Great post, Jen 😀 You bring up some great points! Packing your lunches can be SUCH a big help, just like you talked about! If you’re not used to doing this, I can see where you might think it’s sort of a pain, but if you start making time for it, you certainly won’t regret it. Just try to stay positive in thinking about how much you can save in cash and extra weight by taking a few extra minutes to prepare yourself with a healthy lunch, and soon you won’t find it to be such a chore!
I wish I could use this as something to do daily with my boyfriend (as Jen said she does with her man), but we’re currently doing the long distance thing, and he’s not quite into that real-world bit yet, either, so currently he has no need to pack a lunch. Someday I’m sure it’ll be something healthy we can share …he was just ‘complaining’ last week about how since we’ve been together he’s become more aware of how to eat well 🙂 I’m sure it’s a good influence I’ll continue to have on him!
My daily lunches are pretty simple so far – a sandwich (roast beef, turkey, or tuna/egg salad) on whole wheat bread (with a healthy additive such as lettuce, tomato, or a smudge of mustard), some cottage cheese or yogurt, a few Pringles or a granola bar, and bottle of water (the same one – I refill it and tote it along with me every day! Check out SIGG, they have some very basic ones, and then some with a whole lot of personality! And they come in different sizes: http://mysigg.com/store/collections.html). I also make sure to throw either a piece of fruit or some pretzels into my lunch bag so I can have a morning snack, too, because I eat breakfast before I leave the house around 6 am, but hold off on lunch until all of my classes are finished around 12:30. Water might sound like a pretty boring drink, but most of us could use as much as we can get! It also comes out of our tap for virtually nothing when compared to the price of something like pop, which easily skyrockets our sugar intake.
I will say being on my feet all day as a teacher definitely helps me out as well – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to watch what I eat …or how much I eat!! Portion sizes are an important part of eating healthy lunches, as well. I went to the store and invested in a bunch of the two smallest sizes of Gladware containers – they’re perfect for portioning things like the yogurt, cottage cheese, or pretzels I talked about earlier; they’re easily washed and reused, and they don’t take up much space in my small lunch bag or in my already overcrowded cupboards! I’ve also found they’re a great size for packing my sandwich innards which are a little on the moist side. I throw my perfectly portioned one scoop of egg or tuna salad into the little guy, then I actually put my sandwich together when I sit down to eat my mid-day meal …effectively avoiding any soggy bread sandwiches!
Something else I invested in over a year ago is the actual lunch bag itself – I know it’s titled the Skinny Brown Bag Series, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own flair to this thing you’ll hopefully begin carrying around with you every day! And ladies, let’s be honest – it’s not exactly like you need a reason to carry another cute bag 😉 Mine is a BYO lunch tote by Built that I got from Target, and I love it (http://www.target.com/s?keywords=lunch+tote), but every place you visit should have quite a variety, so take some time to find one that has a little bit of your personality in it, as well as the features you’re looking for; zippered pockets, a drink bottle holder, extra cold insulation, long straps, etc.
Hey, if you need to justify spending money on things like these, just think of it as an investment – you’ll save a lot of money not actually buying brown paper bags and Ziplocks in the long run, and it’s easily something you can use as motivation to continue packing your own lunches – if you have these helpful tools, you might as well use them!!
- Height: 5’7″
- Current Weight: 165
- Big Goal Weight: 140 (or to fit into my amazing Australian bikini I brought home with me by the time June rolls around!)
- Mini Goal: Eat more fruits and veggies, and continue to train for my ski race at the end of February 🙂