If you read Part One of this 3 part series you would read that breakfast really does set the tone for eating the rest of the day. So if you grabbed a donut and coffee for breakfast now that it’s lunchtime you might be climbing the walls looking for something else to eat. For me I climb the walls for food all the time…I love food! So lunch is also an important break in the day and helps the body retain energy to continue on with the days task and goals.
I have to say I am guilty of skipping lunch. I start a creative project like writing a blog post, doing some food photography or a recipe rehab and I forget to eat. I look up and it is 3pm and I have missed lunch! Now I know some of you are thinking lucky dog…skipping meals would be awesome! It is not. It is a bad habit and one that I continue to work on all the time.
3 Consequences for Skipping Lunch
The Fizzle Out
I bet you know that “2pm, hit a wall, brain fog… I need a nap” part of the day! You are tired, you can’t focus and you are irritable. Can you believe that eating food, and eating the right food, can help these symptoms? You body needs fuel and food provides that fuel to keep from having the fizzle out!
HEALTHY EATING TIP #1 – Eat Lunch!
Don’t skip lunch; make an effort to stop what you are doing and eat something that is nourishing. Honestly without lunch you will fizzle out and then overeat at dinner to compensate for the missed meal. Choose balanced real foods. Try to incorporate clean whole food carbs, protein and a healthy fat.
- PROTEIN – eggs, clean meats, nuts, beans
- CLEAN CARBS – fruits, veggies, organic whole grains
- CLEAN FATS – avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butters, oily fish
Does Your Brain Need a Break?
Lunch also signals a break for your brain. A time for you to stop whatever it is you are doing and give your mind and body a rest and the nourishment it needs to make it through the rest of the day.
HEALTHY EATING TIP #2 – Give Your Brain a Break
When you take time in your day for a brain break you are more productive. Lunch is a perfect time for this. Try skipping the electronic lunches where you stare at a cell phone or tablet the entire time. Be mindful of the nutrition you are feeding your body as you eat. With each bite of your lunch take time to think of the flavors in the food you are eating. Look around at your surroundings and enjoy the humanity or even nature around you. It is very liberating for the brain to have a break from the normal tasks of the day and lunch is a perfect time to take that brain break!
Skipping Lunch is Not Healthy
When you go too long without eating your body actually switches over to survival mode. When you are in survival mode you are hardwired to seek food. If you skip meals often enough you will begin to confuse your hunger signals. This causes a host of problems; low energy, brain fog, and worst of all binge eating. Skipping lunch can cause you to be ravenous by dinnertime and then you overeat which will cause you to be lethargic for the rest of the evening and even disrupt your sleep and digestion patterns.
HEALTHY EATING TIP #3 – Make Time For Lunch
I know some days it is just not going to work out that you get to have a proper lunch but if you see a pattern developing it is time to address it. It is a destructive pattern that can lead to minor eating disorders. Did you know that 50% of the world’s population eats their biggest meal of the day at lunchtime? Making time for lunch is important for your health.
Here are some amazing ideas for healthy balanced lunches
- whole grain sprouted pita with red pepper hummus, raw spinach and greek yogurt with cucumber
- baked sweet potato with crumbled turkey sausage and feta cheese
- mixed greens with ½ sweet apple chopped, walnuts and plain sauerkraut mixed in as the dressing
- homemade slow cooker turkey chili with toasted corn and feta topping served with a tomato avocado salad (see recipe below)
- cooked spaghetti squash tossed with olive oil, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, basil and topped with a spicy chicken breast
- my favorite tip is to make extra servings of your dinner and place them in containers to have for lunch the next day
2 medium chopped onions
1-2 tsp of coconut oil
2 lbs. ground free-range turkey
2 16 oz cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained (you can make your own also)
2 14 oz jars of diced organic tomatoes
1 8 oz jar of organic tomato sauce
1 med. organic red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs of chili powder
2 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of black pepper
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
½ tsp of crushed fennel seeds
½ tsp of cumin
In skillet sauté onions in coconut oil. Add garlic and sauté until slightly brown. Add turkey and cook until it just turns brown. Transfer all into a crock pot/slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4 hours. Makes 10 servings.
Garnish with toasted organic corn, chives and feta cheese for a hearty flavor!