After making decisions all day, the last thing you feel like doing at lunchtime is have to make another decision or travel half way across town to find something good for you. So often you gravitate to what ever is fastest, easiest and most convenient, but can it also be healthy? 

How to Make Healthy Choices

In order to be healthy you don’t need to have the organic, hand raised, sugar free, pasture fed, low calories, seasonal chicken. Your aim should be to make the best possible choice from what is available. Your lunch should not only have you feeling full but also nourished and energised ready to tackle the afternoon. 

Whether its eating out with friends or grabbing something on the run before my next appointment I ask myself these 7 simple questions to help me make a healthy, fast decision. 

1. How hungry am I?

Portion size. Somedays I will have a big breakfast and small lunch, others its a small breakfast and big lunch. Do you really need to have an entree, main or dessert? Why not have one or share? I make sure what ever I am eating it is relative to how hungry I am, so I am conscious to not over or under eat. You should never feel hungry or have the need to snack if you are getting the portions right and getting back in touch with your appetite . 

2. Does it contain protein?

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient (compared to carbohydrates or fat). Upping your protein intake will help protect your muscles from breakdown when your calories are down and help you to build new muscle tissue when calories are up. 

3. What is the quality of protein?

Studies have shown that grass fed meats contain more nutrients than grain fed, particularly Omega 3’s. Where possible look for locally grown and sustainably farmed sources of protein and limit your intake of highly processed meats like luncheon meats such as ham.  

4. Does it contain vegetables?

Studies have shown that if we focus just on increasing our consumption of vegetables we are more likely to make better food choices overall and maintain a healthier body weight. 

5. Is there 3 different colours?

Diversity of nutrients is key. So as good as they green salad is, see if you can get a few different colours in there like beetroot, tomato or carrot. 

6. Is there anything I can improve upon?

What type of bread would you like? White or brown rice? Do you want that in a wrap or bowl. Don’t think of it as what you need to cut out or restrict but think how you can upgrade and add value to what you are eating 

7. Can I have a glass/bottle of water with that?

Have you ever got to lunch time and realised you’ve had 2 cups of coffee and no water? Our hydration can often sneak away from us during the day, lunchtime is the perfect time to check in on your hydration and get it back on track. 

Salmon fillet and salad, brilliant. Lamb and roast veggies, sounds great. Burrito in bowl, perfect. Chicken stir fry, why not. You don’t have to perfect but aim to be better. As long as you are getting the fundamentals right, your health and vitality will flourish.