One of the issues that arises when I talk to homeworkers, is the struggle coming up with convenient and nutritious lunch ideas for when you work from home.
I’ve talked to those who find the temptation of the fridge and biscuit barrel hard to resist, especially when procrastinating (or should that be procrastineating?)
There are often times when boredom leads to mindless eating as well as emotional eating when stress and anxiety might make you reach for the ice cream.
In fact, in issue 1 of The Homeworker, there was a great article on mindful eating and in issue 3, we have a fantastic piece from an interview with Kate Arnold, a specialist in gastrointestinal health and lifestyle medicine. In it, she talks about the link between your brain and your gut and how so many ailments and conditions can be alleviated by taking more care about the ingredients we use.
The gut-brain connection
“Gut health is really important for inflammation,” says Arnold. “You need to have a lot of Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria. These are key in breaking down pro-inflammatory cytokines which can cause things from migraines, depression, even breast cancer.”
Working from home can bring up myriad challenges from high-stress scenarios relating to work, to feelings of loneliness and anxiety at being on our own. There’s often a temptation or pressure to keep powering through, neglecting our bodies’ requirement for restorative sleep and rest. It can lead to poor food choices, lower energy levels and decreased productivity and overall wellbeing.
We can often address certain issues with simple changes to our diet. Although eating a blueberry or avocado isn’t going to instantly cure a problem, it can help to be aware of what your body needs and regularly fuel it with nutrients which can help lessen symptoms and promote good overall health.
(This excerpt is from the article in issue 3. To read the full article and the whole issue, click here to get your copy.)
Lunch ideas when you work from home
From salads to sweet treats, these dishes and snacks are quick, nutritious and full of the ingredients recommended by nutrition experts in The Homeworker magazine.
These lunch ideas for when you work from home are full of ingredients that offer up benefits such as helping to combat stress, anxiety and depression. Some provide healing qualities and they can help you sustain energy levels throughout the day.
They can be cooked or prepared quickly and easily or are designed to be made in batches which you can refrigerate or freeze for convenience.
As a child, salad meant a bit of iceberg with some chopped cucumber and tomato. Luckily, salads have ramped up a bit since then and can make a really satisfying lunch.
Griddled salmon, with colourful vegetables, a combination of sweet, salty, succulent and crunchy.
I love this particular recipe by Jessica Gavin. From oily fish to vitamin-rich peppers, crumbled feta cheese, juicy tomatoes, nuts and olive oil. They all combine to give you a nutrition-packed lunch ready within half an hour.
If you want to get the nutritional lowdown on these foods, check out issue 3 of The Homeworker magazine.
If you’ve nothing prepared and you need a quick work-from-home lunch. A wholemeal wrap filled with favourites is a quick win.
Some nutritious combinations include:
• Tuna and avocado
• Hummus with grated carrot, pepper sticks and cucumber
• Prawns (combine mayo and a dash of tomato sauce) with lettuce leaves and cucumber
• Mozzarella and pesto with avocado
One thing about working from home is that you’re not confined to set hours and don’t have to take your lunch break at 12.30 on the dot. Whatever your schedule, this dish is quick, nutritious and filling. It’s an easy meal you can whip up for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or anytime you’re looking for a quick and easy fill, ready in under 10 minutes.
This recipe for scrambled eggs with spinach is served with tomatoes but the beauty of it is you can add to it to make it a more substantial meal. Try adding mushrooms and avocado to boost its nutrition credentials or keep it simple for a speedy feed.
On those soggy, autumnal days, a comforting soup is a perfect antidote. Cooked in batches and frozen, it’s a great option to have ready to go for a simple yet satisfying lunch.
This lentil soup recipe is laced with ginger and turmeric and provides a creamy, warming and wholesome dish that also serves up some additional nutritional benefits. It can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes.
The one-pot win
Eggs, milk and combined with whatever you fancy whip up to make a quick and simple omlette.
It’s a chance to get in a good dose of your five-a-day: peppers, courgettes, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms are all ideal.
You can also add some extra protein or cheese. From pan to plate in less than 15 minutes.
When hunger strikes and those 3 pm munchies take hold, a snack that offers up some health benefits is sure to go down a treat.
These raw protein balls from Kind Earth require no cooking and can be kept in the fridge for several days. They are the perfect work from home snack.
Packed with hemp, chia, flax and cacao, these balls are full of antioxidants and healthy fats.
Also check out The Homeworker magazine (upcoming issue available with subscription) for some great work-from -home snacks!
To understand the nutritional benefits of different foods and how you can start feeling better and heal yourself from the inside, read it all in issue 3 of The Homeworker magazine.
Subscribe to the quarterly magazine for more in-depth work-from-home tips, advice and inspiration for your health, wellbeing, mindset and workspace.