Legendary American novelist Ernest Hemingway made "for whom the bell tolls" famous when he used the quote as the title of a book that is set during the Spanish Civil War. This much contemplated phrase in the context of eating well, conjures up the ringing of the school lunch bell; a loud sound inspiring glee and class dismissal. Presently, when the clocks strikes midday, there is a universal understanding that it’s about time, give or take an hour, to stop working in order to have a meal. Whether most immediately heed the call is another story.
The distinct sound of the proverbial lunch bell in has become harder to hear as deadlines and obligations peak. With action-packed schedules, it has become easy to delay mealtime or even worse, to allow tasks to eat up our time instead of sitting down at the lunch table to nourish and recharge mind and body. Unfortunately, to keep productivity high, some people favor putting their midday meal on hold. Only bathroom breaks remain a high priority. Sadly, getting stuff done has become more important than supporting the body that generates the power to make things happen.
Being too busy for a well conceived meal is highly overrated. Eating a proper lunch can be the key to supporting a productivity-filled afternoon fueled by energy that will not wane.
“Adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average.”
– World Health Organization (WHO).
A secret weapon to ensuring the body is fueled on high octane instead of running on breakfast fumes is to ‘brown bag’ it – take a packed meal from home. Utilize your lunch break to be healthy and to recharge.
Toting your lunch gives you more control over food choices, and it doesn’t take much time or creativity to plan ahead. Your homemade lunch will likely be cheaper and provide more bang for your nutrient buck than what you might purchase.
Don’t forget about leftovers. Re-purposing those delicious bits and pieces from dinner last night can provide real comfort food in the middle of a time-strapped day. If you are the designated cook at home, think about how you might incorporate leftovers into tomorrow's lunch. As you prepare to store leftover food at night, consider packing it into travel containers before it reaches the fridge.
HAVE HEALTHY LUNCH WILL TRAVEL
Save the planet and some money toting lunch in you backpack with these re-useable lunching compartments:
Others will be green with envy when you pull out eco-chic, reusable sandwich bags called LunchSkins. www.3greenmoms.com
Why it matters to avoid plastic bags and containers and instead replace them with smart, sustainable solutions.
Every day, 20 million plastic sandwich bags (almost 7.5 billion per year) and countless other single-use plastic items (containing chemicals that can be absorbed by our bodies) are dumped into oceans and landfills.
2. Try eating out of a compartmentalized Bento lunchbox. 5 separate re-useable
Utube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0PVp7tJw3I
TRY THIS AT HOME
Wraps are an easy and quick healthy out-the-door meal.
PEANUT BUTTER & GRAPE WRAP (a healthy twist on PB&J)
2 tbspn peanut butter (almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
1 large whole grain tortilla wrap (try 'Sprouted' wraps for a big nutritional advantage.)
8 grapes, red or green, finely chopped
A squeeze or lemon or orange juice
1 small, ripe banana (Be sure to have a well ripened banana available at the beginning of the week to ripen.)
Directions: Spread the nut or seed butter onto the bottom half of the tortilla in the shape of a large rectangle. Press the grapes evenly into the peanut butter. Squeeze a little citrus juice over the banana Nestle the banana into the butter at the bottom of tortilla (you might need to take a bite of the banana so it fits.)
Tightly rolls up the wrap, folding in the left and right sides like a burrito.
Wrap the toll in wax paper or foil. Slip into your lunch box or knapsack.
Recipe and photo reprinted from The Family Cooks by Laurie David. Copyright ©2014
OTHER HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE WRAPS: (1) Vegan and stevia-sweetened chocolate chips from www.Lilyssweets.com replace the grapes in recipe, and unsweetened coconut flakesand walnuts are added. Raw Walnut or Pecan butters from www.artisanafoods.com are optional nut butter substitutes. (2). Hummus with sliced cucumbers and sprouts. Try The OTHER bean hummus www.eatwellembracelife.com (3.) Mashed Sweet Potato and Spinach (both get cooked and cooled before assembling into a wrap.)
Lunch Tip: Eat lunch within 4 hours of breakfast, particularly if you don’t snack in between.
Food choices are a major influence on productivity level during the day. Give in to the idea that at lunch and every meal, we get to choose how we are going feel and perform based on the vital food choices set before us. A healthy lunch in the middle of an insane day could make you unstoppable. Ring that bell!