Food is the foundation of your health. When you eat good food, your will feel good and won’t be tempted to eat things that aren’t good for you.
I’m an advocate of eating a raw, plant food diet and love eating nourishing whole foods that not only satisfy my body’s nutrient need but also satisfy my taste buds. I have eaten raw food for several years now and know that eating raw food has changed my health in a positive way.
For many people, lunch is a rushed meal that is bought from a café or food court shop. Made by someone else, and often somewhere else, you won’t always know the source of the ingredients and what processed foods have been included in the mix.
Making your own lunch the night before or in the morning before you got to work, can take the same time or less as it does to walk to the food court to purchase lunch and you will know what you’re eating!
So what do I eat for lunch?
My lunch is a salad on most days, is my largest (volume wise) and is often my main meal for the day.
I usually buy the majority of my fruit and vegetables at the farmers markets on weekends, topping up with extra salad and vegetable items at my local supermarket or corner store should I need them during the week. I generally buy what is in season, as apart from being at the height of its flavour and nutrition, seasonal produce is also the best value moneywise.
Making a salad is a simple process of combining a base, adding some vegetables and fruits, a protein source and some toppings.
My regular salad will use a green base such as:
- mesculan lettuce
- spinach leaves
To this I will add any of the following vegetables:
- Spanish onion
What goes in the salad is largely determined by what I have in the fridge on the day. How you prepare these items will influence the look on feel of the salad so mix up the chopping, slicing and grating of your vegetables to make things interesting.
Depending on the flavour combination I’m seeking, I will also add some herbs such as:
For protein I will sometimes add a small amount of steamed quinoa. Quinoa is a complete source of protein so is an ideal way of adding protein to your diet. At other times I will add a range of nuts as my protein source. If you would like a non-plant based source of protein, add goat’s cheese, a boiled egg or a small serve of salmon or chicken: just make sure that are condiment size serving with the majority of your plate or bowl being filled with salad and vegetables.
To finish of my salad and to add some extra crunch and nutrition, I will also add a sprinkle of:
- sunflower and/or pepita (pumpkin) seeds
- black sesame seeds
- chopped almonds or cashews or pecan nuts
A delicious salad dressing is the key to bring all the flavours together.
My basic dressing is made from: (measurements are for a single serve and can be adjusted to suit your taste)
- extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
- apple cider vinegar (ACV) or lemon juice – 1 tsp
- Dijon mustard – 1/8 tsp
You simply need to combine the ingredients in a glass container and mix. I usually have a large jar of prepared dressing in the fridge that is a mix of olive oil, ACV, garlic, basil and Dijon mustard.
Herbs and spices added to your salad dressing are a great way of boosting the flavour of your salad so experiment with each batch of dressing to see what flavour combinations you can come up with.
If you aren’t able to make your lunch each day at lunchtime, make it the evening before and store in an airtight container in the fridge. I put the dressing in a small container and the nuts and seeds in another so that I can add them to the salad vegetables just before I eat them.
Whatever combination of salad and vegetable items you combine in your salad, make sure you choose a range of different coloured plant foods: that way your body will benefit from the different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in each.
The great thing about raw food is that you can eat it for any meal of the day. Preparation can sometimes be a little slower than conventional food preparation but not always. When you prepare your own lunch, you will know exactly what it is you are eating.
Until next time, wishing you a delicious day filled with love, laughter, happiness AND raw food lunches!
PS: Be sure to read my next post as to what I eat for dinner.