Healthy Lunch Resolutions for 2009
Healthy Lunch Resolutions
Is your New Year’s resolution to pack your lunch more this year? We tend to eat more than we should eating out and the cost can really add up. How should you go about making a better lunch for yourself? The most common mistake adults make when it comes to packing their own lunch is not packing enough food. Add job stress to the equation, and many workers, even those who eat a healthy lunch, are notoriously trolling for fatty, sugary, crunchy snacks by 3 p.m. Or, they head home hungry enough to eat the contents of the whole refrigerator.
Lunch Makeover Tips:
When packing lunch it should include one or two whole grains, a low-fat dairy item, protein and at least one fruit or vegetable.
Use leftovers. Seems a bit uninspiring, but think of the last time you brought leftover spaghetti or chili or enchiladas. You probably ate every last bite and wished you had more. Plus, it doesn’t get any easier than this, especially with dishes that combine lean proteins, vegetables and grains all in one.
Save calories by swapping white bread for whole grain to boost fiber and provide calories with more staying power. Save 60 calories or more by using mustard instead of mayonnaise on the sandwich.
Substituted leaner meat for meats high in saturated fat, reduced the quantity of meat, and beefed up the sandwich with a generous helping of veggies. Cut saturated fat and calories by replacing the cookie with light pudding, which also provides some calcium. Try a fruit instead of chips to save calories as well as fat too.
Certain convenient products make meal makeovers even easier. Open a couple of cans, and you’re got “fancy” nachos with seasoned refried beans and Ortega chili peppers. Of course the other easier solution is to bringing your lunch is to rely on frozen entrees. They have certainly come along way from the traditional TV dinners.â€ Now they have high protein, fiber, and lack all the saturated fat, sodium, and preservatives. They also provide an opportunity to replace a high calorie, high fat meal out with a lighter and portion controlled option.
For example, Kashi has a new complete line of frozen entrees. Their meals contain whole grains and low sodium. If we compare the Chinese influenced meal below with what you would get eating out there is no comparison.
Kashi Sweet & Sour Chicken(320 calories, 3.5g fat, 380mg sodium, 55g carbs, 6g fiber, 18g protein) This dish is loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full long after the last bite is gone. Kashi has been doing an awesome job with cereals and bars, and now they’re conquering the frozen entree world, too. If you were to eat this meal for lunch at a Chinese restaurant it would have 764 calories, 20 grams fat, 950 mg sodium, 107 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 40 grams protein.
You can find many other healthier options for lunch in the frozen section that are less than 300 calories and still offer the meal satisfaction you need to get through the day without getting hungry. Best wishes in 2009 with your healthier lunch resolution.