I have had SO many clients asking me about how to clean up their diets lately (It’s THAT time of year!), especially pertaining to lunchtime woes, so I HAD to blog about it! What’s your most challenging meal of the day? I’d bet at least 90% of us would either say breakfast (because “I just don’t have time for it”?!) or lunch (because “my coworkers always want to go out!” or “ I just want to get out of the office, so I don’t want to PACK a lunch”!). Okay, I GET it…completely!
Here is what I have to say about these woes:
Regarding BREAKFAST – this is THE most important meal of the day! I highly recommend that you DO NOT skip it! Wake up 15 minutes early if need be, or prep breakfasts at the beginning of the week. Whatever you need to do to get at least 200 CALORIES and 20 grams of PROTEIN each and every morning! DO IT!! Your body will thank you (and me?!) for it! It is so imperative that we kick start our metabolism in the morning and feed our brain for the day ahead. There is no better way than fueling it with a nutrient dense breakfast! Try these quick, easy suggestions:
Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausages (about 10g of protein per sausage, and they come in a variety of flavors!)
Pre-prepped coconut milk yogurt parfaits (stay tuned for recipes!)
EGGS! (about 6-7g of protein per egg, eat them boiled, scrambled, raw…and ALWAYS organic!)
Smoothies (make sure you’re adding both fruits and veggies, get creative and add ingredients like flax seeds, chia seeds, aloe juice and cucumbers!)
Regarding LUNCH – Focus on consuming protein and vegetables. Everything else is just added calories. Avoid consuming too much (if any) gluten or sugar at lunch, or really at ANY meal throughout the day! Both sugar and gluten cause inflammation at a cellular level in the body which is entirely non-ideal.
Plan ahead! If you’re going OUT to lunch, take a look at the restaurant’s online menu and make a healthy selection before you are rushed, starving and smelling the fabulous smells that are there to entice you to eat JUNK.
Scope out some healthy, affordable spots around your office. Make a list and prepare! Some of my favorite common lunch spots with healthy options include Panera (stick to the soups and salads, avoid sandwiches and bagels!), the local deli (again stick to proteins and vegetables), Jimmy Johns (the UNWHICH is ideal…avoid the bread! Especially their white bread), Whole Foods salad bar, or Chipotle (avoid the tortillas, sour cream, cheese and too much rice!). Again, wherever you go focus on clean PROTEIN sources and VEGETABLES.
If you’re truly on a budget, the BEST thing to do is pack a lunch. On the days that I pack a lunch but still want to get out of the office, I take a walk or drive to a local park, lake or random bench and relax there while I eat! Again, while packing lunches, focus on nutrient dense, non-processed foods that are full of protein and also load up on vegetables!
Call to set up a full nutrition evaluation and planning with yours truly if you’d like more ideas on how to tailor a meal plan that works with your style and life.