My 3 Lunch Goals for March

Liveblogging The Cooking Cure Spring 2014

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Day 7: Ask yourself 3 questions about your lunch habits.

How sad is this lone chicken thigh? It's the only thing leftover from last night's dinner. We ate all the broccoli that went with it, and there wasn't much of the freekeh and butternut squash salad to begin with, so that's definitely gone. As I said yesterday, leftovers are my go-to lunch, and I'll be totally honest: if I wasn't making an effort this week to better my lunch habits, I would probably just heat this up, eat it for lunch, and call it a day. Ugh, terrible, I know.

But I am trying to improve my lunch habits, which means putting a little more thought into them. What's so difficult about stripping the meat off this thigh bone and turning it into chicken salad? Nothing, Cambria. (I'm answering my own questions here.) It'd give me just enough to top one piece of toasted bread, and with a banana on the side or even a small side salad, I've suddenly got a halfway decent lunch on my hands. It'd probably take me five extra minutes to do this.

This is indicative of what I don't like about my lunch habits: I'm a little impatient. Even though I work from home, I still have an "eat-on-the-go" mentality. I look for the quickest way to get some food in my body so I can get back to the task at hand. My challenge this month is to find new ways to make quick, nourishing, satisfying lunches when dinner leftovers are unappealing or, as was the case today, meager.

With that in mind, here are three goals to amp up my lunches this month:

  1. Have a salad as lunch or with lunch every day. In the same way that I committed to having a little fruit with breakfast every day, I'd like to eat a helping of greens with lunch. Maybe some days I'll make my salad swag ahead of time so that everything's ready for me to put together a big salad for lunch. If I'm eating leftovers on another day, I could throw together a small side salad of arugula with a basic dressing. It doesn't have to be complicated, but I do need to be conscientious about it. Lunch is a great time for me to get in the salad routine.
  2. Prep lunch ingredients on the weekend. I'd like to have a few staple salad ingredients at the ready in my fridge. Greens and vegetables should be already washed, dried, and chopped. It'd be great if there was a container of cooked grains or beans, too, maybe even some shredded chicken. These are not new ideas, just a good reminder that a little forethought goes a long way. If I prep this stuff on the weekend, I'm much more likely to follow Goal #1.
  3. Eat away from my desk and my screens. This really shouldn't be as hard as it is. Even if it's just for 15 minutes, I'd like to actually sit down at my kitchen or dining table and give my eyes and mind a rest from the computer.

I feel like my goals are pretty doable, although they will take a little planning on my part! What are your lunch goals?

(Image credits: Cambria Bold)

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