Ladies who Lunch

June 27

You are cordially invited to sample some of these delectable meals for your dining pleasure.

Lunch: 1:00pm
Lunch should follow about 2 1/2 to 3 hours after your mid-morning snack.  This will ensure that your body has had enough time to process your last meal and before you become too hungry.

Lunchtime can be a very satisfying and sociable occasion. But many times, it means something grabbed and gobbled quickly in order to get back to everyday tasks. This makes it hard to eat healthy, but it is still possible to take control over your diet by following these helpful hints and meal plans. {+}

Plan what you will eat ahead of time. In the same fashion as my sample meals, make a meal plan at least a week in advance. Make a list of all the ingredients you need for preparation and purchase them at the same time you do the rest of your groceries. This way you will have less chance of swaying from your diet.

Some people complain that healthy foods are too expensive. As I talked about in the post Fitness4Her Diet Part 2, inexpensive processed foods, containing excessive sugar, salt and fat can result in costly health problems later in life.

Do you ever get hungry at the supermarket? Eating a small meal before you leave the house will help to keep you from tossing too many impulse purchases in the grocery cart.

When going out shopping, try to have a healthy meal already prepared and in the fridge for when you return. This will keep you from having to grab a quick lunch somewhere on the run. If you do eat lunch out, be sure to read my post Dining Out on a Diet—Don’t Pout!

As often as possible, eat your meals on a real plate. Melamine is okay, but try to avoid eating from a paper plate or bag. I stress this because eating from a plate allows your brain to interpret this eating ritual as a meal. This will help to satisfy your appetite and keep you from getting hungry before your next meal.

Make your mealtime as relaxing as possible. If you must eat at your desk in the office, bring your own cutlery and pretty accents. This might sound crazy and impractical but you might be pleased to find that you don’t have indigestion afterwards.

I’ve gathered seven meals that I eat regularly and that are nutritiously balanced. Enjoy an 8 oz. glass of water or tea with each of these delectable meals.

Now remember, just because I’ve labeled them Monday through Sunday doesn ‘t imply that you must eat the meals in this order. Rather, it is a way to help you visualize your own healthy meal plans. By designing your own diet, based on healthy suggestions, you will have a better chance of making it a permanent way of life.

Monday: Grilled chicken breast (5 oz.), with one-half sweet potato, and one-half cup of broccoli. You can grill the chicken the night before or even a couple of days ahead of time. If you do cook it earlier in the week, be sure to refrigerate it promptly, to keep food safe.

Tuesday: Grilled salmon (5 oz.), with one-cup fresh spinach and garlic, complemented with a sliced tomato. This is an excellent dish! You can cook the salmon the night before, but use extra caution, as with all cooked seafood, when storing it for longer than a day.

Wednesday: One can of water-packed tuna, or a 5 oz. filet of seared tuna, with a small salad topped with a non-fat dressing, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar. Now this is quite yummy. A shift from the traditional mayonnaise laden tuna salad, this fresh tasting, healthy meal can be put together in less than five minutes. This is a great lunch to have at home or at the office.

Thursday: One bowl of white bean turkey chili with a bowl of brown rice, and one cup of raw carrots. The recipe for this scrumptious meal can be found in my post Recipes4Her. A fiber-rich dish that’s low in fat and calories … for those of you who are counting.

Friday: A half-dozen sushi rolls or California rolls, accompanied by a bowl of edamame. Pronounced ed-a-mommy, this boiled green soybean snack can be enjoyed anytime. Rich in vitamins A,B, and C, a ½ cup of these little beans packs a whopping 9 grams of fiber. Now, that’s healthy!

You can find edamame at any grocery store. Check the frozen food section, for cooked varieties that you can just thaw and serve.

Saturday: A tasty sandwich of avocado, lettuce, and tomato on whole grain bread, with a small cucumber salad. Now, you might be saying, “Whoa there Karen, I don’t see any meats in this dish—what about protein?” Well ladies, you may or may not be surprised to find that an avocado has 2 grams of protein, that’s almost as much as milk. It’s also high in fiber and digestible fats. It’s a no cholesterol substitution for meat with a healthy dose of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K along with beneficial nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and copper.

Eating avocado with a cucumber salad or other leafy greens will trigger the digestive process by enhancing the secretion of digestive enzymes.

Tomatoes are another fruit that is almost magical when it comes to health benefits. High in vitamins A, C, B-complex, and E. These ruby red beauties contain lycopene, a carotenoid that has been hailed for its anti-oxidant and cancer fighting powers.

Sunday: A bowl of miso soup with tofu, celery, seaweed, and carrots. A handful of whole grain crackers and hummus on the side will provide you with a crunchy accompaniment that will add a bit of interest to your meal.

Eating tofu, also referred to in some circles as the “perfect food,” will provide you with a high level of protein, calcium and vitamin E. Cholesterol-free, it’s a great substitute for meat.

Hummus, derived from chickpeas, is an excellent source of fiber. Made with olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, that’s actually heart healthy. Combined with whole grain crackers, they provide a whole protein.

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~ Karen Ficarelli

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One Comment

  1. Most of the lunch sample food are not common in Ghana so what should I do?

  2. Christab on 11/20/2009 at 2:30 pm

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