It's hard to believe we are two months into 2016 -- but perhaps less shocking that even the most 'resolute' have already abandoned plans for self-improvement. Year in and year out, we promise to work harder, sleep longer, exercise smarter and eat better. January begins strong, but by March, we may struggle to maintain momentum.
Let's zero in on "eat better." There is no quick fix for this one -- in our increasingly hectic world, it's often a challenge to make good food choices day in and day out. We might not have the time for home cooked meals, for the extra few blocks to the latest fast-casual organic eatery. Work day meals, in particular, are often restricted by both time and budget constraints.
Regrettably, some of us may have retreated to toting sad leftovers to work for lunch, despite our best efforts to have changed this for 2016. Luckily, the coming of spring -- and with it, the feelings of growth and renewal -- provides the perfect opportunity for a do-over.
GP Chef Mark Russell shared an easy, healthful make-at-home meal idea: overnight oats. Pack a small bell jar with almond milk and chia seeds and let it sit overnight in the fridge for a raw, vegan treat that's seamlessly portable. Top with fresh berries and agave one day, and apple compote the next to keep things varied.
Looking to complete your food prep more than one night in advance? Spend Sunday evening preparing a pot of hard boiled eggs that'll last until Friday. Throughout the week, dress up this protein in a variety of ways: sliced atop your favorite simple salad, or diced on toast with a little light mayo and mustard. Eat 'em plain aside some veggies and hummus. There's no wrong way to do it.
Stock your work fridge with trusty condiments -- an effortless way to expand your flavor profile for those weeks when you find yourself falling into a repetitive rut. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar and peanut butter are great for keeping tucked away in your desk. Embellish a classic PB & J with honey (sweet, or spicy!) and cinnamon.
Use hot sauces and chutneys (homemade, if you are so inclined) to jazz up a sandwich you've crafted from your dinner the night before -- refresh that day-old roasted chicken with crusty whole grain bread and fashion a whole new meal! This concept can work well with more than just poultry. Repurpose the remainder of your seed-filled loaf as croutons, should it turn stale.
When possible, keep lunches low in sugar and fat to avoid that 3pm slump -- and take your lunch away from your desk. As the weather warms, allow yourself to make use of local, seasonal greens as they become readily available around you -- and take a walk outside to dine! Feeling inspired yet? Let us know what you're packing for lunch this week, and what veggies you look forward to incorporating most this growing season!