When it comes to your work lunch choices, do you find that most of your meals rely on convenience?
Are you throwing your healthy eating habits out the window in favour of quick takeaway lunches or heat-and-eat microwave dishes?
What you put in, is what you get out, as the saying goes, so if you’re loading your body with high-sodium packet soups, sugar-laden cakes and crash-inducing energy drinks, then it’s likely you won’t be fuelled for optimum productivity and concentration throughout the work day.
Here are three simple food swaps you can make at the office.
Swap: White rice for sprouted quinoa
2013 wasn’t named the International Year of Quinoa for nothing, with this gluten-free grain a brilliant source of protein, and containing nearly double the fibre of other grains.
White rice is stripped of a significant amount of iron, B vitamins, essential fatty acids and fibre during processing, according to registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, where sprouted quinoa can serve as a fitting substitute to get your fix of daily nutrients.
Quinoa is super easy to sprout, simply place 1C quinoa in a nut milk bag (or sprouting jar, cheesecloth or clean stocking), and let it sit in a bowl covered with filtered water overnight. Then simply drain and rinse the grains twice a day until their little tails form. This should take approx. 8 – 12 hours. You are now ready to add your quinoa to your dish!
You can enjoy sprouted quinoa sprinkled into a green salad or in this lip-smacking chia and sprouted quinoa cracker recipe.
Swap: Noodles for sea vegetables
Noodles are the workplace staple, with this snack super-easy to whip up. But is this quick meal able to provide you with the energy and nutrients that superfoods such as sea vegetables could?
There are some great kelp noodles available in health food stores that are carb-free. Add sea vegetables to your salads, such as wakame, with this seaweed a great source of iodine and essential trace minerals.
These nutrients can deliver a myriad of benefits including a boost in energy and the strengthening of healthy bones.
Check out our Sea Vegetable Salad for a great way to incorporate wakame into your meals.
Swap: Energy drinks for green smoothies
Need an energy boost to get past the mid-afternoon slump? Then don’t reach out for that energy drink can – you’ll just crash later on!
Get your fix of energy-lifting iron by whipping up a green smoothie in your blender, or find a local healthy lunch stop that will make a green juice or smoothie for you. Incorporate iron-rich, dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale in your drink, complementing the taste with oranges, lemon and ginger.