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How to avoid the siesta effect post your office lunch

Last updated on: December 18, 2012 17:00 IST

How to avoid the siesta effect post your office lunch

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Preeti Desai

Use these tips to avoid napping at your desk after your afternoon meal.

It happens to most of us -- a heavy, delectable lunch at the office and we then spend the rest of an afternoon in a stupor, struggling to finish work.

So here's some advice on preventing that feeling and remaining active and alert all through the day!

1. Opt for healthy protein choices, like beans and legumes, paneer (cottage cheese), lean chicken or turkey, cold-water fish, or a non-creamy recipe or soup or stew.

2. Opt for non-starchy vegetables like green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes or green or red peppers.

3. Add a small serving of foods that contain healthy fats -- olive oil, nuts, and seeds, avocado or again, a cold-water fish.

4. Avoid sweet, starchy and fatty foods. Do not include rich or creamy sauces and dressings, soft drinks, non-whole grain pasta, or rotis or paratha made out of maida or white rice. Instead, opt for wheat rotis or whole grain pasta.

5. Opt for a fresh fruit instead of the regular high-fat and high sugar dessert.

6. Consume minerals (which, like vinegar, help the slow the release of food energy).

7. Swap sweetened, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages with water containing a fresh slice of lemon or some mint.


Image: Opt for healthy protein choices for lunch, like a salmon avocado salad
Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
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Healthy lunch ideas

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1. Chicken pasta, or broccoli and cottage cheese pasta in red tomato sauce: Opt for whole grain pasta, as it will help you feel fuller and provide energy for a longer period. A side dish of crunchy stir-fry vegetables made with slight olive oil balances the main course.

2. Ever tried a tuna bell pepper multigrain sandwich? Basically chunks of tuna with crispy beans, tangy tomatoes and sweet peppers within a crusty multigrain toast.

3. Opt for a lentil tomato stew (a thick dal with tomatoes) as it is rich in fibre and protein, plus offers complex carbs with either wheat roti or half a cup of brown rice. A side dish of crunchy cauliflower and green peas vegetables made with slight olive oil balances the main course.

4. A spicy bean (red beans, black beans) dip is almost fat-free and is excellent source of fibre and protein. Serve the dip along with sauteed leafy greens on warm whole wheat pita bread.

5. Roast chicken or turkey salad, salad greens and nuts (pecans, almonds) mean a satisfying main course rich in protein and antioxidants; you may also roll the salad in a wheat or multigrain roti for a super healthy meal.


Image: A tuna bell pepper multigrain sandwich is both filling and healthy
Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
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