Healthy Food Bites To-Go: Ask Not For Whom The (Homemade Lunch) Bell Tolls, It Tolls For Thee

by Ronna Corlin


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 knowing that it’s about time to stop working in order to have a meal. Whether most immediately heed the call is another story.

The distinct sound of the lunch bell in has become even harder to hear when dead-lines and stress-inducing obligations loom. With action-packed schedules, it has become easy to delay mealtime or even worse, to allow tasks to eat up our time instead of sit-ting down at the lunch table to nourish and recharge our body and mind. 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 get healthy and to recharge. Packing a lunch gives you more control over food choices, and it doesn’t take much time or creativity to plan. Your homemade lunch will likely be cheaper and provide more bang for your nutrient buck than what you can purchase. And 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 lunch the following day. As you are preparing to put food away at night, consider packing them into containers before they reach the fridge.

HAVE HEALTHY LUNCH WILL TRAVEL

Save the planet and some money toting lunch in you backpack with these re-useable lunching compartments:

1. Others will be green with envy when you pull out eco-chic, reusable sandwich bags called LunchSkins (www.3greenmoms.com) Save money & the planet!

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. Bento lunchbox: 5 separate re-use-able environmentally-friendly containers fit neatly into a larger box for easy travel (www.laptoplunches.com).

 

TRY THIS AT HOME:
Wraps are an easy and quick healthy out-the-door meal.

(Recipe and photo reprinted from The Family Cooks by Laurie David. Copyright ©2014)

Peanut Butter and Grape Wrap
2 tbsp peanut butter (almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
1 large whole wheat tortilla or other sandwich wrap (try sprouted grain wraps!)
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 ba-nana into the butter at the bottom of tortilla (you might need to take a bite of the banana so it fits.)

ALTERNATIVE WRAPS might include: 1. Dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa or more) instead of the fruit, plus unsweetened coco-nut flakes 2. Hummus Wrap with sliced cu-cumbers and sprouts 2. Mashed Sweet Potato and Spinach Wrap (cooked and cooled).

Tightly roll 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.

Lunch Tip: Eat lunch within 4 hours of breakfast, particularly if you don’t snack in between.

Your nutrition decides your productivity level for the day. Give in to the idea that at lunch and every meal, we choose how we will 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.

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