If you’re not back to work after the holidays yet, you’re probably going back soon. Or maybe you have kids starting back to school. And if you’re like most of us, you’ve probably made a resolution or intention to be healthier in the New Year.
valuable meal on fast, processed, microwaved, or packaged food because they’re trying to save money, short on time or just too busy to plan ahead.
Here are my best tips, tricks and recommendations for easy, healthy lunches, whether you’re on-the-go or in an office:
Single-meal containers are okay for portioning out left-overs but never reheat in plastic! (even BPA-free is not safe for reheating). I prefer glass containers for food storage.
Reheating Your Healthy Lunch:
I don’t like microwaves. At best, they decrease the nutrients and antioxidants in our food (which is already suffering from a decline in nutrients due to soil depletion). At worst, they may convert compounds in food to carcinogens. There’s a lot of controversy about microwaves, which is not the subject of this post - so let’s just say that with all of the environmental toxins we face in our modern world, the use of microwaves is one that we can control. So why take the chance?
Here are my favorite methods for reheating lunch in your office or on-the-go:
At your Desk: I love the Crock-Pot Mini. It has a removable 20-oz. stainless steel container so you can leave the Crock-Pot itself at work and just bring the inner container back and forth to work (dishwasher-safe). Heats up leftovers in about an hour. Set a reminder to plug it in at 11 am and your lunch is ready at 12. Available in many different colors.
On-The-Go: The Hot Logic Mini is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made - I own two. They’ve traveled the world with me. You can plug it into your car, at your desk or in a hotel room. Holds a 6-cup pyrex dish, which is enough for two people. Takes about an hour to reheat from the fridge, depending on the amount of food. On road trips, I’ll plug in the Hot Logic about an hour before we want to stop for lunch and enjoy a hot meal. In fact, I did this over the New Year’s holiday. We were driving to Northern California and brought along some Christmas tamales. So much better than drive-through fast food! Also great for hotel rooms.
Thermos. Best for soups, chili, pasta and rice dishes. Anything that will fill the entire space of the thermos will stay warm for most of the day. Thermos makes wide-mouth, stainless steel, vacuum insulated containers in a variety of sizes. The trick to keeping food hot is to fill the container completely - so choose the appropriate size for your appetite. These are the absolute best for warm, healthy meals for kids. I like to preheat the thermos by filling it with hot water first. Then after reheating the food (on the stove or in the oven) carefully pour out the water and add the food to the top of the container and seal.
A healthy lunch doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming or expensive. I pin a lot of healthy, leftover-friendly recipes on Pinterest https://in.pinterest.com/mccannnutrition/.
If you’d like support on your wellness journey, a nutrition make-over, or help with a specific health challenge, please take advantage of a free 20-minute health strategy call with me. You can book here:
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I am very pleased to have been interviewed about adrenal health for women in mid-life for this exciting new book. MOKITA is for women who want to avoid the overwhelming task of sorting through all the myths and misconceptions of perimenopause & menopause in order to be proactive with their midlife health. It’s a refreshing, easy-to-read guide that will be especially helpful if you don’t have time to read 30 different books and scour the internet for days. It includes 21 bite-size chapters full of up-to-date information, sage advice, relatable case studies and a promise that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. For sale now on Amazon.com.
FYI: MOKITA means “a truth we all know, but choose not to speak of”—like the elephant in the room!
I was talking with a client the other morning and she told me that she needed to take the day off because she was feeling a little depressed. This surprised me because things have been been going very well for her personally, professionally and physically.
After some conversation, we discovered that what was really going on was that she was tired. Although positive, life had been really busy and she needed a day of self-care and relaxation. So why did she think that she was depressed?
A trick of the subconscious.
Her subconscious didn’t believe she’s deserving of taking a day to herself (sound familiar?). Her mind started making up stories about being depressed, about things not going well, about overwhelm. All to justify the need to rest.
Are you following this?
So many women fall into this trap. We feel guilty for taking time for self-care. We don’t feel that we deserve to take time for ourselves because at some point in early childhood, our subconscious was programmed to believe that we must serve everyone else first and not stop if we can possibly keep going.
Only illness (mental or physical) is an excuse to slow down and take care of yourself.
Everyone needs rest. Everyone deserves self-care. You don’t need permission from anyone (including your own subconscious!) to take time for yourself.
So take the day off. But instead of being sick or depressed to justify it, take the day with a happy heart. Thank yourself for making YOU a priority. Spend time doing whatever you feel you need - don’t get caught in the trap of worrying about have-to’s and should’s. Listen to your intuition and do what FEELS right for you.
Remember that you can’t serve from an empty vessel. Take good care of you.
Cathy McCann is a functional nutritionist, coach, writer, speaker, and mom, who is passionate about guiding women through the journey of healing and rediscovering themselves in mid-life.