What’s for lunch? with basic planning, your midday meal can be nutrient-packed, well-balanced and colorful

Plan your LUNCH

The benefits of eating a well-balanced lunch include that energized and refreshed feeling the rest of the day. Though skipping lunch is a common practice to cut calories when trying to lose weight, it rarely yields successful and sustained weight loss. Most research shows that people who regularly skip meals tend to weigh more than people who eat often throughout the day.

With some basic planning, a simple lunch can be packed with nutrients and well-balanced, with color, texture and variety in your meal. Here are some tips:

  • Opt for whole-grain bread, pasta, rice and baked potatoes.
  • Add salad vegetables or non-starchy vegetables on the side.
  • Choose lemon juice with spice blends or an vinegar-oil blend as a light salad dressing.
  • Choose beans, legumes and lean meats, such as chicken, turkey fish as your sources of protein.
  • Try fresh fruit as dessert.
  • Make an infused water of your choice instead of sugary fruit juices and cocktails.
  • Make it a priority to pack lunches from home most of the week.
  • Invest in sturdy lunch containers with dividers that can help you pack items quickly and efficiently.
  • If eating out, take a look at the menu ahead of time and identify some more nutritious options.

As an ideal lunch formula, begin with a grain or starch, add lean protein, a non-starchy vegetable and fruit.

Here are some sample ideas using the formula that will ensure your lunches are well-balanced:

  • Quinoa bowl: Quinoa + garbanzo or mixed beans + roasted green beans and broccoli + a sliced apple
  • Black bean burger: Whole grain bread + a black bean burger + side salad + pear

First seen on The Indian Scene