Lovin’ on Lunch

By Katie, 8:32 am

If forced to choose my favorite meal of the day, I would probably pick breakfast based solely on the existence of blueberry pancakes. ;-) But considering my attachment to sandwiches, I’d have to say that lunch is a close second.

Apparently I’m not the only one who loves lunch. :lol:

This two-and-a-half minute video is really worth watching, although maybe not if you’re at work. (Unless, of course, your co-workers happen to have a special affinity for a midday meal and a good sense of humor.)

For a past few months I have been blessed to be able to eat lunch at home most days, which means that I was able to fix myself elaborate meals that need not be portable. Believe me, I knew it was a luxury, and I relished it while I could. But alas, next week I officially become a full-time brown bagger.

Or, in my case, a blue boxer.

That’s my lovely Laptop Lunch bento-box, which makes packing lunch a little more fun…and kind of adorable. ;-)

Yesterday I took to the office a lovely hummus and red pepper sammie.

Fruit and veg.

Dried apricots and a medjool date for some natural sweetness.

A bar for an afternoon snack.

And some Attune chocolate, because lunch deserves dessert too. ;-)

All packed up in a handy carrying case.

Here are my five goals when it comes to lunch on the job:

1. Pack lunch the night before, preferably immediately after dinner. I figure I’m in the kitchen cleaning up anyway, might as well add an extra 10 minutes to ensure that I’m not rushing in the morning.

2. Eat leftovers as often as possible. If I’m going to the trouble to cook a healthy meal, there’s no reason I can’t extend it into two healthy meals.

3. Aim for a balance. Go through a quick mental checklist to see if the lunch contains a whole grain, a good source of protein and/or fat, and at least two servings of fruit/veggies. Having it all there guarantees that I’ll finish the meal feeling satisfied.

4. Eat mindfully. My new office is small, and my co-workers eat lunch together almost every day. I love the social aspect of it, but I also have to be careful that I don’t chat my way through my meal to the point that I don’t even taste it.

5. Eat out no more than once per week. There is a Whole Foods literally right down the street from my office, which is a blessing for my taste buds but a curse for my wallet. I am going to view the WF salad bar as an occasional treat rather than an easily-accessible plan B for days when my brown bag/blue box isn’t appealing to me. There are also several awesome cafes and delis within a 5-minute radius; fortunately they all offer lots of healthy options, but again I don’t want to be spending the money regularly.

I think if I stick to these goals, I will continue to enjoy healthy, tasty food in the middle of my day. So here’s to LUNCH! Cheers! :-)

Do you pack your lunch? What are some of your go-to lunch ideas? Any other suggestions or tips to share as I begin to eat lunch on the job?

26 Responses to “Lovin’ on Lunch”

  1. I love sandwiches, too! I work from home, so I don’t get to pack a lunch, but sometimes my husband and I pack a picnic and pretend. :)

    Cute lunchbox!


  2. I love your lunchbox!! Mine is similar but it doesn’t have the cute compartments…

  3. I pack my lunch every day and it’s such a blessing to a healthy lifestyle! I am a huge leftovers fan, but I’m also into a “random” lunch, such as a yogurt, a slice of bread with nut butter and a piece of fruit. It’s a mental thing. I like to spread it out over time. Plus, it’s easy to pack!

  4. Welcome to the working world, Katie! :)
    All of your tips/strategies are ones I use as well — except for leftovers. My hubs gets the leftovers most of the time. LOL
    I do pack the night before, though, and after dinner, so my hungry stomach doesn’t influence what I pack. LOL It also allows me to wash the dinner dishes and next-day-prep dishes together.
    You see what I eat all the time via my blog…so I won’t comment on that. My office is small and very ‘social’ and we all eat together as well. It can be tough when some co-workers eat out every day, but other than that it’s okay!
    I also limit my ‘eat out’ abilities, despite being near Central Market. I normally provide myself with a monetary amount for the week, though…so some weeks I may eat out twice, and some I may eat out once. Just depends!
    I’d love to know how you like the box — I hesitated to buy one because I pack lunch AND breakfast to be eaten at work….and it wasn’t quite big enough for both. (It seemed silly to carry two lunch boxes?) Please give a review of how you like it after you’ve used it a bit! :)

    • Katie says:

      I would be in such trouble if I worked within walking distance of Central Market!!! :)

      I’ll definitely do a review of the box once I’ve used it more. Do you bring an individual portion of your breakfast cereal to work every day, or do you just keep the box there?

  5. Holly says:

    Oh my gosh…I DEFinitely need a lunch box like that! Right now I just throw all of my pyrex containers into a reusable grocery bag. But that box is much prettier/more organized. :-)

    I pack my breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner everyday. While I do dread putting it together the night before sometimes, I LOVE the money I’m saving and even more, that I feel good about what I’m eating. I’m definitely a leftovers girl, too!

  6. Jess says:

    I pack my lunch EVERY day! Mostly big old salads : ) I can’t even tell you the last time I bought lunch. My office is also very social at lunchtime but they all either go out or order in pretty much every day. I use my lunch hour to hit the gym that is on site so I am okay losing that social hour with coworkers ; )

  7. I love your lunchbox!! I need to get something like that. I’m always scrambling around to find matching lids for Tupperware in the morning…and then I stuff everything into a grocery bag. Definitely not as fun. ;)

    I think your goals are great. I like lunches that are quick and easy…but also provide a lot of balance to keep me full. Greek yogurt + granola is something I love to bring. And huge salads.

  8. Nicole, RD says:

    I agree, it is a LUXURY to be able to eat lunch at home. One I do not have, but would love some day :) I pack leftovers most days. Like you said, after supper I pack leftovers into tupperware to take the next day for lunch. I usually have a back-log in the freezer, too. Today I have leftover taco salad – cannot wait! But Greek yogurt, apples, string cheese, nuts, and leftovers are my big go-tos!

  9. Tina says:

    I love being able to eat at home. My meals aren’t luxurious by any means but it is nice to have a whole fridge to choose from.

    I love the lunchbox. And that lunch deserves dessert too. I think that should be my new motto. :D

  10. I always pack my lunch! I personally think it makes me the coolest person in my office…

    I tend to stay away from leftovers. I’m usually not ready to have the same thing again after last night’s dinner. I find lunch is a good way to use up random ingredients that would otherwise go to waste. Plus, I don’t like having to microwave stuff, so I often go for salads, sandwiches and random veggie-type things that I can eat cold. I’m glad to see you thought of bringing a snack. I always forget and don’t bring enough food.

    I think this is going to be really fun for you!

  11. What a great lunch box! Thankfully I work out of my house so I get to eat lunch everyday at my kitchen table!

  12. sophia says:

    Lol, I watched the “musical” before, and laughed all throughout it.

    I don’t pack my lunch…I guess I don’t really find an appeal in cold food, unless it’s a salad, which is just not a lunch to me.

    Have you tried making onigiris? It’s a ball of rice with some kind of filling in it like beef or chicken or fish, and wrapped with nori.

    • Katie says:

      I’ve never tried those, but they sound like something I would absolutely LOVE!!!

  13. i always pack my lunch…i’m a huge fan of soups (even in the summer!), salads, and stuff to make really awesome sandwiches :)

  14. Shawnee says:

    That is the cutest little lunch box! I do pack my lunch every day. I also try to do left overs. I’m lucky enough to have access to a microwave. So I enjoy hot meals often. I also pack plenty of snacks throughout the day. Great tips. Thanks!

  15. Lauren says:

    I am a definite lunch packer! Even when I have lunch events to attend, if its not too weird, I usually bring my own!

  16. I love lunch at work too and I always pack – best way to save money and make sure you have at least one healthy meal!

    The thing I always have to remind myself about packing lunch is to make sure that I pack enough food so that I won’t get hungry later.

    When I’m at home, I usually end up having a late and big breakfast so lunch often is forgotten :(

  17. Josie says:

    your lunchbox/bag is mighty cute! i love that you (and so many others) pack lunch to work. most of the places i’ve worked there was pressure to join the group and spend $10 a every day on lunch!! (no, thanks.) i took my lunch, which was usually lavash spread with peanut butter and rolled around a banana. highly recommended!

  18. Your lunch box is so cool! It’s so organized and neat! Love it!

    I pack my lunch daily. Usually a sandwich or wrap of some sort or leftovers from dinner. Leftovers are great, you can just grab n’ go!

    I also pack snacks that are really simple: homemade trail mix, nuts, bread w/ nutbutter, yogurt, fruit, etc.

  19. i totally thought that was acashew nut and jelly sandwich hehe.. but hummus and red pepper- totally yummy! lunch is my favorite meal! i love the idea of a lunch box, great way to get a balance and variety! <3

  20. Great tips, Katie! I always enjoy the days I can make lunch at home, too. You’ve got some really great tips! I found myself agreeing with every single one. I used to eat out all. the. time. Now that I’m used to packing it, though – I don’t even want to eat out! That being said, we don’t have a ton of options around here, either :P

  21. Run Sarah says:

    Great post! My favourite meal of the day is breakfast hands down. I find making my lunch the night before helps me a lot, I love your laptop lunch bag – I think I need one of those to save space.

  22. Jessica says:

    Laptop lunches systems are great! I pack my lunch everyday in a laptop bento, too (see my website). I love packing my lunch and showing it to other people (they love to look at it, too!) Each week, I like to have a theme, or a special ingredient that I use (for variety). Like a dressing, a sauce, a special dish, or even a treat (can you say coconut macaroons??? :-) )

    On an unrelated note – I wanted to express how thankful I am to you for sharing in one of your posts awhile back your letter to your body. I thought that was such a neat idea, I tried it too. Mine was pretty hateful though (I think my letter started off as I hate you, I’m so sick of you…). It was very theraputic, and I realized that instead of writing to my body I was writing to the insecure part of myself that is fearful and would never take a stand for anything. It helped me make a leap in my thinking and freed up a lot of mental space. So thank you so much for sharing. It is helping me in my journey to overcome my issues with food and heal emotionally. I love reading your insights. Keep it up! :-)

    • Katie says:

      Hey, Jessica! I’m so sorry I didn’t link back to your blog in this post – it would have been so fitting. Your bento boxes are always so healthy and fun!

      And thank you for your very kind words; I appreciate them more than you know! I think it’s so interesting that you came to realize that you weren’t really writing to your body but to your insecurities. That gives you a more clear opportunity to challenge those thoughts and ideas, and eventually turn those insecurities into confidence! :)

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy