Today I was disturbed by the number of my peers at school who boasted about skipping lunch. So I just want to express a brief message about this health concern, then I will get to the surprisingly delicious lunch recipe for today.
Many teenagers – especially girls, but some guys as well – go through a stage where they constantly and deliberately skip lunch. Either they’re “too busy” during lunch time to actually eat, or they claim they aren’t hungry, or they are “on a diet” so they don’t eat lunch to cut calories. Speaking as someone who went through this stage myself during the end of middle school and beginning of high school, I just want to say that this is one of the worst things you can do to your body.
One reason people need to eat lunch is to keep up their blood sugar levels. People get grumpy when they haven’t eaten for a while because you need glucose to function. (That said, refined sugars are still bad for you, etcetera, but you need good sugars like the natural ones in fruits.) This is also the reason you may have noticed your classes right before lunch are always the worst – everyone’s antsy and irritable because a lot of the calories they acquired at breakfast have been burned.
Even if you are on a diet, skipping lunch is not good for your weight loss goal. When you deny your body nutrients for an extended period of time, your body’s “shut-off switch” that makes you stop eating when you have had enough malfunctions. So when you get home you are more likely to binge on snack foods and/or have a bigger dinner, because you don’t feel full. That’s why it’s a better choice to eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day, every 4 hours or so. The meals should decrease in size as the day progresses: breakfast is the biggest, lunch is the second-biggest, and so on.
So if anyone reading this is a lunch-skipper, please consider eating lunch. When I started to eat lunch it totally improved my ability to focus in class, and my body was so much healthier!
Now, here is the recipe I made up for my lunch today. I used two mini-bagels because I like to eat cute foods; if you prefer one regular-sized bagel that would probably work just as well, though the amounts may have to be adjusted depending on the size of the bagel.
Fruit and Cheese Bagels with Honey
Makes 2 mini-bagel sandwiches or one regular-sized bagel sandwich
2 mini blueberry bagels (or one regular-sized bagel)
1-2 tbls organic honey
1 slice Swiss cheese (Cut into four smaller squares if using mini-bagels)
a little less than half of a Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly (and cut each slice in half once to fit on mini-bagels)
Cut open the mini-bagels using a sharp knife. Spread the honey on the top and bottom half of each bagel. Layer the apples, then the cheese, then the rest of the apples on top of one half of each bagel.
Cover with the other half. Wrap in foil so the bagel sandwiches won’t fall apart, and chill in the fridge overnight. (I actually used foil and a ziplock for extra security!)
Extra Tip: If I’m bringing sandwiches, wraps, etcetera to school, I always put them in a ziplock and put the ziplock in a pasta container. That way, the sandwich doesn’t get squished.