Everyone knows the old standby, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, no offense to breakfast, but lunch is pretty important, too. The food people consume at lunch gives them energy for the rest of the day. Eat a lighter, veggie-packed lunch, and you’ll feel energized and ready to tackle the afternoon. Eat a heavy lunch packed with meat and carbohydrates, and you’ll be dozing in your chair before the meal is finished.
The key with lunch is to ensure you’re getting enough protein and staying well-hydrated, says Molly Kimball, R.D., Sports Nutritionist, on ABC News. Protein found in foods like chicken and beans increases alertness and focus, while water prevents dehydration and keeps the body feeling nourished. “You want to avoid things that are very high in fat, things like fried foods, cream sauces, cheese sauces,” writes Kimball. “These require a lot of energy on your body’s part to digest, break down and absorb, leaving you tired later.”
Need a little help brainstorming a healthy meal to make for lunch today? Try this Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup from “Save Your Breath: A Guide to Eating Well for People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease!” (Serves 2-3.)
What You Will Need
- Large saucepan
- Ladle, soup bowls, spoons
- 1 cup sliced or cubed pre-cooked chicken
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 cup ready-made chunky salsa
- ½ frozen corn
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Low sodium corn tortilla chips
- Chili powder or flakes, low fat sour cream and cilantro (optional)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and let it cook a few minutes until soft and browning. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add broth, salsa, frozen corn, and chicken. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in chili powder or flakes (optional).
- Ladle hot soup into bowls and crumble two tortilla chips on top of each bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro (optional).
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