Wolfing it down
Grabbing a service station meal deal to eat on the way home may seem like a good solution to solving your hunger, but why does eating in rush sometimes make us feel not quite right? Dietitian Lola Biggs (togetherhealth. co.uk) has the answer. “We’ve all done it. When we are busy, hungry (maybe even hangry), or rushing around, we gulp our food down far too quickly without thinking about it. This can lead to that stuffed, icky feeling and you might get indigestion which feels like a heavy, burning sensation, along with discomfort in the upper part of your belly or abdomen.”
But don’t panic just yet. While indigestion is a bit of a nuisance, it’s common and fairly harmless. “Indigestion is generally nothing to worry about,” says Lola. “It doesn’t usually have any serious health complications; however, it can make you feel uncomfortable and may affect your quality of life if you suffer from it a lot.” If you’re plagued by indigestion, regardless of whether you’re eating on the go, then speak to your GP. “If you find you experience it more regularly, it might be worth speaking to a medical professional. Lifestyle-wise, cutting down on alcohol, caffeine and fatty foods, giving up smoking, and eating smaller, regular meals can help.”
Problems also arise because we don’t always make our best choices when we’re in a rush. So how can we make sure we’re eating something that is good for us, even if we’re short on time? “Healthy eating on the go doesn’t have to be difficult, it just takes a bit of clever planning,” explains Lola. “If you know you are going to be out all day, make a packed lunch the night before. Wraps are a great, tasty and portable healthy lunch option. Stuff them with vitamin and mineral-rich hummus, veggies, proteinrich chicken or turkey and salad and roll them up ready to eat.” Not a sandwich fan? Then create your own nutritious and power-packed protein pot. “Fill your lunch box with high fibre brown rice or quinoa, omega-rich tuna or salmon, nutrient-dense boiled eggs that are low in calories, avocado, cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and salad leaves,” suggests Lola. And as for snacks, you’d be better off skipping the vending machine and heading down the whole foods aisle. “I always keep healthy snacks in my bag such as an apple with nut butter, a bag of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, a banana and raw carrot sticks with hummus – these are all quick and easy and nutritionally well-balanced,” Lola adds.
Ditch the desk lunch
Mounting deadlines, unanswered emails, and rainy weather can lead you eating al-desko instead of al-fresco, but typing out an email with one hand and eating a sandwich in the other isn’t going to make you happy or feel satisfied after you’ve eaten. In fact, your brain might not properly register that you’ve even eaten. “Take 10 minutes to eat sitting down, without distractions,” says Lola. If it’s a sunny day sit outside in nature and if you’re sheltering from the rain, find a local coffee shop or a breakout room in your office.