At least once a week, sometimes more, there’s a flurry of “Oh crap, I forgot to each lunch!” tweets. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m often one of those people. Lunch, and breakfast!, seem to be the most overlooked meals of the day particularly for work from home types.
I conducted a very unscientific poll amongst my fellow creative entrepreneur friends. Their reasons included being too busy, getting sucked into the zone, putting it off until later and that the idea of lunch is too stressful.
I fall into the last camp. Most days, I have no idea what I want to eat so I end up not having anything. It seems to be overlooked by most cookbooks as well! Leftovers aren’t an option for me either, since most of them are earmarked for my husband’s lunch at work.
Another problem is cultural. When I worked an office job, it was easy for me to remember to eat because I saw other people eating at their desks. So I ate at my desk too. Suddenly, I was working through every lunch. Or I would go to a lunch meeting where we were busy working on a deadline and not eating. At home or at the office, we’re forgetting to take a break and nourish our bodies. We are putting work first and ourselves second.
These excuses and impediments are masking the real (for most of us!) problem: By making time to refuel my body, I’m making myself a priority. I can’t make myself a priority when the gremlins in my mind say “No!” They urge me to put other people and things (I’m looking at you, Facebook!) ahead of my own needs.
So what can we do to make ourselves a priority and get food into our rumbling bellies?
The first step is to acknowledge that it’s OK to take care of yourself. It’s impossible to take care of others, if we don’t also care for ourselves. So go ahead, consider this your permission slip to take care of you and your needs.
Next step is to eat when you’re hungry. Maybe you’re not hungry as soon as you wake up. Or eating at 12pm just doesn’t fit into your schedule. That’s perfectly fine! Just know what your hunger signs are. Check in with your body throughout the day. Don’t wait until you feel dizzy or cranky before eating. Once you start reading the signs your body sends you, step three becomes easier.
Build it into your day. If you’re prone to forgetting or putting off eating, schedule it. Set a reminder on your calendar to get up and go eat. This is also a great way to get into a new habit like working out or drinking more water. Habits take time to form, so be patient!
Make your lunch ahead of time. Did you know you can put the fixings for a salad into a mason jar and it’ll keep for a week? Just put your dressing first and the greens last with everything else in the middle. Best of all, it’s portable in case you need to take your lunch on the go.
Make it a special meal. I love hard boiled eggs but my husband doesn’t. Lunch means I can make myself egg salad and not gross anyone out. The days I plan on eating something that I love are days that I eat and feel satisfied with my meal.
Lastly, view it as an investment in your business. By eating delicious and nourishing food, you’re improving the heart and soul of your job. You’ll feel better and so you’ll produce better work. Better work will attract better clients and customers. And isn’t that a simple solution?
Do you struggle with eating regularly or are you an eating all-star who has already earned your Eat Lunch Every Day badge? Share your stories + link us up with your favourite lunch ideas and recipes in the comments!