The Catered Lunch
Quick Note: As opposed to embedding recipes into these longer than usual posts, I will post a Reset recipe list at the end of this week. I promise, all of these delicious references will be available in recipe form!
If you work in an office like I do, you too are constantly surrounded by food. The unfortunate thing of course, is this same food that I very often devour, is rarely worth eating. Mediocre catered sandwiches, crappy Italian fare, or even worse, sub-par pizza are always around as “lunch meetings” are organized seemingly as an excuse to purchase enough food to feed an army. “My catered lunch was bigger than your catered lunch” may be the modern day pissing match. But before I get too far into the scary eating dynamics of my own office, I guess I should get back to the point.
During the Reset, there are plenty of delicious and filling ways to enjoy your lunch. And your choices will be dictated by how you view the mid-day meal. For me, lunch in the office is an excuse to step away. Therefore, lunch has to be worth it. It has to be delicious and give me the energy I need to make it through the second part of the day, preferably without feeling hungry. It’s why I knew then, and I have confirmed it during this 2nd 10 day stint, that if I want to succeed during the Reset, I can’t simply cook up a bunch of brown rice or quinoa and call it a lunch. Luckily for me (and you), it’s winter.
The cold and drab winter makes a perfect time to go for the Reset. Big batches of lentil soup and black bean chili not only provided me with some real deal sustenance during lunch, but gave me something delicious to look forward to. While winter comfort food certainly has a tendency to contain meat and wheat, it doesn’t have to. In fact, you will be shocked how delicious and comforting a big bowl of curried butternut squash soup can be. Looking for something a bit on the lighter side? How about a winter kale salad filled with citrus, chick peas, and hazelnuts. All of these and more make for a fantastic lunch. One, you’d be gladly willing to skip the catered crap for.
But what if you prefer a more “grazing-like” approach to lunching? Maybe it’s not about a break for you, and maybe the thought of eating a big bowl of vegetable stir fry and rice seems a bit heavy. Well then you are in luck; because with a little bit of preparation, you can have yourself a bunch of amazing snacks that keep you full and Reset committed. Dried fruit and nut mixes are great for snacking. But don’t go out and just buy a pre-made mix; you are better off making your own. Almost all good groceries store now have bulk food sections and making your own trail mix guarantees you will like what you are eating. Need something a little more savory? How about a little hummus with carrots and cucumbers? As a quick aside, is there anything that has grown so quickly as the love for hummus? Kind of crazy right? But back to the grazing…what’s that? It’s 2:30 and you need another shot of energy. Well don’t forget about that treat…
One more piece to the puzzle: Like I mentioned before, lunch has always been the hardest part for me, particularly if colleagues are looking to head out for a meal. In slightly upstate suburbia where Applebee’s, sandwich shops, and crappy Italian restaurants (the same one’s making the crappy catered fare) are more common than I ever thought possible, finding a Reset friendly restaurant isn’t very easy. And while you may be thrilled to be a few days into your Reset, I understand if you are reluctant to explain the details to your colleagues. One of the only good suggestions here is to try suggesting more ethnic fare. Thai restaurants may be the easiest option. Vegetable dishes with a side of rice are more than likely okay and even Indian buffets will provide a decent array of vegetable based meals. The one watch out for Indian is that a few of the most popular dishes are loaded with dairy. I know, I said it was hard. Also, technically speaking, the soy sauce you will probably enjoy in some way or another when dining at these restaurants is not wheat-free and therefore some suggest replacing it with Tamari. My feeling is, unless you are drinking soy sauce by the cup full, it’s okay to let yourself slide here for the sake of sanity.
So that probably seemed like a whole lot to swallow but the reality is, it’s all about preparation. Do yourself the favor to do your shopping on the weekends and prepare a few batches of meals or snacks that you know you will enjoy. Because after only a few days, you’ll without a doubt be thanking yourself! And probably laughing at the hoarders surrounding the sandwich tray…