As you walk out the office at lunchtime after a brutal morning of meetings, emails and catch ups, firstly, congratulate yourself - you're already winning as 29% of workers do not take a lunch break. This is a vital part of being productive, engaged and performing in the afternoon sessions!
The next challenge is to make a good choice, and for that, it may be easier to see the factors in a list that determine your decision of where to go:
• Speed of service (how long you have)
• Habit (where you usually go)
• Quality of food (if you're on a health drive)
• Type of food (seasonal/climate)
• Hunger (aligns with speed but also quantity!)
• Cost (low cost doesn't always mean low quality)
• Comfort (dining style/location/ambiance.
As previously discussed in our blog the habit of nutrition, the majority of decisions you make surrounding what and where you eat is all in your psyche. From geography, to social factors through to the smell of the shop as you walked passed - until you think about factors at lunch, not much will change. This is where there needs to be deeper understanding about what you want from your food, rather than just fuel.
In order to make a good choice, there are some things that must not be over-looked:
• Your goals: depending on what it is you are seeking to work on (performance, concentration, weight loss, financial). Each of these make a huge difference into the choices you should be making.
• Your activity levels: if you have been sedentary the majority of the morning, do not over indulge.
• Preparation: I don't ever sympathise (or agree!) with someone who cites having no time to make lunch. There is no reason why time on one day of the week cannot be allocated to preparing food for multiple days. 20 minutes will be enough time to make food for 5 days easily, pending on ability to freeze, and obviously the use by date of food.
• Get in groups! Take it in turns to try different recipes and get creative. You will be surprised how much variety you can have within a salad. It will build camaraderie, if nothing else.
Try different themes of foods; be it from different cultures, countries, locally sourced or even chef - have fun thinking about exploring, sharing and tasting new healthy foods.