“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” – Orson Welles
How many times have you planned to make yourself a nourishing, delicious home-made lunch for work only to forget and end up buying the same old sandwich from the local shop? Of course, there is nothing extremely bad about this, but it does have a few pitfalls. First of all, that sandwich can start to get boring, and doesn’t make for a very inspiring or joyful lunch hour. Second, you are missing an opportunity to have an energising and vibrant meal. There is also the fact that buying lunch out every day… well, it can get a bit pricey!
Getting on top of your lunch routine needn’t be a slog. In fact, getting on top of this not only nourishes your body, but it leaves you with a small sense of achievement and resilience! This is not necessarily a push to make your lunch healthier, although home-made food does tend to help, this is a push to make your workplace lunchtime something you look forward to!
1. Keep It Simple
In the past I have had grand plans for my work lunch. ‘I’m going to get up early’, I say, ‘and make a fantastic lunchtime feast before work’. And then, inevitably, I oversleep, or run out of time, or simply forget. The best way to ensure that you get your hand-crafted lunch is to keep it simple. Find some straightforward and delicious options that are easy to prepare, store, transport and eat. Also remember, simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Some of the best lunches I have had have been simple salads with a few treat ingredients.
2. Make It Comforting
Have you ever looked at what you bought in and not really fancied it? I have. Feeling this way about your lunch doesn’t hep you get through the morning, nor does it do anything for your resilience throughout the day. Whatever you make for your lunch, make sure it is something that excites you, comforts you or fills you with zing! Not only will this mean that you are thrilled to be in the middle of your day, but it will also compel you to make it in the first place!
3. Bulk Cooking and Leftovers
An easy way to provide a good lunch for yourself is by making double the night before. Pre-making leftovers is a great way to prepare your workplace food without extra cooking or preparation being required. Bulk cooking is also a great way to plan great lunches. Find some time at the weekend to make a big batch of something; a soup, a stew, a lasagne, a pie… whatever gets you going! Portion it up, stick it in the freezer, and there you go… a weeks’ worth of lunches.
A great way to eat at work I also snacking. It is true, some of us don’t have the luxury of a lunch break, or perhaps your schedule is mad, or you work on the move. Keep healthy and fun snacks with you; in your desk, in the car, in your bag. These are another thing you can prepare at home to save you spending loads of money on impromptu vending machine snacks. Make your own snack bars, fruit and nut mixes or smoothies to
5. Condiment Stash
A great way to pep up your meal at work is to have a little stash of your favourite sauces, relishes and spreads. If you are faced with a rushed offering from home because you run ou of time, at least you can add a dollop of your favourite condiment to bring it to life!
6. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
We all strive to do better. To be healthier, fitter, more organised… so many of us are all reaching to be a shinier version of ourselves. Because of this, when we slip, I can be easy to feel that we have failed. Making a healthy lunch is just one small act that can feel like a failure if you don’t manage it every day. Don’t beat yourself up about it! If you kick start this new habit and fall short of it at some point, don’t use this as an excuse to pack it all in. Get up, make your lunch again tomorrow. Keep on, keeping on, we can always try again tomorrow!
By Chris Thomson
Fancy some work snack ideas? These ones are great for giving you energy and resilience… Snacking At Work: How to Give Your Body and Mind Energy and Resilience
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