Taking lunch to work – revisited

February 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm (bringing lunch)

It’s been probably, oh, a  year now since I decided I would try and bring my lunch to work on a consistent basis. How’ve I been doing? Amazing!!!! It’s such a habit that I can’t imagine NOT bringing my lunch. Going out or getting take out to bring back to my desk is such a foreign concept. At most I have to buy lunch about once a month (I kid you not)!

If  you don’t already bring YOUR lunch to work, why not? What’s stopping you? You can’t use the not enough time excuse – it takes less time to prepare lunch than it does to drive somewhere, order, purchase, and return to work than prepping ever does! And so what, you’ll save so much money, it will be worth it. And you can always prep the evening before, before going to bed. If I’m uber prepared, that’s what I do. More often, however, I make lunch for 20 minutes every morning. Even I, the most degenerate sleeper-inner that there is, gets up early enough to prepare lunch. Almost every single day.

If variety is your problem, well, that is a good one, but I doubt you’re eating a different take out meal every day for a month. There are lots of options. I often shake it up week by week, but I’m actually ok eating the same thing for a few days.

So what do I typically eat? Here’s a sample:
Coffee – I fill my 16 oz. insulated mug and off I go.
1 apple, cut up into thin slices. It’s the perfect snack size. Pour some lemon juice on it (those little plastic squeeze bottles are perfect and they make it taste better too. I guess I’ve been eating an apple a day for a full year now!
A secondary snack: a cup of  yogurt, some carrots sliced into carrot sticks, maybe a little container of hard cheese and an ounce of nuts, almonds, pecans, or walnuts. The cheese/nuts combo also goes great with the apple.

For the main course, I’ll have one of the following:
leftovers from dinner the night before. If you are a family of 2, buy the value packs at the market, and make leftovers for you both. Instead of one head of broccoli to steam, make two! Making baked potatoes, add an extra one in the oven. Pasta? Super easy to make enough for leftovers.
Sometimes I’ll make stew, which will last as lunch for like 2-3 days beyond the first dinner. This week I made chuck stew with beer, onions, leeks, carrots, and lentils. Mmmmm. That $12 will make 4-5 meals. Freshen it up with a hunk of baguette and butter, or put it over some egg noodles or rice if it gets tired after a few times.
My tried and true standby is a sandwich. A good sliced bread, deli meat, lettuce, and maybe a thin slice of cheese. Add mayo or avocado as a healthy replacement fat. Mmm, perfect! I have gotten a little bored with this one, so lately I’m doing leftovers more often than not.

If the main course isn’t enough, and I forgot to eat breakfast, and a bunch of fresh fruit doesn’t do the trick, I’ll supplment with tea, packages of apple cider, hot chocolate, or those paper packages of cup o’ soup.

 

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