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 as a way to save money, I look forward to enjoying both foods I love and experimenting with new flavors too.
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.
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 do not have 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 your day less chaotic even though it requires you to “add one more thing.” Meals can serve as checkpoints throughout your day - an opportunity to pause and reflect, refresh your thoughts, and even recharge both physically and emotionally. 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.
Gives you an opportunity to waste less.
Packing a lunch can help you waste less food. According to the EPA, 37.6 million tons of food waste was disposed in 2015 alone. By packing a lunch, you can repurpose ingredients from meals the day before or simply use up more of the foods you purchased at the grocery store.
Looking for additional strategies to reduce food waste? Check out these 5 easy ways to get started in your own kitchen.
Inspires an act of self-care.
The act of eating well isn’t often discussed as self-care. In fact, nutrition is usually discussed as a way 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 body’s needs, but 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.
Whether its a lunch you focus on incorporating or another meal in your day, know that it’s an excellent first step towards supporting both your mind and body. So pack a bag with some new foods to try, and start out on your own journey towards a more positive relationship with food!
Kati Mora, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in non-diet nutrition and eating disorder recovery support. Kati is the founder of Around the Plate,a company dedicated to the pursuit of joyful eating and wellness that is achievable for all. Kati doesn’t believe in diets or weight-focused care and instead focuses her attention on supporting individuals in discovering that they are already amazing as is. Food shouldn’t be a weapon used to control or manipulate your body, it should be an enjoyed and support the body’s we have. Follow Kati on Instagram or visit her blog at KatiMora.com.