Who Doesn’t Want Healthier Lunches?
Mid-day fatigue happens most often because of what you had for lunch.
What did you have for lunch yesterday? If you are the typical American, you had something along the lines of a burger, fries, chicken, soda, pizza, etc. Now, let’s consider another question. What is the number one complaint of my patients and people who attend my lectures? Across the board, the answer is fatigue. It seems almost everyone I encounter would like to have more energy.
So, what does this have to do with lunch? When questioned, most people say they are more fatigued after eating lunch then before. One of the major reasons for this is most lunches contain large amounts of fats. Fats, especially saturated fats found in animal products (meat and dairy), cause red blood cells to clump together. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the body and when the red blood cells clump together they are not very effective in carrying oxygen. This lack of oxygen causes the body to get tired.
If you want to put this to the test, tomorrow have a healthy lunch, maybe a salad with an oil and vinegar dressing using olive or flax seed oil. Don’t limit yourself to lettuce only; add carrots, radishes, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, or any other veggies you prefer. Then notice how you feel that afternoon. The following day, have a meal with a lot of fat. If you still eat meat, have a beef burrito with cheese, a cheese and meat pizza, or a ham and cheese sandwich. Pay attention to how you feel after this fatty meal. I feel confident that you will notice that you had more energy following the healthy meal but felt tired after the unhealthy one.
Eating Healthier Lunches
Eating lighter, healthier lunches will increase productivity in your life. If you have children, this becomes equally, if not more, important. Children’s performance is directly linked to their diet. For 19 years in my practice, I have counseled hundreds of families on how to improve their mental functions as well as their health, especially their children’s . One very effective way to improve mental function and over-all health is to improve nutrition. Eating the foods you are biologically designed to eat can take an average student, employee or family member and make them above average. It can take an above average person and bring them to a whole new level. Everyone benefits from giving the body the nutrients it needs. It’s important to realize that most school lunches will adversely affect how your child thinks and acts. I have spoken with numerous teachers who all agree that grades are traditionally better in the morning classes (before lunch) than in the afternoon classes (after lunch).
Some school cafeterias offer salad bars and meat-free/dairy-free meals. If your child is going to eat in the cafeteria, instruct them on how to make the best choices available to them. Also, when you are eating out, follow these simple healthy eating rules. First of all, remember that there is always something to eat. In 19 years of eating out and traveling over the world, I have never been forced to miss a meal because there wasn’t any food available that I could eat. If eating Mexican, have beans instead of beef. If you are having Chinese, try the stir fried veggies, mu shu veggies, veggie lo mein, veggies with tofu or veggie chow mein. Italian food also offers plenty of healthy options, including pasta with marinara sauce, pesto without cheese (see my book “Eating Right For The Health Of It” for several pesto as well as over 200 other recipes that are vegan, wheat-free, hypoallergenic, easy to make and delicious!), or just salad with Italian dressing. Thai food is also a good choice and can be easily made without meat; just ask your server to use tofu instead of the meat or that you want veggies only. The sauce and veggies taste just as good as the meal with meat and might even be cheaper. Also, many American restaurants now serve veggie burgers.
Packing Healthier Lunches
If you are packing lunch, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Keep in mind that you can also make your sandwich with almond butter, cashew butter, or filbert nut butter. Be sure to use a 100% fruit jelly and a healthy bread such as spelt bread (a bread made with spelt, a grain similar to wheat, but much easier to digest and hypoallergenic) or Ezekiel bread (a sprouted grain bread). Or try a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich without the bacon. I also suggest canned organic soup, which can cost as little as $1.25 and is low in calories, low in saturated fat, is filling and is good for you. Add a few carrot sticks, celery sticks and a piece of fruit and you will feel better, live longer and enjoy every day instead of being tired and unable to perform at your best.
Nutrition is important because it is the fuel that runs your body. This, along with a properly functioning nervous system, is the combination to achieve optimum health. If you have any back pain, headaches, leg pain or arm pain, or if you don’t feel as healthy as you should, be sure to get a thorough chiropractic evaluation to find out if you have a pinched nerve that is preventing your body from functioning at 100%. By eating this way and being sure your spine and nervous system are not malfunctioning, you avoid most of the things that prevent you from being all that you can be (sorry US Army for stealing).