o time for lunch? That's what you think. What's your excuse? Too many errands? Have work to finish? When it comes down to functioning in this multi-task, to-do list society, it actually pays to stop and take a break - in this case, a lunch break. Here we make the case for ladies who lunch.
Skipping Meals Slows You Down
While you might think you don't have time to stop and eat, scientists say you actually don't have the time not to stop. The brain runs on fuel like glucose, and while a quick stop at the vending machine can give you a kick-start, it is short lived. The body needs a slow burning fuel, like a quinoa or oatmeal, to keep going all day. Now that doesn't sound all
that appealing as a mid-day pit stop, but try something like Panera's Mediterranean Salad and you get a tasty energy source. This salad mixes the heart of a grain, quinoa, with the time-honored Greek classic pairing of feta and Kalamata olives to create a bowl of deliciousness. The quinoa is a slow glucose burner, which means longer lasting fuel for the brain. It is just the kind of energy you need to power through your afternoon agenda.
No time, really?
Let's look at the "no time" argument. If you are thinking of a quick trip through the drive-thru we might agree that grabbing a frozen meal or packaged bar at work might be better. But with today's trend of amazing fast-casual options offering clean ingredients and fresh food options, there is really no need. Take the new fast casual restaurants, you get the speed, and thanks to fun salad options and eclectic sandwich toppings, you can actually have a bit of a foodie experience all within your lunch break timeframe. If you're feeling sluggish or your brain isn't fully alert, remember that the time it takes to correct mistakes or go back for forgotten items will cost you even more than the half hour you took to grab a that salad.
Two Birds, One Stone
You know how everyone is always saying what you eat is the most important thing? Well, that is not completely true. When and where and with whom you eat are actually pretty important, and according to researchers, just as important.
One of the best-kept secrets is that having a strong diverse social network actually makes you healthier. Five years ago it came out that people with strong social connections are 50 percent more likely to live longer. Here's where lunch comes in, as this meal offers a great opportunity to connect with people at work.
Two more tidbits for you: a study from the University of Kentucky found a key ingredient to happiness at work is camaraderie while another study showed that just the chance for friendship increases job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. We imagine the same thing applies to mommies in the morning drop-off line, so take a minute and invite that fellow mom out for a salad.
"Me Time" Pays Off
Lunch is about more than just eating. We know by definition it is technically all about food and refueling your body, but when it comes to your well being, a lunch break is also a time where you can reclaim some "me time". Psychologists have found "alone" time allows your inner resources to recover from the stress of actually being around people! They have also discovered people who are comfortable being alone have lower rates of depression and more satisfaction with their lives.
So get away from your desk or house and take a break. Everyone can fit half an hour into his or her daily routine. Grab the paper or a book or take a stroll through social media while enjoying a quick bite.
And remember, that quick bite doesn't have to be from a drive-thru! Stop in and grab some quiet time with Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad.
The company's commitment to clean ingredients means you know the salad's strawberries, blueberries, oranges and pineapples will taste amazing.
It really boils down to this - go to lunch. You will be a happier and more productive human being. No, really! Science says so.