Make your lunches work for you

November 28, 2019

Do you often feel your energy drops at around 3pm and you start reaching out for snacks to pick you up? Or maybe you skip meals at lunch or have a very ‘light’ version to save on calories, but you end up snacking on the office cake and then binge eat at night?

The majority of my clients find lunchtimes tricky, so you are not alone. We all want our lunch meal to keep us both satisfied and energised until dinner, however, this often isn’t the case.

You’ve probably heard about the importance of blood-sugar balance and the role of insulin. In very simple terms, insulin is a hormone whose role is to pull excess glucose from the blood to protect your body from the effects of excess sugar. You might feel the effects of blood sugar spikes following a heavily processed meal, rich in simple carbohydrates, where there is not enough protein and fibre to stabilise the breakdown of your food. You might then feel a rapid drop in energy levels and notice symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, sweating, palpitations, cravings and irritability. This is when your blood sugar levels drop and your body uses those symptoms to draw your attention. Enter: coffee, sweet cravings and binge eating. This is also a common response when we skip meals.

But fear not – I am here to make your lunchbox work for you. Here are my top 3 tips:

1.      When preparing or buying lunch, focus on creating a well-balanced meal. For guidance, look at your plate and divide it as follows:

o   50% (2-3 handfuls) of various vegetables – either raw or cooked

o   10-15% (1 handful) of whole grains, including rice, wholegrain pasta or bread

o   25% (one fist-size portion) of animal or vegetarian protein source

o   Approx. 5-10% of ‘healthy’ fats such as avocado, or 1tbsp of olive oil or hemp/flax seeds

2.      Preparing your lunch in advance or using your dinner leftovers is a good thing to aim for. However, when you are on the go, salads are cheap and easy to make. Even if you only take mixed leaves with spinach, rocket and lettuce into work, remember you can always buy extra ingredients such as a tin of sardines, chicken, boiled eggs, hummus or avocado and top up with vegetables.

3.      Preparing your lunch in advance or using your dinner leftovers is a good thing to aim for. However, when you are on the go, salads are cheap and easy to make. Even if you only take mixed leaves with spinach, rocket and lettuce into work, remember you can always buy extra ingredients such as a tin of sardines, chicken, boiled eggs, hummus or avocado and top up with vegetables.

Check out Evie’s Instagram for more quick and nutritious lunchbox inspirations or visit her website for more information.

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