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You’re shooting for a glass of water every hour, on the hour.
You’re logging your food intake, and writing down everything you’re eating.
You’re also now cutting the sodapop, and buying a new [dried] herb or spice every week. (Fresh is ideal, but we’re not ready for that yet.)
Your next step… no fast food for lunch. Yes, that means – for now – that breakfast and dinner are fair play, but for lunch, you’re not allowed to dine out. No restaurants, no fast food joints… nothing. Nothing that comes wrapped like a little birthday gift for your enjoyment.
That means… time to learn how to plan properly! If you aren’t ready today, that’s fine. But on your way home tonight, think about what you can prepare for lunch the next day, or if there are leftovers that you can repurpose. Basically, it’s time to brown bag it, baby.
For those of you who might be ahead of the curve, what are your favorite pack-to-go lunches?
Sandwiches, salads, or soup are my go to for lunches for work. Unfortunately with the sandwiches and soup I realize my sodium intake for lunch is almost 80% of my day’s levels. I’ve switched to double fiber nature’s own but may need to find lower sodium options for soup and sandwich meats.
Oy… The hubby’s birthday is Wednesday, and he is definitely gonna wanna go out for lunch… I suppose I could eat lunch early at my desk and go out and stare at his food while he’s eating, lol.
I think what I’ll do is cook extra for dinner, then pack the leftovers up and bring it to work for lunch… I think that’ll work.
Special occasions, for now, can be excluded. Take hubby someplace nice, fancy, and FRESH. 🙂
My lunch is almost always left over dinner. I purposely make large recipes so that me and the boyfriend can have something quick for lunch the next day. If my dinner recipe doesn’t leave leftovers, then my go to is a quick salad (with pretty much every veggie in my fridge in it) and some Greek yogurt.
Question: Does low sodium can soup count ads brown bagging it?
Yes, for now. 🙂
I work at a school so my lunch choices are 1. bring a lunch or 2. eat in the cafeteria (yuck!). I usually bring a sandwich or soup.
I like to pack a turkey wrap, with 1/2 avocado, a couple of sliced radishes and sometimes 1 cup of soup, water for beverage.
Already ahead of you on this one, I went to the store over the weekend and bought SmartOne dinners for this week and next. I usually bought pizza for the cafeteria at work or skipped lunch and went straight to Wendys for my spicy chicken sandwich and fries (which to me was addictive). Water intake has increased for me but the diary and new spice list I am currently working on.
This week I am prepared to have chicken, romaine lettace, peppers and cucumbers. To switch off I am having Tuna, Lettuce and tomato with no bread. My snack is fruit for that sweet craving and green tea as aa beverage alternating with my glass a water an hour. i get bored with the salads so I have to think this week for next week. Love being part of this..Thank you.
Been a brown bagger for years. favorite happens to be a new one learned in November. Tu-no wraps. yum
Brown rice and Lentils with fruit.
My go to lunch is usually left overs from the night before, a salad or a sandwich and carrots. I’ve been brown bagging it for a while because there are no tasty (tasty for me anyway) eating options near my job anyway (only burger king, wendy’s, mcdonalds or grease trap restaurants).
Yesterday, I cooked 3 days worth of chicken breasts and vegetables. I packed it away in three containers and stacked them in the fridge. All I have to do is bag it and put it in my back when I leave my house in the morning! The easier I make it for myself, the more likely I am to stick with it.
Today I had a slice of leftover pizza I made over the weekend but I will crock pot soups on Sunday and bring that for lunch. Or roast a whole chicken and slice it for sandwiches or to add to salads or pour some frozen broccoli in the gladware container with the chicken and heat that up for lunch. Homemade pastas heat up well too.
Late last year I started using your $50 shopping list and built up my spice rack pretty quickly. It’s very exciting to learn how to cook with spices. I almost always have leftovers so I pack those up for lunch and on the days I don’t have left overs its peanut butter and bananas or PB & honey, surprisingly very filling. By the way I am having the hardest time finding tomato paste in the tube. Please let me know where I may be able to find it. Thanks!
I found the tomato paste in the tube at Walmart. It comes in a tall box and it was standing up. I believe its a yellow box with pictures of tomatoes on it. Hope that helps.
Trader Joe’s has one, and it’s only $1.99 for the tube!!… Love that place :)…
This will be hardest for me because going out to lunch is the highlight of my day at work. When I do bring lunch it’s usually a microwave meal – I prefer Amy’s because they’re organic.
This week I’ll try to bring sandwiches so I can at least sit in my car and eat.
1) cous cous + broccoli + grilled prawns (easy to pack, easy to heat & very filling)
2) brown rice + grilled chicken + cherry tomatoes (easy to pack, cherry tomatoes double as sauce for the rice)
3) steamed tilapia + sweet potato (easy to pack, heat e.t.c.)
4) Occasionally, chicken or lamb salad (carrots, beets, lettuce, almonds)
For light lunches I have ryvita with peanut paste + jam
This year I’m going to get more on my salad game mostly for dinner.
I cut out all fast food Dec 2011 and lunches were especially challenging – leftovers are my favorite, sandwiches are easy but if I’m trying to not overdo it on the bread i’ll throw a big salad together with lots of good fats and proteins to keep me full.
One thing I learned about packing lunch – that fast food lunch made you feel sleepy later BUT it is probably going to keep you more full than that packed from home salad, so bring snacks – yogurt, apples, nuts, even a second small lunch 😉
It all depends on what you’re packing, mama. It ALL depends on what you’re packing. If you’re packing nothing but a light salad from a bag… you’re gonna struggle.
Leftover tilapia with rice and broccoli or a veggie medley is always great for leftovers! Or a baked sweet potato in place of the rice. 🙂
I work at a boarding school and I’m extremely fortunate in that 1) our dining hall is amazing and has lots of clean options– they have a farm to table program so the majority of the food is locally grown etc. and 2) I eat free 3) All available fast food options are far away. So at this point I never, ever bring my lunch but its usually my healthiest meal of the day. It does make it doubly hard in the summer though, when school closes and I still have to work, to remember to bring anything so I usually default to leftover dinner in the summer months.
I know it may seem strange but I have the hardest time with lunch and I’m a stay-at-home mom. I feed my kids but forget to feed myself. So I like this week’s task of planning lunch. I think it’s going to take more than a week to get the hang of this one though.
I love to take Tuna cakes & a salad. It’s the quickest thing that I can make.
It took me awhile but I was actually able to conquer this task. Like others have already mentioned, I take left overs to work that are easily reheated or I will make a pot of soup to avoid all of that added sodium that was raising my blood pressure. So I make things like Chicken noodle or brocolli cheddar soup, chicken salad, chili, and chicken breast with veggies. This is my favorite because I throw some frozen veggies in a tupperware container and by lunch time they are unthawed; then I microwave them real quick. The chicken breast was cooked and a little time in the microwave heats it without drying it out. Now if I could just get my snacking and over eating tendencies together, I would be straight!
When I’m cooking and meal planning lunch is whatever I cooked the night before. I purposefully make enough food so I have some for lunch. And if I cook dinner it usually something healthy from my Cooking Light Cookbook or myrecipes.com or cleanpantry.com. However, I’ve been ill lately and recently had surgery so now cooking has happened in my kitchen. Lunch will be maybe a sub sandwich or soup today, but I’ll cook tonight so I won’t have any fast food.
I eat mostly clean now. All of my lunches include some form of salad with sunflower oil and red wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar OR carrot/celery sticks with hummus.
I usually have leftovers for lunch so it could be whole grain spaghetti with organic meat and organic sauce (homemade would be better) Tomorrow I will have Quinoa and black bean tacos since that is what I’m making for dinner tonight. Wednesday will be a homemade soup (most of my soups are 30 minutes or less). So many more options. Instead of bread try a whole wheat wrap or brown rice tortillas!
I usually bring:
1:tuna on a salad
2. baked sweet potato with veggies
3. grilled chicken with veggies
4. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
snacks…fruit, greek yogurt, carrots, oatmeal, green tea
Hey Erika, what do you suggest for a 21 year old college student who is required to have a meal plan at the school’s cafeteria? It’s extremely challenging to count calories when you have no idea of the preparation of the food. I’m vegetarian, mostly stay away from dairy and eggs (I’ve lost about 70 lbs over the past 4 years), and I’m trying to get even cleaner in my diet, but its a challenge when I have no idea how my food is prepared. I typically get a big salad, the grilled veggies, any veggies I can, but when I want to try some of the dishes, its difficult. (Not to mention walking past some of the tastiest desserts ever which stand between you and the door…)
Eat simple breakfasts and lunches, then eat a protein-heavy, unfried dinner. Also, this.
This will be a struggle haha…I am a college student on medical leave, and while I’m home I just went back to my high school job because it was guaranteed…but it’s at a national pizza chain LOL. I spend ~40 hours a week making pizza and delivering it to people’s doorsteps (amongst a few other tasks)–> so a lot of times, pizza/bread sticks/cheese sticks are what I eat for lunch at work because all we have is the pizza oven, no microwave in sight, and obvs the food tastes good because it’s designed to be addictive. My options: eat work food, drive to another fast food joint, or pack a cold lunch b/c I don’t have access to a microwave. So, while I look for a new job, I need some ideas of cold brown bag lunches that will sustain me in a job that takes lots of physical and mental (because of all the driving) energy. Something other than just a salad…
On sundays i usually make a homemade soup or a healthy casserole to eat for the whole week. usually a black bean soup or a tortellini and spinach soup.I often make a no meat enchilada lasagna casserole that is to die for and eat it for lunch ( if my hubby doesn’t eat it all). either way it is something that is no more then 300 calories per serving. if nothing else i bring leftovers from dinner.
Because I like soups, I am making a huge pot of Vegetable soup with Chicken breasts and using chicken broth. I will eat this for lunch all week.
My favorite pack-to-go lunch is a mixed greens or spinach salad, toss in a few cherry tomatoes, some mushrooms, some vegetable seasoning (McCormick), and some blue cheese vinaigrette and I’m good to go. Pair that with whatever leftover protein from the night before and my lunch is set.
Hi Erika, We are on water challenge. So, on Feb 25 is the no FF for lunch? I am having problems trying to find the challenges.
You should be able to find all of the challenges here. 🙂
Are you saying no fast food for lunch? Or not eating out? If it is the later, then what is the plan for those of us who do business over lunch so eat out often? (note that the places where we eat are NEVER fast food, always upscale). I assume a response similar to what you said to Ashleigh in 26.1.
You would be right. 🙂
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