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Making a Great Lunch to Take to Work
Lunch is a Very Important Meal
Even though we all should eat breakfast, lunch is an especially important meal. Lunch fuels your body and mind during the mid point of your work day, and it is from this meal that the day will drag on, or you can have enough reserves to make it through with ample energy to make it until dinner.
The ideal lunch should be light in build. A heavy meal takes a lot of energy for your body to process, so lunch should be easy on the body.
What to Pack in Your Lunch
A good lunch should be a reflection of what you should be consuming the rest of the day. At least half of your consumption should be fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits sitting in sugars and syrups are not a good choice. Needless calories are a way to thicken your waist.
Try and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables that are edible. (Not orange or banana peels, for example) They provide fiber, more vitamins and minerals than the meat of the fruit in some instances, and once you get used to them, the skin of fruit can be quite tasty.
A great salad that takes no time to prepare is canned black beans that have been rinsed, kernel corn, that has been drained if it is canned and a small jar of salsa that is heat rated for your taste buds. No need for chips, which are useless calories, but you will get a satisfying crunch. If you still want to feel like you are dipping food into salsa, substitute celery and carrots for chips. Also great is any other fresh firm vegetable or fruit. A favorite of mine is to mix bananas and mango into a dish and add the salsa. The sweet and tangy combination is really great. Even better is the fact that you are getting good fiber, good vitamin content and good flavor.
When making salad, don't use so much dressing. Pack a small container of dressing, and then dip your fork into the dressing before you put your salad on your fork. Great flavor, and many calories are saved. After you start using dressing in smaller amounts, you will find that less dressing actually tastes better. Hard to believe, but true.
Don't pack chips, store baked goods, or snack crackers. They offer no nutrition for the most part, and they are nothing but empty calories. If you must pack something to act as a carrier for food to your mouth, choose a utensil!
Switch off sodas, even diet sodas, and drink from a water bottle from home. For an extra taste treat, squeeze the juice from a piece of fruit into your bottle.
Leftovers from the night before are always nice to add. You are saving money, and eating something that you enjoy.
Saving Money and Losing Weight
By packing in my lunch from home, I saw two things happening. The amount of money that I saved by not using vending machines, eating at fast food places, and drinking soft drinks at work was really staggering. During the first week of my experiment, I would pocket the money into a jar that normally would have gone to food. I thought that I would save about $20.00. I saved $64.50 that week! It adds up, and it adds up fast.
How did my financial consumption add up so fast? No more coffee houses! No more fast food! No more vending machines! Every time that I had the urge to spend money, I debited what I would have spent from my banking account into a fund I named "Food Jar". At the end of the year, I had enough money for a small weekend retreat near my home. That is a lot of wasted money that I finally made good use of!
By bringing my food in, something else happened. I started losing weight. Not a lot, but in six months, I lost fifteen pounds, all by stopping my consumption of food from vending machines.
Snacks are really not necessary, but we all love to snack. I bring extra pieces of fruits and vegetables with me, as well as small plastic shakers filled with different dried herbs and spices. One of my favorite snacks is dehydrated green beans that I sprinkle lemon on and eat. Tasty!
During the day, when I do want to snack, I stop and ask myself "Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I bored? Am I tired?" If I am not hungry, I do not eat. If it is a short time until meal time, I wait. If I am thirsty, I drink water.
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