We are in the midst of a lunch revolution in our house. After years of harping on my husband to bring his lunch to work instead of the all too often habits of a) grabbing something on the go or b) skipping it altogether, we have found a successful routine. For us it’s all about making easy lunches to bring to work.
The problem was that he would pack his lunch for a day or two then drop the idea as fast as it came. Then I would pack his lunch for him and he either wouldn’t eat it due to getting busy or he would eat it and wouldn’t bring the cooler and containers back into the house.
All this time I thought I knew how much he loved it when I packed his lunch but the aforementioned problem had me think it was low on his priority list…until recently. A couple of months ago his mom was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and the highly hereditary nature has him thinking twice about his health. Needless to say he has happily taken the lunch I make him every day, sends me a loving text when he’s eating it and the results are way better than I expected.
I am really enjoying the process of packing his lunch (I thought it would feel like just One. More. Thing). He is feeling great, has even lost a little weight, and has more energy at the end of the day.
4 reasons why packing a healthy lunch is important:
1. Skipping meals, though you may not be “hungry” at the time, has you eat more at the end of the day (think Sumo wrestler-no joke), makes you irritable AND slows down your metabolism. So much for thinking it will help you keep off a little weight, right? I think that’s the biggest surprise for people when I coach them about their health and food.
2. Grabbing something on the go, though this may seem way more convenient, has you eating foods that are more processed, more refined, includes more chemicals and is often something you really struggle to digest, eat more of than you need to (because of said injected chemicals tricking you into thinking you are still hungry), it also lends itself to adding a soda on the side.
3. The amount of sugar in something you grab on the fly is a problem. What we grab is with the thought of “it won’t matter if I have a muffin for lunch today from the coffee shop” until you realize you ate a dozen sugar and white flour laden muffins during the month.
4. If you are grabbing a healthy salad or deli option from your local natural foods store or a healthy option from the grocery store, I applaud you, however, if you take a look at your bank statements that means you’re shelling out up to $10 or more a day on lunch alone-that could be a minimum of $200-$300/month. And you wonder why you have a hard time-saving money or struggle to meet the grocery budget. You could drive a pretty decent car for $250/month!
Let’s flip the switch, bite the bullet, put our big girl panties on, and just do it folks. Start packing your own lunch.
A week of ideas for easy lunches to bring to work
- Salad in a jar
- Your favorite gluten-free crackers or rice chips
- whole or sliced fruit
- trail mix
- Leftover taco salad (hint, hint: have tacos for dinner Monday night)
- Use one container to put taco meat and shredded cheese in.
- In another container put the shredded lettuce and tomatoes/pico.
- Grab a small bag to put the GMO-free corn chips in (you can find them on Amazon if a local store doesn’t carry them)
- Feel free to add fruit or cut veggies on the side.
- Turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread with mayo, mustard, lettuce/sprouts
- cucumber slices and radishes (use seasonal produce)
- fruit salad
(think healthy lunchables)
- whole grain gluten-free crackers
- summer sausage
- celery and carrot sticks
- sliced granny smith apple
- whole milk plain yogurt
- fresh berries (or frozen), stirred into the yogurt
- small container of gluten-free granola
- side of trail mix
- bag of cut veggies (use up whatever veggies you had this week: radishes, celery, carrots, peas, etc)
Remember to always pack a napkin, utensil and bottle of water. Feel free to include 1 or 2 small snacks for mid morning and late afternoon as eating frequently throughout the day will boost your metabolism and have you feeling great. Remember, eating more (of the right foods) will have you weighing less.
What will YOU be packing for lunch this week?