Tag Archives: lunch

WCRF thinks Reclaim Your Lunch Break is a great chance to get healthy

Stylist’s Reclaim Your Lunch Break – A great way to get healthy

Women’s magazine Stylist have launched a campaign to get people taking their lunch break, instead of staying hunched over their desk throughout the day and eating while working.

Stylist is urging people to take a 30-minute respite in their ‘Reclaim Your Lunch Break’ campaign – and we couldn’t agree more, as this is a fantastic opportunity to improve your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Reclaiming your lunch break is a great chance to do a little bit of physical activity and have a healthy, nutritious lunch – both of which can help lower your risk of cancer.

Making those 30 minutes count

In half an hour you could do a quick burst of exercise, which counts towards the recommended 30 minutes or more a day of physical activity we all need to stay healthy.

Kym Lang, Head of Health Information at World Cancer Research Fund, said: ‘Reclaiming your lunch break is a excellent chance to improve your health.

Take a break from your desk to improve your health
Take a break from your desk to improve your health

‘Despite what many think, we aren’t powerless against cancer. You can reduce your risk by eating well, moving more and staying in shape. This campaign is the encouragement we all need to get up from our desks and take a much-needed break.

‘Being active for 30 minutes or more a day can reduce your cancer risk. Why not use your well-deserved lunch break to get some “me” time away from work? You could grab your trainers and headphones and go for a jog, take a walk with a colleague, or hit the gym for a quick blitz.

‘If we all did 30 minutes a day of physical activity, about 1 in 9 cases of bowel and breast cancers could be prevented – that’s more than 10,000 cases a year in the UK.’

Fill up on healthy food

Stylist’s Reclaim Your Lunch Break campaign also gives you the chance to eat well, too. Take advantage of your lunch break by bringing in a healthy meal or, if you’re lucky enough to have an office kitchen, make one from scratch. Not only will it help improve your health, it could improve your bank balance, too.

Kym said: ‘Free up even more of your precious lunch time by bringing in your own healthy lunch, instead of relying on shop-bought food that is often high in fat, calories, sugar and salt.

‘It’s also a great way to save some pennies as it stops you from hitting the shops and being tempted by pricey shop-bought foods.

‘Bringing in a healthy lunch from home frees up time for exercise at lunchtime and, even if you choose to make your healthy lunch in work, you’re still getting a break from your desk, which helps you avoid sitting still all day.

‘Opting for a home-made lunch of wholegrain foods, pulses, vegetables and fruit will help stave off those afternoon hunger rumbles as they are packed with fibre, which also helps to lower your risk of bowel cancer. You’ll also get plenty of vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals that can help you to stay healthy.

‘Eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent stomach, lung mouth, and throat cancer. There are so many delicious recipes, which can help reduce your cancer risk, and are the perfect healthy midday meal.

‘Reclaiming your lunch can improve your health, and help reduce your cancer risk. That’s definitely worth taking a 30-minute break for.’


Easy cheats to improve your diet

Think eating more vegetables and fruits is a chore? It really doesn’t have to be – it’s easier than you think to give your diet a boost.

Plant foods are packed full of vitamins and minerals that help strengthen your immune system. Easing more into your diet and ditching the less healthy options can help you stay in shape and reduce your risk of cancer as well as other diseases, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

These easy swaps and additions take mere seconds to include in your food, and could help improve your diet in the blink of an eye:

Breakfast boost


Add a big handful of berries to your wholegrain cereal or porridge.  Not only will they taste great, but berries are also low in calories and a good source of fibre and vitamin C.

Splash skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat on top to upgrade your breakfast.



Berry blast

Try a handful of berries, chopped peach or melon with a few spoonfuls of low-fat natural yoghurt. Add some torn mint leaves for an extra twist.

Wrap it up

Next time you pick a wrap for lunch, swap the meat for a bean-based filling, as beans are a fantastic source of protein and fibre, and count towards your 5 A DAY (although they only count for one portion, no matter how many you eat). If you want the extra health boost, chop up some tomatoes and adding them to the wrap to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

Take a dip

Hummus dip

Instead of reaching for a bag of crisps, choose a variety of rainbow-coloured vegetables to plunge into a low-fat dip. Houmous is made from chickpeas, which contain vitamins, minerals and fibre, as well as protein, but can be high in calories so opt for a reduced-fat version. Or try making your own with our delicious and easy roasted red pepper houmous recipe.

Squeeze in leaves

Shop-bought sandwiches are the ultimate convenience, but their veg content is usually limited to one limp lettuce leaf or a sad slice of soggy tomato. Pep them up by adding in salad leaves, or grating a carrot or raw beetroot over the filling.

Soup it up

An easy way to add extra goodness to shop-bought soups is to stir in two big handfuls of spinach as it heats up. By wilting spinach into soup will give you a helping of vitamins, iron and fibre.


Next time you boil potatoes for mash, add a large handful of chopped carrot five minutes before the potatoes are cooked. Mash them all together and you’ll have snuck in some extra vitamin A and fibre. It works just as well with diced swede and parsnip, although they may need adding a little earlier.

Cheat with cherries

If you can’t face the idea of skipping on a pudding then zap a little dark chocolate in the microwave and dip a bowl of cherries or strawberries in the melted chocolate. Pop them onto some baking paper and into the fridge and, by the time you’ve finished your dinner, you’ll have a not too naughty dessert with the added bonus of vitamin C and fibre.

Healthy lunchboxes

Healthy lunches
Healthy lunches

There is an interesting article on the BBC website about how parents want more advice on how to prepare healthy school lunches.

At World Cancer Research Fund we have a page on our website with suggestions for how to make a healthy school lunchbox.

Also, last year we issued a press release urging parents not to put ham in their children’s lunchboxes, which was covered by the BBC, among others. According to a Food Standards Agency survey from 2003, ham was found in 27 per cent of lunchboxes.