• The benefits of a packed, healthy lunch far outweigh the hassle
• A quick, delicious, nutritious egg salad sandwich is the way to go
Hmm, what should I choose? Tempting samosas, a mandazi, a smokie, fried eggs, bacon and chapati, kebab, bajias, chips or fried chicken... Or all of the above? No, thanks! That is tantamount to a heart attack on a plate!
Eating these meals every day of the week, especially on the five working days, can have an effect on your energy level and overall health as well as your pocket.
Common unhealthy foods to avoid are:
Lunch of overly processed, pre-packaged meals containing little nutritional value.
Potato chips. If you really crave a snack, baked potato or cassava chips are a better way to go.
Drink pouches and juice boxes. Because of “fruit,” many of these drinks appear nutritious, but don’t be fooled! Water and high fructose corn syrup (ugh!) are the major ingredients in these drinks, with flavouring added.
Energy drinks and soda. So-called ‘energy’ drinks are loaded with lots of sugar and caffeine. Sure, you need to energise at lunch to maintain focus for the rest of the day, but caffeine inevitably leads to an energy crash sometime in the afternoon. Soda is a no-no for your body, full of sugar and harsh chemicals that can suppress the immune system, stunt bone growth, create dental cavities, and cause weight gain. Carrying a bottle of water or freshly squeezed juice is a better alternative.
The word “natural” is a label that is used in most companies to trick consumers. However, they’re still full of sodium, trans-fats and chemicals.
How to make healthy lunch
A packed lunch might seem impossible with the daily routine of getting up and out by 7.30 am or earlier. But the benefits far outweigh the initial hassle. Establishing healthy habits need willpower after a lifetime of poor dietary choices. One way to instil good habits is to provide healthy, nutritious lunches for children to take to school.
A packed lunch ensures you’re getting the right portions and have the right amount of energy, vitamins, fibre, protein and healthy fats that provide a low glycaemic index energy source needed to function properly throughout the day.
A quick, delicious, nutritious egg salad sandwich is the way to go.
2 boiled eggs chopped
1 celery stick chopped (plus any other available herbs)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Mix them all together. Place fresh salad leaves on your slices of brown, rye or whole grain bread with salt and pepper to taste.