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Avoid 'that' 3pm slump - Build a balanced meal

Do you get to 3pm and you find your mind wandering, your tummy rumbling and the feeling you're going to raid the office biscuits come over you? Your not alone. 

This 3pm 'slump' as I like to call it is very common and totally avoidable. I blame lunch time meals that are too low in protein or too low in total kilojoules ("I'm just taking it light since starting the new year") or are missing some carbs. That tuna garden salad unfortunately can't sustain most of us. 

Making sure you are well equipped with a balanced lunch for a day at work can help keep you stay focussed, maintain high energy levels and make you a productive employee. It can also sustain your appetite so you don't then over compensate and raid the pantry when you get home after a day at work - this is when taking it 'light'  totally leads to a higher kilojoule intake over the entire day.... 

But what exactly is a balanced meal? 

It doesn't matter what dietary pattern you prefer to follow, you can use this basic guide to build your balanced lunch. This guide may turn in a balanced salad, stir-fry, frittata, sandwich, roll or wrap.

1. Add a small amount of quality carbs e.g.

- 1/2 - 1 cup of cooked low GI brown rice, barley or quinoa

- 1/2 - 1 cup roasted sweet potato

- 1 small tin of kidney beans or chickpeas

- 1 wholegrain thin wraps 

- 1-2 slices of wholegrain, sourdough or rye bread

2. And some protein e.g.

- 2 hard boiled eggs

- 100g cooked chicken (BBQ or cooked chicken breast)

- Small tin of tuna or salmon

- 100g beef or lamb

- 40g of cheese and 30g of nuts

3. 2-3 cups of salads or cooked veg e.g.

- Garden salads

- Stir-fried greens

- Roasted veg such as pumpkin, capsicum, zucchini and beetroot (these hold up well in containers)

4. And lastly, a small amount of healthy fat

- 1/4 avocado

- A drizzle of olive oil

- 30g of nuts

Another great thing about aiming for these balanced meals, is the satisfaction your body will get from a range of nutrients that you require. Remember, eating well isn't about restricting, it's about eating more of the good stuff.

This is a guide only you may require larger serves depending on your activity levels and body composition goals. 

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