A tough morning can be made all the better by knowing you have something really delicious to tuck into come lunchtime.
In my line of work as a physiotherapist, lunchtime is a protected time for patients where no disturbances are allowed with the exception being emergent care. This allows me to have a routine and designated time for lunch everyday which I love as food is never to far from my mind.
I know not everyone has this luxury of an allocated lunchtime but if you think there is a chance to encourage this within your day I would highly recommend it.
Not only does it allow you a chance to eat but also a time to take a break from whatever task or screen you were interacting with. A lot of research recommends changing our tasks every 30 minutes to maintain optimum focus and concentration. Likewise, focus and concentration can be affected by dehydration and hunger.
Hydration and the many steps to monitor your levels are discussed here.
For hunger, regular eating at intervals throughout the day is best. Lunchtime is an important time of the day to eat as many people leave the house without breakfast.
Here are some of my favourite lunchtime options that can all be prepared in advance. Some options can be frozen whilst others are best kept fresh in the fridge.
A classic lunch option and one of my favourites. Make a big batch one evening or over the weekend, divide into portions and freeze. Adding some chopped nuts, seeds, roasted chickpeas or shredded chicken are all great ways to customize your soup daily. I love to dunk a slice of my Oat & Yoghurt Seed Loaf into my soup too!
Oats aren’t just for breakfast you know! Granola is a really easy option for lunch. Keep a jar handy in work, then all you need is some yoghurt and fruit.
Another great option when you are staring into the fridge for inspiration. Usually there are some kind of vegetables rolling around. A simple mixed salad can be created using whatever vegetables you have at hand. Sprinkle some seeds, cheese or leftover cooked meat or fish over your salad and lunch is sorted in minutes. Shake together a quick dressing of olive oil, honey and lemon juice for a seriously tasty lunch.
- Red Cabbage Slaw and Broccoli, Tomato & Feta
- Sesame, Beetroot & Carrot Slaw
- Curried Apricot & Raisin Couscous
- Salad Jars
Last nights dinner becomes tomorrow’s lunch! It’s honestly that easy. Once fully cooled, portion and store in your fridge overnight. Then simply reheat in the canteen microwave.
- Sweet Potato Boats
- Citrus Chicken & Broccoli Rice
- Chicken & Beans
- Sweet Potato & Aubergine Crumble Pie
Hummus is a really easy option to increase your vegetable intake by blitzing roast veg with chickpeas. Serve with some vegetable sticks on the side and your vegetable intake is increasing by the second! Freezing hummus was one of the best things I discovered as I always have a few pots ready for a quick lunch when things get hectic.
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