Bored of your packed lunches? Health coach Stephanie Douglas gives one reader a healthy alternative

Lunchtime recipe revamp - Diet tips
Revamp your packed lunches
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Q: Since I started my new job I have gained eight kilos and it’s really stressing me out. I also feel drained and tired. I starting taking my lunch to work instead of buying unhealthy things, but I’m getting bored of eating the same sandwich, not to mention getting really hungry around 3pm and heading for the vending machine! What can I take instead?
- Jenny, Adelaide

A: Packing your own lunch is an excellent first step towards a healthier lifestyle! Not only are the ingredients you pack yourself fresher but they are also free of hidden kilojoules that are packed in expensive lunch fare, such as trans fats from oils, sauces and mayonnaise.

Don’t despair. With a little preparation and imagination you can have a delicious, satisfying lunch in just 20 minutes, and get a valuable concentration of vitamins and fibre, which will fill you up and energise you!

Cracked wheat is filled with B vitamins and fibre and, served with a dose of healthy fats from the nuts and some lean vegetarian protein from the chickpeas, will help stave off hunger pains later in the day, and ward of fatigue, which will help you to increase your activity with a walk or workout after work.

Vegetable Tagine with Cracked Wheat

Ingredients:
1 can of chickpeas
1 cup of cracked wheat
1 spring onion
1/2 cup of peas or green beans
2 cups of water
2 large carrots
2 tsp of curry powder
3 tbsp of chopped raw mixed nuts

Directions:
Cut, peel and dice vegetables and set aside.  Bring two cups of water and 1 cup of cracked wheat to the boil and add the chopped vegetables, nuts and spices.  Simmer for 20 minutes and enjoy with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or hummus!  
Makes 3 servings

Stephanie is an AADP certified health coach and blogger at nutritiongal.com.

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