Lunch in a Rush
Searching for ways to make better food choices, before getting sidetracked by hunger and convenience? Here are some ideas from Andie Kalifer, a Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner.
I look at food as fuel; every meal counts as another opportunity to flood your body with nutrient-dense foods. What we put into our bodies has a real effect on the way we feel and our mental state.
When lunch comes around, it’s so easy to make unhealthy decisions out of hunger and convenience. Processed, packaged foods and fast food are the classic go-tos during the working week. These foods are inflammatory and often cause fatigue, sluggishness, sugar-cravings and brain fog. This is the opposite of how you want to feel at work!
The issue with eating out frequently is that you really don’t know what’s in your food. Restaurants often use vegetable oils, which go rancid and release toxins that are carcinogenic and truly harmful to our health. Chinese and Thai restaurants, specifically, often use chemicals and preservatives that can impact us on a day-to-day basis. For instance, nitrates are a preservative used to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They can cause symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. MSG is used as a flavouring agent in foods. It can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and weakness.
When you’re trying to function optimally, it would only make sense to eat nutritious foods that our body recognizes.
Planning your meals ahead of time gives you full control over what goes into your body!
Here are my tips for a healthy week:
1. In order to make healthy decisions at the point-of-purchase: plan your meals; make a shopping list; follow that list.
2. I always recommend meal-prepping on a Sunday to set yourself up for a successful week. This is an easy and manageable way to ensure that you will have clean and healthy foods on hand.
3. Buy clean snacks. Sometimes it’s not always convenient to cook from scratch. Stocking your fridge and pantry with nutritious snacks will influence you to stay on track. Many consumer products are greenwashed, meaning they are marketed as being healthy, when in fact they are not. I buy my fridge favourites every week from Live, they are:
• The Dips – Seriously, any of them. The Beet & Basil is especially delicious!
• The Wraps – For a sweet option, I top them with a nut butter and banana. When I want a more savoury meal, I make a wrap with hummus, cucumber, Live’s Kimchi, lettuce, tomato and a protein such as organic tofu or tempeh.
• The Crackers – Dipped in the Garlic & Onion spread is beyond.
• The Bread – Topped with homemade nut butter and fruit, avocado or any of Live’s dips!
Having these staples in my fridge on a regular basis sets me up for success, especially when coming home from a long day or packing a lunch for on-the-go.
It’s so important to shop from brands you trust. I know everything that Live makes is clean, healthy and filled with ingredients that I know and can pronounce.
My number one tip when grocery shopping: read ingredients, not labels!
This meal is my favourite for a quick lunch when I’m on the go or if I only have 10 minutes to make something!
• Sliced Live Bread
• Live Beet & Basil Dip
• Organic black sesame seeds
• Organic hemp hearts
• Organic greens – broccoli sprouts, pea shoots, micro greens, etc.
• Organic avocado
• A pinch of some quality sea salt
This bread is high in fiber which is essential for optimal health. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that keeps our digestive system healthy. The health of our microbiome (our gut) is truly everything!
This bread is seriously delicious! It’s so versatile and acts as a great base for really any toppings!
Andie Kalifer is a Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner. Andie’s passion is to help others create a balanced lifestyle and feel their greatest with food. Her goal is to spread her knowledge on how nutrition can not only be enjoyable and accessible, but delicious too! Andie looks at food as medicine; she strongly believes whatever we eat and apply to our bodies will manifest into how we feel, how we look, and what we think. She is dedicated to helping people make smarter, healthier, manageable, and sustainable lifestyle changes in order to create the best version of themselves.