14 Healthy Recipes to "Make Your Lunch Count"

Easy, Delicious Recipes to help you celebrate   "National Make Your Lunch Count Day"  Free Download

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But why wait until April 13th,  when we can start today?  Between breakfast, widely branded as the day’s “most important” meal, and dinner, the meal we spend all day waiting for, lays a conspicuous meal that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves: lunch. It’s sometimes seen as a tide-me-over between breakfast and dinner, and will often be forgotten altogether if a day’s workload proves too large to allow for a break. So, on April 13, let’s take a moment to memorialize lunch. And not just memorialize it, but really make it count! Here’s a hearty, midday toast to National Make Lunch Count Day.

Why We Love National Make Lunch Count Day

  •  It's a window to the world

Lunch is the meal most often eaten away from home, and as such, we're usually around a different crowd of people in a different place than for our other meals. One way we can really make our lunches count is by finding ways to enjoy it with those around us. It's the perfect time to arrange a short, midday meet-up with an old friend, or to get to know a new one a little better.

  •  When breakfast gets in the way, lunch saves the day

We've all had mornings where we're just too rushed to put some food into our stomachs before taking off. If it weren't for our lunch breaks, there's no way we'd make it through those days. Lunch can serve as a much-needed afternoon pick-me-up when there's just no time for breakfast.

  •  It breaks up the day

You'd have a hard time finding a worker who doesn't look forward to their lunch break! After breaking out of those morning blues, lunch can serve as a much-needed hiatus from the day that'll help carry us through to the end.

How to Celebrate National Make Lunch Count Day

1. Arrange a group lunch

We've all got to eat lunch — why not do it together? National Make Lunch Count Day is the perfect excuse to arrange that group lunch that your coworkers have been talking about for lunch.

2. Buy a lunch for someone who can't

While many of us can afford that noontime sandwich, there are a lot of us who can't. If you're in a position to help, consider buying a lunch for someone near you who might otherwise struggle to pay for it themselves.

3. Plan your next week's lunches

Lunch often becomes an afterthought once you're nose-deep in a pile of work. Consider planning ahead to make sure you'll always have something nutritious to take you from breakfast to dinner! To do this, we have created a healthy lunch recipe book packed with easy recipes for the busy lifestyle we all seem to live.

So, regardless of it being "Make Your Lunch Count Day or Week", the key is to make your health count everyday.   In addition to downloading your FREE recipe book, also sign up for our Newsletter and receive tips on how to acheive health in your relationships, emotionally, physically,  spiritually, and  even professionally. 

We are excited to be a part of your life transformation.  As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. 

 

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Clean Eating Course 101

From diet books and recipes to your Instagram feed, the clean eating trend seems to be everywhere lately. Read on to find out what it's all about and if it's really worth trying.

Defining Clean Eating

Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating "clean" is gaining traction — but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food's pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

What Counts as Processed Foods?

First, let's start with the definition of processed food. "Processing" includes:

Additions of any kind — everything from salt, sugar, and fat to aid flavor and mouthfeel, to preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly, to the vitamins enriching everything from beverages to breakfast cereal. 
Changing the form of the natural food — for instance, removing the bran and germ from whole grains to create refined bread, mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying veggies.
Foods with components manufactured in a lab. (You probably don't need clarification on this one, but if the ingredient list has stuff you can't recognize or pronounce, that's a pretty solid indication that it's not natural).

In that light, processed food includes everything from a hot dog (where do we even begin?) to jarred organic pasta sauce and instant oatmeal. And yes, changing the form of natural food includes cooking as well, so even your steamed broccoli is technically processed, albeit minimally.

So why, exactly, is processing so bad — especially if it's something as simple as adding heat?

Why Is Processed Food Bad?

In two words: It's not. Or rather, not categorically.

"Processing is not always bad," says Jessica Fanzo, assistant professor of nutrition at Columbia University. "Often processing removes toxins or bacteria, or allows for us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning." (Pasteurized milk, anyone?) Processing "can also include altering the consistency or taste of food to make it more appealing," Fanzo adds. So that delicious post-workout kale-celery-spinach- banana smoothie  you had? Enjoy that virtuous feeling knowing that you were likely able to down that giant amount of greens because your treat was somewhat processed.

Still, even though pasteurized milk, kale smoothies, and instant oatmeal are all processed, that doesn't make them on par with doughnuts and Diet Coke.

"The key is to avoid foods that are 'ultra-processed,'" says Fanzo — basically, anything food-product-like or ready-to-heat."

The Problem with Ultra-Processed Foods

As you can probably guess, the health problems associated with ultra-processed food are numerous. Foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to cancer and infertility; highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health; and heavily modified food tends to have additives that overstimulate the production of dopamine, the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.

However, there's added reason for pause when reaching for the Pop-Tart.

In a 2011 article published in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, Carlos Monteiro, professor at the Department of Nutrition of the School of Public Health at the University of Sao Paulo, argues that having ultra-processed foods touted in a way that makes it seem good for you — less sodium! no trans fats! vitamin-enriched! — actually causes more damage to our collective understanding of healthy eating than we may realize. Considering the increasing abundance of "healthfully" enhanced products in the grocery aisles (or perhaps even your refrigerator), Monteiro may be on to something.

The Perks of Clean Eating

Thanks to extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health, "we do know that largely plant-based diets are healthy," says Fanzo. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there's research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair — as if you needed more motivation.

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How to Eat Clean

Unprocessed foods include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dried legumes
  • Nuts
  • Farm-fresh eggs

Minimally processed foods include:

  • Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
  • Hormone-free dairy
  • Oils

Pesticide-free organic food is preferable to avoid consuming added hormones or chemicals. It's also important to note that eating clean doesn't give you free reign to eat endless quantities. They may be healthy, but they still have calories!

"You always have to think about portion size," says Marissa Lippert, RD, owner of Nourish Kitchen + Table, a seasonally influenced cafe in New York City. "I always encourage people to think of their plate in terms of fifths: three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth healthy carbs."

How to Shop Clean

Realistically, eating clean doesn't mean you need to eat everything raw and straight from the ground. It means choosing minimally processed foods with few ingredients on the label, if it has a label at all.

If you're shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, that's always a good start, says Lippert.

When perusing the main aisles for packaged foods, ask yourself: Where did this food or its ingredients come from? How much has it been processed or handled? The ingredient label should be short, and all ingredients should be recognizable. Scan for easy-to-avoid additives like artificial coloring and flavors.

How to Cook Clean

Cooking does alter your food, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"While it's true that some nutrients are lost during cooking, like vitamin C, other nutrients are increased when foods are cooked, like lycopene, so it's best to eat a wide variety of foods, in both their raw and cooked forms," says EA Stewart, RD, who blogs at The Spicy RD.

When cooking food, "the focus should be on maintaining the integrity of what you are consuming and avoiding high-fat cooking methods such as deep-frying or stewing in animal or vegetable fats," says Miranda Hammer, a New York City registered dietitian and author of food blog The Crunchy Radish.

When cooking, opt for flash-cook methods such as stir-frying and ones without additives like steaming. For fruits and veggies, raw is best, but steaming is a close second in terms of preserving nutritional value and keeping the food's natural integrity.

The Paleo Lifestyle

The Paleo diet, which promotes eating only foods as our ancestors did during the Paleolithic era, is similar to a clean diet in that they both advocate whole foods. However, the Paleo diet limits food to pre-Industrial Revolution, meaning it prohibits all grains (not just refined ones), legumes, and dairy products, which clean eating does not.

While there are many personal testimonials that Paleo works, some experts are skeptical. "I don't think we need to all eat meat," says Fanzo. Moreover, "banishing major food groups makes no sense from a physiologic point of view. It sets a person up for failure and rebounding weight."

The Whole 9 Lifestyle and Whole 30

Founded in 2009 by a couple in Texas, the Whole 9 lifestyle is based on nine principles that contribute to a balanced life. Nutrition is one of the core factors, and the lifestyle's eating recommendation is one of whole foods, like meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds.

If you're new to Whole 9, it kicks off with a 30-day detox called Whole 30, in which whole foods are eaten but all alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy are eliminated to "push the reset button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you've been making."

Experts like Fanzo see the elimination of entire food groups (as with the Paleo diet) as problematic. For some people, though, a short cut-off may help them get in the right "healthy eating" mind-set.

"If a brief, up to one week abstinence from certain foods — not all foods! — helps people get in the right mind-set to eat healthier, and they don't have any medical conditions, then I think this is fine from a health and nutrition standpoint," says Stewart. "However I don't think it is necessary, and in many cases it sets people up for an 'all or nothing' approach to their diets."

To receive the latest information on "Clean Eating" sign up for our newsletter.  We love to hear from you so feel free to drop us a line in the comment box below.

Be Healthy,

Total Wellness Resource Center 

Original article was published in Fitness Magazine . Author : Joselyn Voo

Join Our Recipe Contest

Submit and Win

$500.00 in Prizes 

All WINNING RECIPES will be PUBLISHED in our new recipe book scheduled for release in the summer 2017

"Indulge Mediterranean Style"  

Participate by submitting your original "Mediterranean inspired" recipe in the form below.  We are accepting recipes in the following category:

  • Appetizers
  • soups
  • salads
  • main dishes
  • side dishes
  • dips
  • sauces
  • dressings
  • desserts
  • snacks.

 Recipe Contest Official Rules 

1. Contest Begins:  February 01, 2017 12:01 AM and  Ends: May 10, 2017  11:59 PM

2. Eligibility: This Contest is open to everyone who is 18 years of age or older at time of entry. This Contest is sponsored by TWRC (Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor and its subsidiary companies, judging agents and promotion partners, and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/officers/directors are not eligible to participate. Contest  is void in the areas where prohibited by law or otherwise regulated.

3. How to Enter: Contest begins at 12:01 am Eastern Time on February 01, 2017 and ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 10, 2017 (the "Deadline Date"). All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the Deadline Date. To enter complete the form below. Entries submitted in geographic areas in which the entry is not legally permissible will be disqualified. If entries do not contain all necessary information, entrant will be disqualified. Please be certain to follow all directions. Eligible persons can enter as many original recipes in this Contest as they wish. Sponsor is the official timekeeper for this Contest. 

All recipes must be the original work of entrant and not previously published. You may use other recipes for inspiration, but you must make your own unique ingredient and cooking instruction changes in order for the recipe to be considered. Each submitted recipe must not infringe the copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity. All entries become the physical property of Sponsor and will not be returned. By submitting a recipe for this Contest, you grant Sponsor, its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners and licensees unrestricted use of the submitted entry which includes the right to publish your recipe and any other information provided worldwide in all print and electronic media (now or hereafter existing) without time limitation, and the right to include your name and hometown (e.g., city and state) in connection therewith. Sponsor reserves the right to edit, modify, translate, reproduce and distribute the submitted material in any medium and in any manner as it deems appropriate. Sponsor tests selected recipes and reserves the right to alter them as it deems appropriate. Sponsor may contact you via phone or email regarding your submission.

4. Judging: The winner of the Contest will be determined by judging all qualifying entrants' submissions based on the following criteria:

Taste: 25%

Does this recipe taste great with every bite? Does it have mass appeal? Would you want to make this recipe over and over again based on taste alone? Does it contain interesting, yet gratifying flavor combinations?

Visual Appeal: 25%

Does this recipe present beautifully on a plate or in a baking dish? Do your eyes make you want to eat this before you even smell or taste it? 

Mediterranean cuisine 25% 

Does the recipe follow the guidelines of a "healthy Mediterranean dish "that brings out your inner greek-ness and causes you to shout "OPA"

Overall appeal: 25%

Does your recipe appeal to fellow home cooks everywhere? Does the recipe have easy-to-find everyday ingredients and is it easy to make? Does the recipe have a story that will inspire many others to make it?

All entries will be judged using the criteria stated above. In the event of a tie, the highest scoring entry in the Creativity category will be the winner. All judging will be accomplished by a panel of TWRC Advisory "Foodie" Committee Decision of the judges is final and binding on all matters relating to this Contest.

5. Winners and Prizes: A total of 12 winners will be selected: One Grand Prize winner (1st Place) will be awarded $250; One second place winner will be awarded $100. One third place winner will be awarded $50 and nine honorable mentions will each win a copy of the "Indulge Mediterranean Cookbook. Each winner agrees that the publishing rights granted above will be exclusive to Sponsor, its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners and licensees for use in any magazine and/or cookbook in any media (now or hereafter existing) for a period of one year after the date a prize is awarded; following such period, such publishing rights shall continue on a non-exclusive basis. Each prize is not transferable and cannot be assigned or substituted. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a similar prize of equal or greater value in the event that the stated prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor. All taxes, if any, are the winners' responsibility. Sponsor will not be responsible for any loss, liability or damage arising out of the winners' acceptance or use of the prize(s). All prizes are guaranteed to be awarded, assuming a sufficient number of qualifying entries is received and meet the minimum judging criteria.

6. Selection of Winner: Winners will be determined and notified on or about  September 01, 2017 by regular mail and/or email. Any winner may be required to execute a Statement of Eligibility and Release and Payment Authorization within 21 days of prize notification attempt or winner will be disqualified and prize may be awarded to an alternate winner.

In the event winner is a minor in his or her place of residence, all required documentation must be signed by parent or legal guardian. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Entry and/or acceptance of prize(s) constitutes permission for the Sponsor and its agencies (if any) to use the winner's name, hometown (e.g., city and state) and/or likeness for advertising and trade purposes without further compensation or authorization, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, unless prohibited by law.

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In the event that two similar entries are received, only the entry judged to best meet criteria as set by Sponsor will be included in the final judging. Entrants agree to indemnify Sponsor, its affiliated and subsidiary companies from and against any and all claims and liabilities arising out of or in connection with this Contest. In the event of any dispute regarding the identity of an entrant who submitted an online entry, the authorized account holder of the email address used for the entry at the time of entry will be deemed the entrant. "Authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Any potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that such winner is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the winning entry. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the operation of the website or the entry process.

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