The Mediterranean Diet: Lunch
Most people eat some form of lunch. However, the majority of adults buy their lunch in a cafeteria or fast food restaurant. It is usually a very good idea to try to prepare your lunch as often as you can. Making your lunch means that you can control your calories better. When you are not making your lunch, you can not control the amount or type of foods used or how the food is prepared. After all everyone knows these days that fast food restaurants serve heart attacks in styrofoam containers!
What is a healthy lunch? A healthy lunch can mean a wide range of food. The basic components are fruits and vegetables, starch (bread, pasta, rice, potato) and fat, preferably olive oil. Including fat in your lunch helps delay the time until you want to eat again and should help control the afternoon munchies. It is advised that you limit how often you have meat. Even turkey breast. It is meat consumption that has been related to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, not diet fat. Try to use more vegetables. There are countless readily available recipes for vegetable sandwiches that taste great, and if you prepare the vegetables when you are preparing your dinner the night before, there is little work involved.
How many calories should your lunch contain? The amount of calories in your lunch will depend on your total calories for the day. But your lunch should be at least 400 calories and preferably more. Remember, it is your total calories for the day that determine your weight. Eating more at lunch can help you eat less at night.
Why don't more people prepare their lunch and bring it with them to work? Here are some of the common excuses and how to deal with them.
Not enough time. It may take you longer to go out and purchase your lunch than the amount of time needed to make your lunch. You can make lunch for the next day when you are preparing dinner. Saute extra vegetables and put them in a pita pocket or between 2 slices of a hearty grain bread. You can also saute vegetables and freeze them in plastic containers for future lunches. And think of the money you could potentially save! It is easy to spend $5.00 a day on lunch or $25.00 a week which adds up to possibly $1500 for the year. Maybe you can put the money save aside and use it to buy something special. A lot better than munching down on greasy burgers and fries every day for lunch!
It is hard to pack a healthy lunch. Buy some good containers. Ones with lids that seal tightly. You can put salads or vegetables for a sandwich in them. Many salad recipes don't need to be refrigerated from the time you leave for work and lunch time. If you have never tried pasta, bean or potato salad at room temperature, you might be pleasantly surprised by the taste. Foods at room temperature have more taste than when they are at refrigerator temperature.
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