If breakfast is the most important meal of the day then I pose that lunch is probably the most changeable meal of the day. What we eat for lunch depends on so many factors.
I for one have been known to neglect lunch as one of my three meals of the day if I am off work I have also been known to eat meals that would put dinner to shame and calling them lunch simply because of the time that I ate them at. The majority of the time my lunch is a meal that is eaten without much thought or consideration of the meal and I find myself eating simply because “oh it’s that time again”. When doing my weekly shop I consider Breakfast, Dinner and Snacks (oh how I consider the snacks!!) but lunch never enters my hungry mind.
With all that in mind I know that on the days were I have planned or prepared in advance a lunch that I truly enjoy, I’ll find myself more satisfied with it when the time comes and the satiety lasts much longer because my brain has registered “that this is a meal that has been consumed – you are satisfied to have consumed it”.
With this in mind recently I invested in a pack of those portion control lunch boxes. With this new container to put my lunch in I immediately had it registered that I have to make lunch, and ooh what I will have for lunch. Now although I do thoroughly enjoy salads, couscous, quinoa and soups, I forget that I like them unless they are there right in front of me and ready to be indulged in. When this is the case I will run straight for a packet of crisps and two slices of bread. Now although this is an invention of the gods I do find myself hungry an hour later and that’s when I’ll head back to the vending machine for a chocolate bar.
So – I started to make my lunches in advance. Where before looked in awe at those healthy girls with their healthy leafy salad with that wee tub of dressing (If anyone knows where you get these little cutesy tubs for salad dressing please leave me a link in the comments). I realised it wasn’t that I’m unhealthy or in a hurry or just preferred crisp sandwiches it was that I just put lunch to the back of my mind until its time and then I’ll just eat what’s handy. Now when I’m making dinner I’m thinking can I make more and use it for lunch the next day (Thinking of the next meal before finishing the current one- see introduction for my relationship with food) I now sit in the canteen and eat my lunch and find the break actually serving its purpose I go back to my desk re-energised and satisfied. I go home and while I’m cleaning the Thousand Island dressing out of the crevices of my handbag I realise I no longer have the need to nibble on whatever is close to what I need in the fridge for dinner.
There must be a few out there who can relate to this and for these people Ill be sharing a few quick lunch in advance options and keep an eye on other recipes where I will be offering suggestions of how to tweak it to suit a lunch you’ll look forward to and register that you have eaten!