Having a balanced diet plays an important role in one’s health and wellbeing. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can reduce the risk of some mental health conditions such as depression. In addition, healthy mealtime helps your brain get the nutrients it needs to function and keep you well all day, especially at work where you are required to focus on challenging tasks and responsibilities.
On the contrary, unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic. In the U.S., for instance, about one-third of adults (33.8 per cent) are obese and approximately 17 percent (12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese due to eating an unhealthy diet like junk foods, CDC reported. Besides obesity, unhealthy food also accounts for high-blood pressure, high cholesterols, heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and so on.
That being said, the links between good nutrition and a healthy diet are too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat well, you will be on your way to get the nutrients your body needs and live a healthy life. Making small changes in your diet requires a commitment, but it is easier to go to that way rather than bearing the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.
“How you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future lies in your food choices.”
So, how do you suppose to eat at work? If your workplace does not offer healthy options, the best thing is to prepare your own foods. Bringing your own lunch is way cheaper and healthier than buying a ready meal. It will also save your energy and time of walking too far when your company does not have a healthy cafeteria nearby.
Get the right meal in your lunch sack
To prevent hunger pangs between meals and overindulging at mealtimes, spread your food intake over five to six smaller meals and snacks, rather than eating three large meals a day. Thus, when packing your lunch, make sure you throw a few snacks into your lunch box such as mozzarella cheese sticks, hummus, sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and fruit or yoghurts.
For the main course, you can prepare foods that contain the following points:
- Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, or brown rice.
- Protein such as salmon, chicken, tuna, nuts, tofu, beans, turkey, lean beef, or eggs.
- Low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, reduced-fat cheeses, yoghurt, or soy milk.
- Assorted fruits such as oranges, apples, avocados, mangos, blueberries, raisins, or bananas.
Prepare your meal while you make dinner
Preparing your lunch foods while making your dinner will save your time so you won’t be in a rush in the morning. It is easy as all you should do is make an extra serving of your dinner and set it aside for the next day. However, if you don’t want to eat the same meals for two days in a row and want different things, you can prepare different things or do something new with the food you have.
As an example, your dinner is roasted chicken with some potatoes and mustard greens. For lunch, you can slice the same roasted chicken and prepare it with a whole-wheat pita with some onion and apple slices. Or, you can toss it in with some whole-wheat pasta and broccoli. Simple, cheap, and healthy!
Organise a weekly “lunch club” with your co-workers
To make it more fun, you can form a lunch club where everyone can bring their own meal. It can be once a week or two weeks, depending on your team preference. Then, each member can have a taste of different meal from someone’s lunch box. Or, each member should bring a different meal for each meeting. Always highlight healthy options on each member’s favourite takeout menus.
For example, Anna brings the main dish. Dash brings the appetizer, Charlie brings snacks or desserts. The schedule will be rolled and each person will bring foods that are enough for the whole member.
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