NOVEMBER 21 – 27 – FINAL WEEK!!!
Can you believe it’s already week 7?
Congratulations on sticking it out for 6 weeks of improving your overall health and lifestyle habits. One more week introducing a new habit and increasing your exercise level and then just maintenance. Sustain your gains. This is the key. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and watch as you reap more rewards from your long-term commitment.
This week pack a homemade lunch. Take time to nurture yourself by planning a healthy mid-day meal without the pressure of a hungry stomach. Check out the full details below:
Moderate-vigorous exercise to burn:
- Single Serving: 1750 cal
- Goin’ for Seconds: 2350 cal
Week #7 Wellness Challenge: Pack A Homemade Lunch
- Read the Article (below)
- Eat a packed, homemade lunch each day this week
- Record one point on your challenge tracking sheet each day that you bring a packed, homemade lunch to work.
For families looking to eat healthier – and save some money – packing your lunches for work and school can be a great help. With a little bit of planning, it will only add about ten minutes to your morning or evening routine, and you will feel better knowing that you and your children aren’t chowing down on cafeteria pizza or food truck tacos every day. We have outlined 4 of the many reasons that packing your lunch can be a better choice.
A homemade lunch is typically healthier because you can better control the portions and ingredients. We are also more aware of what our choices are when we have to plan and prepare our own food. Options are limited when buying lunch and often those options, though delicious, are not the best nutritionally. Packing your lunch in advance also helps people avoid using hunger as an excuse to make a poor choice. When we’re feeling very hungry, the plan to choose healthier options often goes out the window.
If you google “packed lunch ideas” you will come up with millions of hits. There’s no end to the different combinations of foods you can pack to keep your lunch interesting! Salads, sandwiches, chili, wraps… and the list doesn’t stop at “lunch” foods. Planning dinners that will have leftovers adds new elements, and eliminates prep time for your packed lunches.
When you don’t have to travel to get food or stand in line to purchase your lunch you have more time to eat and truly enjoy your food. This saved time can be used to plan your next dinner or lunch, catch up with an old friend or organize your afternoon. You could meditate, stretch or do many of the other things that are both productive and allow you to take some much needed “Me Time”.
Another valuable benefit of preparing and packing your own lunch is that you can save money. Meat, vegetables and other ingredients from supermarkets or grocery stores are very affordable, and the total cost of a homemade meal is much less than the cost of a meal at a restaurant.
Many people cite socialization and networking as reasons to go out for their midday meal. Though these reasons are valid, they shouldn’t be the only factors considered when deciding whether or not to head to a restaurant for lunch. It is possible that having lunch with co-workers can cause more stress than eating alone if you’re doing it because you feel pressured. The freedom of making your own choice can be both restorative and stress relieving. Also, there are other ways to socialize on your lunch break such as taking a walk, finding a public space to sit and chat or sit outside in a park if the weather permits.
A Few Helpful Hints
- Start with taking your lunch just a few days each week
- Plan ahead: always have a few staples in stock (nuts, fruit), have lots of Tupperware available
- Cook extra so you have dinner leftovers
- Buddy up with a coworker or friend a few times a week
- Batch cook on the weekend
- Find a lunchbox or bag that keeps food truly fresh