What Should Lunch Do for You?
We have three meals a day, and two planned snacks. Breakfast and the morning snack are done and lunch is here.
Lunch is a special meal for Americans. Most of us feel that lunch is an interruption of our day. Lunch is not an interruption of our day it is an important time to rest, recharge and re-fuel our body. Lunch should be about getting ready for the afternoon’s tasks.
We need a good lunch filled with good food to power us through the afternoon. We need some protein (meat, fish, eggs, etc.), we need some carbohydrates (rice, potato, bread, dairy, etc.), we need some vegetables and we need some fruit. A good lunch should be about ¼ of our daily caloric intake. Why so little? Because we have had a breakfast with 1/3 of our calories, a morning snack of 50 – 100 calories and we will be having an afternoon snack and an evening meal. Lunch is a meal to get us through the afternoon not to tank-up for the day.
The problem with lunch is most of us want it to be convenient; we feel time pressure and effort pressure to return to our tasks. Recently one of my students remarked that “Life is too fast for lunch.” As a result many of us use either fast food or convenient foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. (Come on, is that McD’s hamburger and fries really what you need?)
As usually, a little planning the week before and a little effort in the morning will go a long way. Write down a menu for the week. Do your food shopping. In the morning prepare a good meal for lunch. It can be a brown bag or a small crock pot. Even my work place has a fridge!