One of the factors that determine your general wellness is your diet. The healthier the food, the more likely you can have a good quality of life physically, mentally, and emotionally. On the contrary, low-quality food rich in additives and fats may contribute to physical illnesses such as high cholesterol, and processed foods may decrease mental stimulation and increase hormonal imbalances. One of the ways you can take control of your general wellness is by packing a tasty and healthy lunch. By planning a balanced meal for your lunch, you can obtain the nutrients required for a productive day. With that said, here are a few tips on packing a tasty and healthy lunch.
1. Cook Enough For Lunch During Dinner Preparation
You may find that you don’t have enough time in the morning to pack for lunch, and this is when you might grab any food that may be within your reach, which might not be a healthy option. To avoid this from happening, before you serve your dinner, pack some of the prepared food in Tupperware lunch containers to safely store some food and keep it fresh for your lunch tomorrow.
There are different shapes, sizes, and materials of food containers. The type of container you use should depend on the food you are serving. For instance, hot soup would be more suitable to pack in a glass food container, while fish and vegetables would be suitable in plastic containers.
2. Be Mindful Of Preparation Methods
A tasty and healthy lunch doesn’t only depend on the type of food you are packing. The quality food also relies on the preparation methods utilized. If you deep-fat fry your vegetables, you only add oil to the food, making it less of a healthy meal. Consider cooking methods that don’t involve excess oil and salt, such as boiling, grilling, and steaming. If frying is a preferred method, you can invest in a quality air fryer as a healthier option.
3. Properly Store The Food
Having served the food from dinner into your container, you have to store them properly to maintain its taste and quality. If the food is served hot from the pot into the container, you can leave the lid slightly open for a few minutes to cool the food down. Some foods such as fish or chicken strips can get soggy if immediately shut-in and refrigerated because of the entrapped heat, which could turn moist.
Take note not to forget to shut the Tupperware once the food has cooled down, and store it in your lunch cooler bag or refrigerator. Failing to do so could make the food dry and lose its taste. You may also risk attracting insects and germs as it would have been in the open overnight.
4. Cook In Bulk
You may find that cooking dinner every evening is impossible due to varying factors. To avoid impulsive lunch packing, try to schedule a day in the week where you cook in bulk.
Bulk cooking means cooking multiple meals in a day to pack for lunch each day of the week. This also means you have to prepare food that doesn’t spoil easily. Furthermore, since you have to put them in the fridge for a long time, you have to choose a quality food container that doesn’t crack under low freezing temperatures or thaw under heat.
5. Pack According To Your Diet Goals
Packing a healthy and tasty lunch means aligning them with your diet goals. Some of the diet goals you may have to align your lunch with include;
- Enhanced Mental State
If one of your goals is to enhance your mental state for focus and concentration, you can pack foods that increase the serotonin hormones neurotransmitters that help with mood regulation. Foods high in protein, such as nuts, vegetables, fruits, and legumes, may help you achieve this diet goal. On the other hand, overly processed foods such as white bread and sweets may have the opposite effect.
- Weight Loss
If weight loss is your diet goal, you have to pack food low in calories. The lower calorie intake, the more you can achieve your target weight together with a clean and active lifestyle. Low-calorie foods include nuts, eggs, and pureed vegetables.
- Increased Energy
For increased energy levels throughout the day, pack foods high in carbohydrates. These include bananas, yogurt, and lentils. Contrary to popular belief, not all carbohydrates should be avoided. Just remember to eat anything in moderation to stay healthy.
Packing a healthy and tasty meal can be fun, for it’s a time to get creative. Some ways you can pack a delicious and nutritious lunch include preparing the night before during dinner while practicing mindful cooking methods.
Make sure to use quality containers to store your food in the refrigerator. The containers should be strong enough for the freezer compartment if you’re cooking in bulk. Packing according to your diet goals is also a major factor in the type of lunch you prepare.