To celebrate our love for both of these things, New Life Nutrition has teamed up with a new wholefoods business in Brisbane to bring you a great giveaway.
Andes Mills is a Brisbane based family owned business who source and sell natural products and superfoods traditionally used in South America for their health benefits. Their products currently include maca and amaranth however they have announced that they will be launching their quinoa product at Brisbane’s Good Food and Wine Show in November! The most awesome thing about this product is that the Andes Mills family actually grown their own quinoa on their farm in South America and import it for sale. I love that not only do they know where it came from, they have actually grown it themselves!
To celebrate the launch of their quinoa, Andes Mills and New Life Nutrition are giving you the opportunity to win a double pass to the Good Food and Wine Show in Brisbane (8-10 November). The winner will receive both a double pass as well as a 500g bag of quinoa (so you can whip up our Quinoa Salad for your lunches!). Two runners up will each receive a 500g bag of quinoa.
To win, tell us what your favourite family food memory is. Please comment either below or on our Andes Mills competition facebook post .
Competition closes Wednesday 30th October at 10pm (Brisbane time)