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26/09/11 Lunch Box Health

Your lunch box needn’t be a chore every time you have to think about making something.  Jo from our nutrition team has made these nutritionally balanced dishes out of things readily available.  If you are on a budget, buying dried beans and following the instructions on soaking them can save money, as can always making the most of your joints of meat if you are using them, boiling the bones of your chicken makes a wonderful broth and you can freeze the stock for use at a later date.  We will write more on credit crunch meals or if you would like more info why not book a workshop for your employees?  Here are a few of our favourite, along with some inspired choices from the Workplace Healthcare team’s recent travels.

Bean salad: ½ tin mixed beans, ½ bag of salad, 2-3 chopped tomatoes, 1 grated carrot, 1 chopped pepper, ½ chopped avocado, drizzle on 1 tbs olive oil, squeeze of lemon and mix well

Apple & bean salad: : ½ tin mixed beans, ½ bag of watercress/rocket, 1 chopped apple, 1 chopped stick celery, 1 handful coriander chopped, ½ chopped avocado, drizzle on 1 tbs olive oil, squeeze of lemon and mix well.

Greek inspired dishes:

Feta salad:  Chop cucumber and tomatoes and mix in bowl with olives, feta and som e fresh thyme (optional) and lots of cold pressed olive oil.

Souvlaki: This can be eaten as a dinner and the remainder brought to work as a lunch box treat!  Chop chicken (breast or thigh) and add to skewers along with chopped peppers and onions.  Coat in olive oil and season and grill for 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through.  Eat with salad and wholemeal pitta bread.

Egg/cottage cheese/ ham/ chicken salad: as either of above but replace beans with 1-2 eggs or 1 tub of cottage cheese or 1-2 slices of cold meat or marinated tofu chunks

Leftovers from dinner: Cook enough dinner to eat the next day for lunch cold e.g. baked chicken/fish and baked vegetables (add some more salad if needed)

Quick Soup: 1 handful lentils, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stick, 1 chopped clove garlic, 1 pinch chilli, 1 bayleaf, 1 pint vegetable stock. Boil till lentils are soft, then liquidize. Eat with rye/whole meal bread and handful of green salad.

French Inspired Potage or Quick chicken soup: Boil leftover chicken bones + 2-3 slices chopped chicken (cooked) with 1 handful brown rice in 1 litre vegetable stock, 3 sprigs thyme (or any other fresh herbs) until rice is cooked. Remove chicken bones and add juice of one lemon.   To make it interesting on different days you can add some freshly made crutons, some gently fried onions, some soy sauce and coriander.

And to Japan for the Miso soup: 1-2 tbs miso +1 piece dried seaweed + 1 litre water. Simmer for 10 mins and then remove seaweed. Add 1 packet of silken tofu chopped and 2-3 chopped spring onions. Cook for a few more mins.

Sandwich toppings/fillings:

Mash 1 avocado with juice ½ lemon+ 1 chopped garlic clove. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Top with 1 spoon of cottage cheese and slices of orange/apple.

Mash 1 tin sardines/1 fillet smoked mackerel with 1 squeeze lemon juice and 1 tbs plain yoghurt. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Eat with handful of rocket/watercress

Chop 1-2 hardboiled eggs and mix with 1 chopped tomato, 1 handful of cress, pinch of pepper. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Eat with handful of rocket/watercress

26/09/11 Health Promotion – let’s get creative pt.5

Employee Motivation – Expanding our horizons, learning new skills and loving the rewards.

Those team building days Mmmm.  The cynical among us who have waded through a sea of post it notes, jumped in icy waters and stepped over hot coals in the name of building relationships and working better may sigh at the prospect, however, if you need to inject some pizzazz into your workforce, reward employees for a job well done, iron out issues in communication that may have arisen, or encourage healthy team work; then don’t overlook team days or run quickly in the other direction.  A change is as good as a rest, so they say, and a change of scenery can help increase our creative streak, which is great if you desire switched on creative employees.

Here are our 3 favourites (at the moment!)

  1. Sailing. Learning to sail can be for everyone.  Whether you choose small dinghy sailing (you will get wet) or a bigger yacht, you can guarantee everyone will have issues and solutions to discuss and share, new feelings and experiences to talk about, and being on the water is great for reflection and seeing the bigger picture in life.  We love Cobnor Sailing School, they run residential courses and the setting is by far the best we’ve seen.
  2. Foody things. We are really enjoyed the two Italians doing foody things on the tv this year, it gave us great things to talk about (mainly food)  in the workplace healthcare office, and we think that it has to be something of a common interest, I don’t think I have ever met anyone who just ate for the sake of eating, perhaps we aren’t quite as passionate as the Italians about food?  Prove me wrong?  However, learning some new skills can do wonders for confidence; encourage health through food and home cooking.  Keep an eye on Carluccios, they run events across the UK and if you have seen the programme, who can fail to be inspired?  Also, we love Chocolart, learn to make your own hand made chocolates, a friendly team and a very professional delivery help to make the team experience first class.
  3. Giving Something back. Working for charity can be rewarding.  Arranging a team day with a local charity is free and you can feel part of a project, many local charities would be grateful for your time, perhaps they have some grounds that need taking care of, vegetable gardens that could be set up, painting and decorating needs, taking care of people, cooking or perhaps inviting local charity organisations to you for a tea morning and encouraging employees to make cakes, fellow employees to buy them, and thus fundraising for your local appointed charity.  Ask your employees what they think would make a difference, and how they would like to give something back and go for it.