One study published in the journal Cognition found that taking brief breaks from a time-consuming task significantly improved focus and performance on the project. Data collected by time-tracking and productivity app Desktime supported this theory, finding that the most productive people work for 52 minutes at a time, then break for 17 minutes.
And enjoying a healthy lunch makes our kids more productive, too: One study found that students who ate an adequate amount of fruit, vegetables, protein and fiber, with less calorie intake from fat, did better on their literacy tests than those eating foods high in salt and saturated fat. A more recent study confirmed the link between a healthier lunch and academic performance, finding that healthier meals could raise student achievement by an average of about 4 percentile points.
That’s enough to inspire us to get creative with the midday meal — and make it easier to step away from the incessant Slack messages and enjoy a lunch actually worth the undivided attention. (Not looking at you, soggy sandwich).
Before you start meal prepping, know that not any lunch will do: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that each macronutrient (carbs, protein and fats) enhances cognitive performance on different kinds of tasks (not to mention fills you up). So the best power lunch for a boost of productivity should include all three.
Contrary to what you may think, packing a delicious, filling and aesthetically pleasing lunch does not have to be a time suck. Whether you’ve got a house full of hungry mouths to feed or are meal prepping a desk lunch for one, here are two weeks’ worth of recipes that will make lunch a serious contender for your favorite meal.
Chicken Pesto Wraps
Kale, Spinach and Apple Quesadilla
Roasted Veggie English Muffin Pizzas
Harvest Chicken Salad
Quinoa and Veggies Lunchbox Power Salad
Turkey Meatball and Spinach Soup
Sesame Noodle Salad
Cheesy Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
Lunch Box Bagel Kabobs
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