Do we dare to dream? A lunch hour meal you’re actually keen to pause work for (sorry Boots meal deal!)
With a touch of pre-planning and a dash of pink Himalayan Mountain salt, your lunch week can be as adventurous and tasty as your imagination allows. And if it doesn’t allow, we’ve got a few pointers to help along the way. You can even save yourself some pennies, get healthier and dazzle your work chums with your elite kitchen skills.
So here’s a few tips of how to make your lunch extra special:
1. DITCH THE PLASTIC TUBS!
Everyone in the office has a preferred tea cup, yet we settle for soul-destroying Tupperware, tainted with evidence of 50 meals past. All precariously scooped in with a plastic fork liberated from the local chain coffee shop.
Pick up some proper tableware and cutlery and regain your self-respect in one fell swoop.
2. MAKE YOUR DESK MICHELIN STARRED
It’s amazing the difference a few well selected condiments can make to an otherwise dull and lifeless meal! Some rock salt, chipotle sauce, balsamic glaze anyone? Seriously, even a hastily prepared salad can be a treat when combined with the right dressing and some crushed walnuts.
3. GOING FOR A JAR
Who’d have thought? Even the humble jar can be part of your trendy, ready to rock fast lunch fix. You can pack some serious nutrition into a clean, taint-free and reusable receptacle. Try layers of mixed salad leaves, avocado and your handy bottom-drawer French dressing. This little power-house of a lunch will fuel your body and mind for the rest of the day.
Here are some Pinterest inspirations to keep you going and our guide to assembling the perfect salad:
4. THINK AHEAD
It really does pay to plan ahead, taking that little bit of extra time on a Sunday evening to map out your culinary week is THE vital ingredient to your healthy, hassle free office meals. Try freezing your dinner left-overs (instead of the second helping you try to resist at 9pm that night!). Likewise, home-made soups are so easy and can provide a hearty lunch for as many days of the week as you like, all prepared and cooked in less time than an episode of Corrie. Why not cook two varieties at once and intersperse them through the week? Pack into portioned freezer bags, into the freezer, then you really can grab-and-go throughout the week.
5. CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT
If you want to be the office lunch ninja, you need to make sure your meals accompanying you on your adventures can last the distance. Your pitas need to be perfect and your frittatas fabulous. So to avoid untimely thrills and spills, here are a few of our favourites:
6. RECOMMENDED KIT
7. LEFTOVERS NEED JAZZ
It’s easy to overlook this most vital of sexy lunch opportunities – the jazzed up leftovers from the previous evening. Sure, some people can look upon last night’s meal as so passé , but again the lunch ninja springs into action with Cajun seasoning in one hand and a julienne peeler in the other. Seriously though, experiment a little, adding a hot sauce or mixing in some microwave wild rice can bring discarded dinners back to life.
8. I WISHES THERE WERE NO DISHES!
Congratulations, you navigated your way through the first adventurous week of real food, eaten on a real plate, with real metal cutlery. You’re feeling healthier, more motivated and slightly less flatulent. It’s win-win. But, ugh, now I have to do the dishes too?!
Well, this is just one case where you have to suck it up and do something unglamorous. Make it part of your routine, it’s all part of the bigger picture – enforcing discipline on yourself in little areas like this will spill positivity into other areas of your life. It’s an ‘easy win’, so congratulate yourself on a job well done.
9. FEEL JUICED ABOUT YOUR DAY
Like many aspects of life, this is one of those simple-to-understand but difficult-to-practice things. Allowing yourself to get dehydrated not only makes you grumpy, it also effects your concentration and dries out your skin. Aim to drink 1.5L of water at your desk every day, take a 500ml bottle and re-fill 3 times if it helps, it also gives you a reason to stay mobile throughout the day too. And remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
This bottle is our office favorite:
10. GRAB SOME FRESH AIR
As vital as anything else you’re consuming through the day, it will do your mind, as well as your body, the world of good to step out of the office and into the fresh air. A change of scene and some natural light is a requirement to keep your circadian rhythm (your natural body clock) in check, which will help to function better and sleep better. Of course, it’s easier said than done but even if you’ve only got 40 minutes, try to force yourself outdoors and take a trip to a local park or beauty spot and nourish yourself with some inner peace!