3 Ways to Give Your Lunch Break a Boost

3 Ways to Give Your Lunch Break a Boost

Can’t remember the last time you had a proper lunch break? You’re not alone. According to recent research, only one in five North Americans step away from their desks for a midday meal. We stay in the office to be more productive, of course, but it turns out that skipping a regular time-out can have the opposite effect: Studies show, the longer we stay at work without changing our surroundings from time to time, the more our creativity suffers. 

So before we get to the break-boosting tips, here’s the most important takeaway of all: Be sure to take a break away from your desk, even if it’s only for a few minutes. How you spend those few minutes away can have a positive effect on your mood, even beyond a fresh jolt of creativity.

Here are three great ways to boost your break-time:

1. Take a stroll to get lunch

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If there’s a restaurant, cafe or grocery store a few blocks from your office, walk there for lunch or coffee. Eat your meal and drink your coffee, then walk back. Even a few minutes of light exercise like this can work wonders on your mood and physical health. Kick it up a notch by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And to improve your mood even more: Eat a healthier lunch by replacing fries for a salad with your burger, and by 2pm, you won’t feel like taking a nap!

2. Find a calm green space to breathe

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Head to a calm green space near your office with your lunch in hand. (Here are some easy, tasty and healthy ideas for brown-bagging it.) Take a seat on a bench or a patch of grass, close your eyes and do some deep breathing: Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose — your belly, not your chest, should rise — and then do the same when you exhale. Do this once and you’ll feel better. Do it a few more times and stress and tension will melt away.

3. Get social with a buddy or co-worker

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Invite a co-worker or a friend who lives or works near your office to tag along. Relaxing, laughing, and talking about last night’s game with your buddies will cheer you up, and help you shrug off the stresses of everyday life.

 

So go ahead and take that well deserved break! As you can see, there are way more benefits to doing this than just eating your lunch.

Smashed Chickpea Pesto Sandwich Recipe

Smashed Chickpea Pesto Sandwich Recipe

Bored of the same old ham and cheese sandwich for lunch? Guy-gourmet never looked so good as this smashed chickpea sandwich that will have all your colleagues eyeing your lunch with envy!

And guess what? Chickpeas are low in fat and high in protein, which is what all us guys need to keep our weight in control. Adding legumes like chickpeas to your packed lunches during the week will even help you lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Prep Time: 10 mins   Servings: 3 sandwiches

What you need:

Pesto Chickpea Paste

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup almonds (slivered or sliced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon (you’ll need: 1 tsp lemon peel zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or a 15 ounce can)

Sandwich components:

  • Whole grain bread
  • 2 slices of tomato (optional)
  • ½ cup of spinach (optional) 

Steps

  1. Put all the ingredients for pesto, except for the chickpeas, into a food processor and blend until smooth. (To make lemon zest: grate the peel of a lemon, before squeezing out the juice.)
  2. No food processor? No problem. Just put the almonds (slivered or sliced) in a plastic bag and mash them into tiny bits with the back of a spoon. Chop the garlic and basil into small bits. Mash all of it together in a medium bowl with a fork, until it looks like a paste.
  3. Drain and wash the chickpeas, then mash them in a medium bowl until it becomes a chunky paste.
  4. Add ⅓ cup of the pesto and mix well, then taste. Add more pesto to punch up the flavour until you’re happy with the taste.
  5. Grab a healthy whole grain bread and build your sandwich with ingredients like tomato and spinach.

If you like this recipe, share it with your friends!

 

Sources:

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