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    January 1, 2020

     

    5 WAYS PACKING A LUNCH CAN POSITIVELY IMPACT YOUR WELL-BEING 

     

    Looking for a way to take better care of yourself today? Consider packing yourself lunch. Packing a lunch has become one of my favorite daily routines. Although I initially started packing a lunch to save money, I now look forward to enjoying both foods I love and experimenting with new flavors as well.

    No matter what your day looks like, I hope you’ll consider supporting your own well-being by setting aside time to eat. Research indicates that both children and adults benefit from regular meals, and yes: this includes lunch.

    So, if this is an area you’ve been skimping on, here are just a few reasons why taking time out of your day to enjoy lunch can have a major impact. 

    • Inspires an act of self-care. The act of eating well isn’t often discussed as self-care. In fact, nutrition is usually discussed to control or manipulate the size of our bodies. What a missed opportunity! We are so fortunate to have such a wide variety of foods that not only help support our bodies' needs, they also taste great and provide versatility. When you make time for meals like lunch, you also make time to care for yourself. Instead of asking which foods are “good” or “bad” for your health, why not ask how you can make the most of that meal? It’s a simple question that can personalize nutrition and put the focus on supporting your body instead of trying to “get it right” when it comes to eating well. 
    • Allows you to make an empowered choice. Determining that meals are important enough to commit to requires you to make an empowered choice about what you’ll eat. Empowered choices give you the ability to make the most of every moment.  Making decisions about how you eat is no different. By making lunch a non-negotiable part of your day, you are choosing to care for yourself in one small way and that’s significant. In fact, you might find yourself choosing other ways to care for your body and mind after initiating this first step. 
    • Ensures you will have something to eat no matter how hectic your day. If regular meals are not a priority in your life, making a commitment to eat may seem like a burden to an already busy schedule. Yet I’ve discovered that regularly occurring meals can make my day less chaotic even though it requires me to “add one more thing.” Meals can serve as checkpoints throughout your day - an opportunity to pause and reflect, refresh your thoughts, and physically and emotionally recharge.  Packing a lunch also makes it easier to have food readily available in case your day gets away from you or something unexpected comes up. No matter what, the food you’ve packed will be there, ready for you to enjoy.
    • Encourages exploration and discovery of foods you enjoy. One of my favorite reasons for incorporating regular meals into my day is because I get to experiment with new foods and flavor combinations. Being curious adds a sense of excitement and I often find them much more satisfying that way. I also like the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if I don’t like how one meal goes, I will have another in just a few hours where I can try again. 

    Whether it's lunch or another meal you choose to incorporate into your day, know that it’s an excellent first step toward supporting both your mind and body. So, pack a bag with some new foods to try, and start out on your own journey toward a more positive relationship with food! 

    Kati Mora, MS, RDN