Having trouble eating a healthy work-day lunch? Here are tips.

Modern Hygienist, modernhygienist.com-2013-02-01, Issue 2

During the hectic workday, moving from patient to patient, don’t turn to the easiest fast-food lunch. Make it nutritious, make it easy. Here’s how.

During the hectic workday, moving from patient to patient, don’t turn to the easiest fast-food lunch. Make it nutritious, make it easy. Here’s how.

Sometimes the day can get so hectic we forget to even take the time to eat. Or, we turn to the easiest solution: grabbing the fast meals, usually not the healthiest.

That routine won’t get you anywhere when it comes to your health or mood.

Maintaining healthy choices throughout the day - even when patients arrive one after the other through the door - is of extreme importance.

Here are easy ways to make sure you are snacking and eating nutritious even when you don’t have a lot of time to think about it.

  • Pack a nutritious snack Before work, quickly throw a few handfuls of granola or nuts in a bag. It can be your go-to snack instead of vending machine offerings and give you a small energy burst. Don’t bring the whole bag with you because you’ll risk eating more than the recommended serving size.

  • Keep them handy Bring fruit to work and stash some Greek yogurt in the practice refrigerator. These healthy foods will help get you through the afternoon slump.

  • Be careful when eating at your desk Your desktop can be very germy. If you’re eating there, make sure to clean the surface completely and not touch your computer, mouse or other surfaces while eating. Consider it your laptop breather moment of the day. 

  • Get hydrated Bring a washable drink container with you to the practice and continually monitor your water intake. Everyone should get at least 8 glasses a day. It keeps you healthy, and another boost, it keeps you feeling full.

  • Stay fueled You should eat something, even a little something, every four hours. This can be hard during busy workdays, that’s why keeping quick go-to snacks around are very important. Check out the sidebar for ideas.

  • Prepare Pack your lunch for the next day the evening before. Mornings are too hectic, and if there is nothing ready for you the next day, you’ll likely turn to unhealthy options. Consider these options:

1. Make a pot of nutritious chili, soup or stew for dinner and save a small container to bring for lunch the next day.

2. If there is a microwave in your practice, take a sweet potato with you. To cook it at the office, poke holes in skin with fork and cook 5−7 minutes, turning halfway through. Then serve it with low-fat yogurt and a dash of cinnamon.

3. Cold strips of grilled chicken from last night’s dinner with honey mustard dip.

4. Wraps are easy to make the night before, and don’t include all that filling bread. Make them with whole wheat tortillas containing either lean cold cuts or low fat cream cheese topped with veggie slices.

5. Freeze leftover dinner freeze portion sizes and grab them a couple of weeks down the road for lunch.

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