I have always loved working from home for the flexibility to toggle between work and home tasks; I feel like I’m more efficient and a little more in control of my day.
Yet for all the great things about it, being able to eat better than the days I spend in an office, is actually not as easy as it seems. In fact when I work from home I often find myself chowing down on a muesli bar, or a wedge of feta and some nuts, and calling it a meal.
The problem with this is I have two little children in tow, and so lunch is often my most relaxed meal of the day (because I’m usually alone!). I also find the more nutritious my lunch, the better I feel for the rest of the day. (Read: I don’t spend it fossicking for chocolate)
Not rocket science, is it? But yet – still hard.
Susie Burrell, a solo nutritionist, and busy mum to twin boys, says while breakfast is an important meal of the day, lunch has equal value, if we want to ensure smooth energy levels and avoid binging on junk foods in the late afternoon.
“I have found find myself chowing down on a muesli bar, or a wedge of feta and some nuts, and calling it a meal. “
“Lunch holds the key to nutritional balance. Achieving the right lunch balance to support weight control and energy regulation is relatively easy once you know the mix to aim for,” Susie told Flying Solo.
“To get the amount of vegetable bulk we need to keep full for another 3-4 hours we need at least 2-3 cups of salad and/or vegetables at lunch. Next, a decent serve of protein such as canned salmon, lean chicken breast or beef or beans or tofu if you prefer a vegetarian eating plan. The amount of carbohydrates you will need will depend on your level of activity. If you sit down all day for work, just 1/2 to 3/4 cup sweet potato, beans or brown rice or a slice of bread or a few crackers will be adequate, more active workers may require 1-2 cups.”
And don’t forget the good fat! According to Susie, olive oil dressing, nuts or avocado will help to slow your digestion after lunch and keep you full.
Susie told Flying Solo that with a little forward planning, soloists who work from home actually have the opportunity to eat better, and more economically.
Here are Susie’s 6 tips for making this process easier.
Make once, eat often; never is there a better time to make something and keep in the fridge to enjoy all week. It’s also economical. These five recipes will cost you less than $5 each.
Make good supermarket choices; keep nuts, high-fibre crackers (Ryvitas and Rye Cruskits a good choice), canned tuna and fresh fruit and vegetables on high rotation.
Make a vegetable soup on the weekend; it’s easy to heat up a bowl and eat with a sandwich or crackers as above for a high nutritional boost.
Use up your eggs; scrambled eggs, an omelette or frittata are great lunch choices because they are high in protein and vegetables.
Eat early; before 1pm is optimum for keeping your energy levels and metabolism high throughout the rest of the afternoon.
Don’t eat at your desk! Even if you can only manage a 20 minute lunch break, use the time to get some sunlight and some much needed time away from a screen to mindfully enjoy eating your lunch.
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