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How to Eat a Healthy Lunch
If you go through your life eating nothing but fast food and junk food, avoiding healthier options, then you’re not going to go through life very long or, at the least, very comfortably at all. The fact of the matter is that, while human beings can technically handle all sorts of “junk,” we don’t handle the junk well.
We evolved to be omnivores, meaning we can sustain a diet of both plants and animals. Because of the way we evolved, probably as strict herbivores first and then carnivores when options were limited around prehistoric ice age periods, our bodies today actually need the balance.
Types of “junk” we eat, like foods very high in simple carbs and in trans fats, cause us to gain weight and lead to many diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s decades-old chart, people should be eating a well-balanced diet of grains, fruits and veggies, dairy and proteins. This is something we should be doing every single day in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
For a healthy, balanced diet, it is recommended that we eat around:
- 4 servings per day of grains
- 3 servings per day of each fruits and vegetables
- 2 servings per day of dairy
- 1 serving per day of protein
- 1 servings or less of simple carbs (sugary sweets, refined flour, etc)
One way in which you can work to balance out your diet is to fit a healthy lunch into your menu.
With a few dollars in your pocket and a little bit of kitchen knowhow, you can prepare a very healthy lunch that will benefit you greatly, providing energy and ample nutrition.
On today’s menu, we’ll talk about a chicken salad sandwich and some fruit. The benefits from this lunch are numerous. This meal is:
- Low in sodium
- Low in calories
- High in protein
- High in monounsaturated fat
- Low in saturated fat
- Low in simple carbs
- High in complex carbs
- High in essential B vitamins
Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe
To prepare this chicken salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 hardboiled egg
- ½ teaspoon each of salt, black pepper, garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar (cider, red/white wine, balsamic)
- 1 tablespoon pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 fresh lemon
- Fresh lettuce
- Fresh dill and/or parsley (optional)
- Whole wheat bread
In a medium-sized bowl, add in the cubed chicken, olive oil, mustard, seasonings, relish, vinegar, and stir to combine. Next, remove the egg white from the yolk, dice finely, and add to your mixture. You can finely dice and add the herbs if you have them. They will add some great flavor here.
Finish off by squeezing ½ of your lemon over the mixture, stir once more and you’re ready to serve.
This chicken salad is absolutely fantastic served warm on toasted bread.
Throw two slices of your whole wheat bread into the toaster, put some lettuce on the bread and add your salad mixture and enjoy.
For a side, eat an apple and a banana, or an orange and a peach – something in the fruit category. Skip out on the chips completely.
The vinegar and lemon really brighten this dish up, and the fruitiness of the olive oil makes the chicken stand out and, when mixed with the mustard, creates a creamy emulsification and provides great texture.
All told, this is a very healthy lunch that will fill you up without putting on the pounds, plus there’s no mayo in here, so you won’t have to worry about bad fats.