Hi guys! I’m Anne Mauney, a fellow intuitive eating Registered Dietitian and blogger over at fANNEtasticfood.com. I’m thrilled to be guest posting here today – thank you for having me, Robyn, and I hope you’re having a blast on your honeymoon!
I found Robyn’s blog years before meeting her in person, and have always loved her refreshing, kind, and positive approach to nutrition, exercise, and self care. We finally had the opportunity to meet back in 2015 at the big annual dietitian conference, FNCE, and what was supposed to be a quick 30 minute meet up turned into a 2 hour walk because we really hit it off and didn’t want to stop talking!
In addition to the fact that Robyn is really friendly and fun in person, we also have a lot in common professionally and I always love connecting with like-minded RDs. I also have my own private practice (www.AnneTheRD.com) through which I work with both local and virtual clients, and I have a virtual 6 week intuitive and mindful eating course. So, a big part of our conversation that day was about our experiences working with clients, many struggling with disordered eating, using an intuitive/mindful eating approach. Helping our clients (and blog readers!) to develop happier, less stressful relationships with food and their bodies is something we are both very passionate about.
So, when Robyn invited me to guest post here today, it was hard to decide what to write about – what could I share within the intuitive/non-diet/mindful eating realm that she hadn’t already discussed previously? Ultimately, we decided on something simple that our clients (and we personally) often struggle with: the important of making time for a real lunch break (or other break) during the workday.
Given that Robyn and I both live in big cities (I’m in Washington DC), we see this especially often with our motivated and career-driven clients. DC is definitely a city of workaholics, and something I often work with my clients on is reducing their stress levels throughout the day, because that stress often influences their food choices. The simplest way to do this is twofold: 1) don’t get too hungry – getting too hungry is added stress that you don’t need on top of normal life/work stress, and 2) give yourself an actual lunch break to reset throughout the day.
I know what you’re thinking: “I’m way too busy for that.”
Here’s the thing: giving yourself a real break, even if it’s a quick one, will not negatively impact your productivity – and in fact it will actually help it. Here are 3 big reasons why you need to take a lunch break.
1) You will be more satisfied by what you are eating – and it will be easier to determine how much food you need since you are paying attention.
As you already know, I’m a big proponent of intuitive and mindful eating. Mindful eating, which basically just means actually paying attention and focusing on the experience of eating (see also: a guide to mindful eating), will help you to savor your meal and allow you to listen for cues your body sends you when it is full and has had enough. This is especially important when you are just starting your intuitive eating journey and re-learning what fullness feels like for you. It’s hard to enjoy your meal and avoid eating past fullness when you don’t even realize you’re eating because you’re focused on your email. Have you ever had that “Wait, is that already gone?” thought with food you’ve eaten while distracted?
Pictured above: Lemony Spinach Quinoa Bean Salad – simple packed lunch idea!
2) Multitasking is bad for us.
It’s becoming pretty obvious that multitasking is not good for us, and yet it seems more and more prevalent. Our constant need to feel connected paired with overwhelming to do lists tempt us to try to juggle it all at once – and to go ahead and eat lunch while we’re at it, too – but all that multitasking is not doing us any favors personally or professionally. In fact, multitasking makes us less productive – and more stressed.
3) Changing your environment will positively impact the rest of your day.
Even if you aren’t actually eating during your lunch break, taking a short walk will do wonders for your mood.
Studies show that even brief breaks will vastly improve focus – so you will be more productive if you allow yourself a break than if you try to power through and skip it.
I know that it’s not always going to be realistic to take a break during the workday – and that sometimes life happens and we need to have a rushed meal in front of our computer or in our car. But like for most things in life, there is time, we just have to want to make it, and make it a real, consistent priority.
So – close that laptop, push back your chairs, and take your lunch break, even if it’s just 15 minutes. Every minute will help. 🙂
Do you prioritize taking a lunch break? If you need some lunch ideas, here are some Simple Weekday Lunch Ideas! I also just recently shared a blog post on Mix & Match Grain Salad Bowl Recipes – my favorite quick and easy vegetarian throw together lunch as of late! It’s packable, too. 🙂
Other posts from my blog you might enjoy: