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Al Fresco or Al Desko?

Al Fresco or Al Desko? Working from casa de Upp and traveling back-n-forth to client’s homes, it would be very easy for me to grab a bite out when I’m on the road. Instead, my mindfulness takes over, I stick my goals, and it feels great! Taking a homemade lunch to work is one of the simplest way to keep your wallet and waistline in line with your health goals. No doubt eating out for lunch can add up day after day, week after week; but even that "healthy" salad may not be as healthy as you think. My husband is always proud of himself when he tells me he chose a Caesar salad over a sandwich at lunch. But the fact is, a traditional Caesar salad with the classic dressing is doing more harm than good. That dressing may just be the extra calories that are sabotaging your efforts.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of a traditional Caesar dressing:

(recipe credit: Food Network) 6 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon vinegar Kosher salt and pepper 2 tablespoons mayonnaise ½ cup olive oil Lemon juice Minced anchovy fillets, optional

Now according to this recipe, it makes 4-6 servings – so if you calculate calories at 5 servings that calculates to 241 calories per serving. If you’re anything like my husband, 1 serving is not typical, so that seemingly “healthy” Caesar salad that my husband ate for lunch was close to 500 calories in dressing alone. These ingredients definitely don’t align with that “healthy” motto. “So Nat, what do we do?” Well, for many people, the biggest barrier to packing a healthy lunch is the planning. Planning is daunting. I’m not going to lie, but strategically carving out time each week consistently is a sure-fire way to reach your fitness goals. Here are a few tricks that work for our family:

  1. Think about a trigger or an action you already do nightly as a reminder to plan ahead, (We make lunches right after doing the dinner dishes).

  2. Check your weekly menu planner. (I have a special bonus for you at the end)

  3. Get the kids involved. Give them a task and watch their eyes light that they helped.

  4. Do that nightly and make a habit out of it!

  5. Carve out time, either by yourself or with the family and plan the meals for the week.

  6. Be Consistent. After a while, planning will be a breeze.

Bringing your lunch also saves you time by not having to leave the office. Take advantage of these extra minutes over your lunch hour with a mid-day refuel! Head outside for a walk, listen to some music and get moving before or after you eat. It’s your bonus for eating in! It can be tempting to work through lunch, but try to avoid if possible. Getting away from the desk increases productivity and clears the mind. And speaking of bonus, I am including my weekly meal planner to get you started on the right foot.

So what will you choose this week? Al Fresco or Al Desko? Your biggest cheerleader, Nat

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