There are at least four main categories that you should be checking off when packing your lunch for the next day or for the next week. Vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole-grains are what you need to consider so that you are getting a balanced meal during the busiest part of your day. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future” (Source). By getting in the habit of hitting those four categories when packing your lunch, you are bound to continue those habits when making breakfast and dinner.
Add some color to your salad! Use colorful vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, cabbage or avocados to make your salad look good and taste amazing.
To save time, cut up your vegetables the day before you want to bring the with you. Instead of rushing in the morning, having precut vegetables will save you time and they make the perfect snack when the 2:00pm drag hits.
To add change to your lunch, trying to add a new type of fruit each day of the week. Bananas, grapes, cherries, grapefruit, and watermelon are just a few of the countless fruit you can try.
Make sure you are always rinsing off your fruit before bringing them to work with you. Not only is rinsing them important, but drying them is just as important because you don’t want anything to grow on them before you eat them.
If you find yourself looking for a snack in the middle of the day, one of the best snacks to pack is a combination of nuts and seeds. Because they are packed with calories, a small serving size will be the perfect amount to subside your hunger.
A classic lunch meal is the sandwich but to ensure you are getting your protein for the day, make sure you are choosing turkey, roast beef, canned tuna, salmon or peanut butter. Traditional deli meats are very high in fat and sodium, so try to steer clear from those.
Just because a product may be brown, doesn’t mean that it is whole grain. When reading the ingredient list, look for the words whole-grain, whole oats, whole-wheat flour, whole-grain corn, whole-grain brown rice or whole rye. These are guaranteed to be whole grains.
Reading the nutrition label and looking for fiber is just as important as looking for whole grains. 3 or more grams of fiber per serving is an excellent source of fiber that you should be getting daily.
When packing your lunches for the week, try to hit these four steps to ensure that you are eating a balanced diet when you are at work. It might be tempting to go out for lunch or skip it, but packing a lunch each day will help get you on the right track to living a healthy, happy, vibrant life.
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