Brown bag secrets

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Brown bag secrets


Fresh fruit and veggies at USC

12 June 2014

What foods are good? What are bad? And most importantly, how do I uphold a healthy diet while I am at work?

Individuals in the workforce spend a large portion of their day at their place of work. Without careful planning it can be challenging to stick to a healthy diet.

Sue brings in some freshly baked cookies to the office… Peter invites you to the tuck shop for lunch...or the process meals in the frozen shopping isle look like an easy lunchtime solution.

With all the temptations, what can you do to stay on track and make healthy food choices at work?

Healthy eating

Use the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating to ensure you are getting the five food groups recommended to maintain a healthy diet.

What is on the menu?

  • Fruit and vegetables: an assortment of colourful vegetables and fruits should make up almost half of your packed lunch bag (Potato chips aren’t included!)
  • Grain foods: whole grains such as a sandwich made with brown bread, rice crackers or possibly whole wheat pasta leftovers from the night before. Limit the use of white bread and white rice.
  • Protein: include lean proteins such as a can of tuna, legumes or mixed nuts. Limit consumption of processed meat and bacon; regular consumption can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
  • Low fat dairy: complement fruit with greek yogurt or possibly a small portion of cheese on your sandwich.
  • Water: Plenty of H2o; it is the recommended drink.

Carry a water bottle with you

Given the recommended intake of water is 8 to 13 cups a day it is necessary to regularly hydrate at work. For the USC community, bottle refilling stations on campus make refilling easy. In addition, having your water bottle handy avoids the likelihood of purchasing a sugary soft drink bursting with calories. After all a glass of water is sugar free and calorie free!

Healthy shopping

Preparation is crucial to ensure you are packing a nutritious lunch. Before your weekly visit to the grocery store construct a shopping list for lunches. This will save time, money and the possibility of consuming hidden calories.

Healthy thinking

The virtual world can lend a helping hand when it comes to thinking of healthy lunches and snacks. Here are a few links readers may find useful:

  • Healthy Shopping:  assists with pantry tips, reading food labels, nutrition advice, plans to action lifestyle changes and lots more
  • Get Healthy: provides information and ongoing support for adults in relation to healthy eating, physical activity and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Better Health Channel:  a selection of healthy recipes with shopping lists
  • Recipe FinderThe Heart Foundation website features a range of delicious and healthier recipes
  • Healthy Food Guide: Article with 10 simple ingredients to create an array of quick and easy lunches

What are your favourite healthy lunches?

Do you have any brown bag secrets?


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