What’s in Your Lunch Box? Alternatives to Bread, Ham and Cheese.

Habits are a powerful thing.  Sandwiches are the go-to for the lunch box but there are alternatives that are just as fast and much better for the health. 

Bread and cheese are generally a very poor combination for those with dysbiosis and yet a favourite here in Ireland.

Many people are now intolerant to both the protein gluten and sugar lactose owing to damage done to villi in the intestinal wall.  Stress, lifestyle and environmental factors are leading causes.  Changes in the food industry and supply chain means we have well stocked supermarket shelves nearly 100% of the time, but at what cost? Additives are added to so many foods to keep them on the shelves longer. Bread and ham are another Irish favourite yet all cold meats contain a number of preservatives including nitrates and sulphites (anti-bacterial agents), two ingredients that cause or exacerbate allergic reactions[i] such as asthma and rhinitis[ii].   A good approach to avoiding foods with preservatives is to choose fresh products that have a short shelf life.  This would naturally lead people back to small local suppliers.

Preparing a lunch box need not be a chore.  Often, we have a grain cooked from the previous evening meal that can be stored in the fridge.  Adding some salad bits to it can be a very simple solution and potentially a positive health change for those with food sensitivities.

RECIPE –

Organic Brown Rice, Organic Cucumber, Fresh Herbs or Salad Leaves, Soya Sauce, Salt, Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Sweet Pakora Balls.

DIRECTIONS-

In this recipe I took a walk outside my back garden and discovered in this warm February day some chives, wild garlic, and lemon balm growing.  I also added winter purslane from the farmers market, a very soft mild tasting green similar to butter lettuce that is exceptionally high in vitamin a (eye health) and potassium (lowers blood pressure).  The sweet pakora can be picked up in a health food store or supermarket.  Alternatively, butter beans could work here also.

Dressing – Cold pressed oil, salt, soya sauce.

Time to make. 5 – 10 minutes

Siobhán Shinnors, Licenced Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist & Yoga Teacher/Therapist.  Working with nutrition for over 2 decades.  

[i] https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/44/2/351

[ii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513007539

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