Celebrate Nutrition Month with These Healthy Lunch Ideas
Nutrition month is here and there’s no better time to talk about healthy eating. Food is fuel, and the healthier the food, the more energized and well-balanced we feel. Unfortunately, convenience, rather than nutritional value, has become the first priority when trying to squeeze in a quick bite throughout the day.
Here are 3 fun and helpful tips to make your lunches delicious, quick, and above all, healthy!
Salad in a Jar
The problem with transporting healthy meals like salad and grain bowls is the potential for mess. Just the very thought of olive oil seeping through a lid and dirtying your clothes or spilling onto important documents is enough to keep people away. That’s where mason jars come in.
Using mason jars a genius way to pack your salads and other multi-ingredient lunches. Instead of wide lids, these jars are tall and narrow, which means that there is less room for disaster. Packing your salads in a jar is a smart, space-saving way to bring something nutritious to work. The trick of mason jar salads is to put your heavy items, such as your dressing, on the bottom. That way, all the liquid is safely trapped underneath many layers of ingredients. Another reason to leave your dressing on the bottom of the jar is to prevent your leafy greens from getting soggy. When you’re ready to eat, simply tip the jar over and shake. Of course, make sure the lid is tightly sealed first!
Salads are so versatile and are jam packed with healthy ingredients that help with your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. And if you remember from 5 Fun Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart, a diet consisting of raw vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats help boost your immune system and prevent heart disease.
Still not convinced? For more healthy reasons to start eating salad, check out this article from WebMD.
Smoothies are a must-have for people who are constantly on the go. Students or people with demanding jobs can choose smoothies instead of resorting to junk or fast food to satisfy their hunger. When it comes to speed, efficiency and nutritional value, smoothies are some of the healthiest and fastest lunches you can prepare before walking out the door. The idea of “drinking” our lunch might not be as psychologically satisfying as we want, so to trick your mind into total satisfaction, pop half an avocado into your smoothie to make it nice and thick, and grab a spoon!
There has been a lot of debate over the years concerning the real health benefits to drinking smoothies. Some experts like to point out that even though fruit is healthy, it contains a lot of sugar, even more so when you pack in 3 or 4 medium size fruits into one drink. The pulp in fruit gives us fibre, but since the pulp tends to get blended and chopped up, the fibre levels tend to drop. We can’t deny that logic, but there are ways to reduce the amount of sugar and add pulp in your smoothies so that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages:
- Blend your fruit with leafy greens. Spinach and kale are great options since they are easy to blend and aren’t overwhelming in flavour. Plus, their sugar content is negligible, and they can actually help reduce blood sugar levels in the body.
- Add fibre, protein, and a ton of antioxidants with a few tablespoons of chia seeds. This superfood is incredibly healthy and will help keep you full for hours. It tends to add a bit of a nutty flavour to your smoothie, so don’t add too much if you want to keep a neutral taste.
- For an extra protein kick, add a dollop of natural Greek yogurt, kefir or even cottage cheese to the mix. This will also help thicken the smoothie and make it even more satisfying.
That’s a Wrap
If you’re a stickler for the lunchtime sandwich or cheeseburger, satisfy your urge for bready carbohydrates by replacing your thick slices of bread for a whole wheat fajita. That way, you’ll feel full from what’s inside the sandwich rather than the thick slices of bread. This is your chance to garnish your healthy meat, or substitute with fresh vegetables. And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, try wrapping your sandwich in crunchy fresh lettuce, like thick Iceberg.
Dietetics is the science of how food, diet, and nutrition can affect an individual’s health. Dietitians can work in a local community setting focusing on individual health concerns, or in a wider setting focusing on public health policy, food label guidelines, etc. To see if a Dietitian is right for you and your family, Contact Us today!