Yours Magazine, 20th September 2023 Dominique Ludwig and Rosie Floyd
A great article on how to create the best adult packed lunches that are nutritious, balanced, and will leave you firing on all cylinders all afternoon and feeling full- up until supper. CLUE: it’s all about the PROTEINS, FATS and FIBRE.
If you want to feel energised and productive and avoid the mid afternoon slump, it’s important to add all of the macronutrients into your light lunchbox in the right proportions.
This means focusing on proteins, healthy fats, plenty of vegetables (fibre), and some whole food carbohydrates. Proteins, fats and fibre are digested slowly, meaning that they provide us with long term energy between meals. They also put the brakes on our digestion, slowing down the release of carbohydrates.
A quick sandwich may provide us with these essential macronutrients, but the proportions are usually out of balance, meaning that we are more likely to get a blood sugar spike, which to leave us hungry, lacking energy and reaching for unhealthy snacks in the afternoon to get us through the day.
Follow my expert tips to learn how to make the perfect pack lunchbox for adults!
We asked nutritional therapist and the founder of nutrition and lifestyle programme, Renew, Reset, Recharge, Dominique Ludwig, all about what to put in a lunch box for adults so you can have a nutritionally balanced, healthy lunch that will leave you feeling full and satisfied after eating it.
What to pack in a lunch box for adults?
To avoid ultra-processed “meal deals” and stay informed about your food choices, bringing your own meals is the best option. It can save you money and promote better health. Buying lunch out may lead to fewer healthy choices and increased consumption of processed foods. Meal deals often tempt us into buying more than planned, with pre-packaged options usually being highly processed.
Dominique recommends thinking about protein, fats, and fibre, also known as the PFF method when you start to plan what you’re going to eat and build your meal on this basis. She says to include the below foods:
Protein not only fills us up but also provides our body with amino acids. Proteins are vital because they form building blocks in our body, so we need to consume them in our food. Our body craves proteins, so it is important to have them at every meal. Aim for a portion of meat or fish that is around 100g and top up with plant proteins, such as edamame beans, chickpeas, lentils, or tofu.
Vegetables are a fantastic source of nutrients and fibre, but they also contain plant compounds known as phytonutrients, which can act as powerful antioxidants in the body. One of the main advantages of vegetables is that they are packed with fibre. This creates an obstacle course in our gut that slows down the release of energy from our meals, keeping our energy levels stable for longer and making us less likely to snack. Choose three to ten different vegetables for your packed lunch and choose as many different colours as possible.
Natural healthy fats are vital for the health of our brain and nervous system and are present in all our cell membranes. Fats nourish our bodies and keep us full up. If we are still hungry after our packed lunch it is usually because it is lacking in protein, fibre, and fats. Healthy fats are ones that come from natural sources and have not been processed, found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado and olives.
Whole food carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but are more of a top-up than the star of the show. Refined carbohydrates such as white rice, bread, pasta, and wraps contain fast-release carbohydrates and sugar, which can spike our blood sugar levels and wreak havoc with our afternoon energy levels. It is therefore important to add healthier whole food varieties as they contain more fibre, are less processed and don’t spike our blood sugars in the same way as refined. Good choices of these include oat cakes, quinoa, sourdough bread and wild rice.
What is a healthy lunch box for adults?
If you want to avoid the afternoon slump, Dominique says you need a balanced lunch box. This means that it is the right proportions for your body, metabolism and biology.
She suggests your lunch box should be filled with these guidelines:
• 1/4 filled with protein-based foods.
• 1/2 filled with vegetables, whether cooked, raw or as a soup.
• 1/4 filled with whole food carbohydrates.
• A serving of natural, healthy fats, such as olives, avocado or extra virgin olive oil dressing for example.
• Top with three things to add interest and diversity to your lunch, like seeds, nuts, hummus, sprinkled feta etc.
• Add some fruit for dessert, opting for ones that have lower natural sugars, such as berries, apples or pears.
According to Dominique, making sure your lunch box carefully balances proteins, natural fats, vegetables and carbohydrates can do the following:
• Increase our energy levels and productivity
• Keep our blood sugar levels stable
• Leave us feeling satiated so we don’t need to snack on sugary drinks and snacks in the afternoon
• Helps us to maintain our weight more easily
When we eat a meal that is properly balanced, our appetite and need to snack reduces, meaning we are less likely to snack between meals.
Meet the expert
This article contains expert advice from Dominique Ludwig. MSc Nutrition, Nutritional Therapist mBANT, CNHC, AFMCP. Founder of the nutrition and lifestyle programme Renew Reset Recharge, Dominique has over 30 years of experience as a King’s College, London qualified nutritionist and almost 20 years as a nutritional therapist. She works globally and is the secret weapon of many high-profile clients and A-listers.
About Dominique Ludwig, Nutritionist MSc and Nutritional Therapist mBANT
Dominique Ludwig is an accomplished Nutritionist with over 30 years’ experience as a qualified nutritionist and almost 20 years as a nutritional therapist. The secret weapon of many high-profile clients and A-list celebrities, Dominique has been voted one of the top 15 nutritionists in the UK. She is a triple award winning nutritionist (Most Innovative Nutritionist 2022, Most Outstanding Nutrition Programme 2023, UK and Most Pioneering Weight Loss & Nutrition Programme 2023 – UK ), and is the founder of the Nutrition and Lifestyle Programme Renew Reset Recharge®, a pioneering nutrition, weight management and lifestyle programme that has been carefully created to support gut health and hormone health. To find out more CLICK HERE for details.
Dominique works out of her own busy practice, Dominique Ludwig Nutrition, both virtually or in person in Hampshre as well as Meyer Clinic in Chichester. Dominique has helped over a thousand clients, globally, live healthier lives. She is a regular contributor to The Times, The Sunday Times and Times 2, Sheerluxe, Top Sante, Stylist Magazine, Yours Magazine, Sunday Express and many other magazines and podcasts.
To work with Dominique you can book a short discovery call to find out more. DISCOVERY CALLS
DISCLAIMER: Features published by Dominique Ludwig are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.