The ideas above are great. It really is amazing how long a frozen water bottle and an insulated lunch bag with keep things fresh.
I like wraps. For breakfast I love to spread peanut butter on a whole grain tortilla and roll a banana up in it (if it is a large tortilla, often a half fills me up for breakfast and I use the other half for a snack later). Hummus and veg wrapped up in a tortilla. Refried beans wrapped with corn, peppers, mushrooms, avocado. (If you make your own hummus &/ refried beans you can control fat and sodium. And dried beans are CHEAP!))
Thermos's are great for having a nice bowl of warn soup on a cold winters day. (Make a huge batch of soup and freeze a bunch of individual servings, that you thaw the night before to heat up for your thermos in the morning.
I bit of time in advance (we often make batches of food on the Sunday to freeze for the week) can make you feel less rushed and healthier during the week.
How long it will keep depends on your cooler and the weather conditions. Use your ice pack or frozen water bottle as a guide; as long as there's still some ice in it, food packed next to it should be fine. As long as you have that ice pack and some sort of insulated carrier, and keep it out of direct sun, it should be fine for a day. I have actually transported frozen food in a cooler in the back of my pickup across the desert in August, and it will stay frozen for 8 hours. I can get ice cream home from the store 325 miles away if I have to. Now, that's a heavy-duty cooler, but even just an insulated bag with a frozen water bottle will keep your sandwich or salad safely cool for that long.
Fitness Minutes: (4,827)
46 5/2/13 4:03 A
I have used two techniques for keeping food edible. I always use a bottle of frozen water as part of my lunch and a cold one to drink immediately. The frozen one keeps everything cold and slowly thaws during the day for me to drink as it thaws.
The second thing, is, I put my food in a container and then wrap it in newspaper, which is great for holding the cold in. Plus I am careful what I choose, so they aren't too easily deteriorated.
Edited by: GUIN66 at: 5/2/2013 (04:04)
Fitness Minutes: (32,711)
21,515 5/2/13 3:37 A
My icepack has kept my food cool for most of a day ..... INSIDE a car which gets hot. I sometimes have other stuff over the top of the cooler bag, tho', including my car's thermal windscreen sunshade.
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
1,973 5/2/13 12:57 A
On the go options with no cooler:
salmon/tuna packet mini quiche muffins canned veggies (straight out of the can with a fork)
If you have a cooler: veggies salads smoothies (green)
If you have a cooler or insulated lunch bag and an ice pack, it will stay cool enough for several hours.
One thing I have done is to freeze water in plain old water bottles and use those. They not only keep food cold but you can drink it, too.
Fitness Minutes: (11,242)
142 5/1/13 8:35 P
Trying bringing sandwiches with hummus and vegetables, whole fruits, and nuts. Cheese stays good out of the fridge for a day so crackers and cheese are good too. Good luck. And don't beat yourself up if your lifestyle involves going out once in a while.
They have insulated lunch boxes or you can use a cooler, like PP said. You could get a small thermos and use that for hot or cold. I make Salad in a Jar and take one of those, pack on an ice pack if it's hot. Dressing on the bottom of a quart size jar, then layer hardier veggies to lighter veggies and top with 2 cups of lettuce or spinach or any other greens. Don't use cheese unless it's a hard cheese, it tends to become one large mess. I add cauliflower, mushrooms, tomato, chickpeas, or quinoa, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs etc. Of course, you can also add meats if you have to. Stuff up to the top with your greens. Keep upright until about 30 minutes before serving, then turn upside down so dressing gets on everything. It will stay fresh in the fridge for a week as long as the greens and the dressing don't touch. Bring a bowl and a fork and enjoy!!
There are lots of places you can eat out. The Chicago Diner, Ground Control, Native Foods, and The Blind Faith Cafe are strictly vegetarian and don't serve any meat at all. Most foreign restaurants have veggie options (Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, Meditteranean). A lot of regular restaurants have veggie options too. There are boca burgers, certain soups, salads, tomato basil sandwiches, grilled cheese if you're not vegan. And of course there are always breakfast options at restaurants (hashbrowns, pancakes, crepes, omelets.) There's a slightly harder time where fast food is concerned but you can still get cheese or veggie pizzas at sabaros, a veggie burger at burger king, and bean tacos at taco bell.
Fitness Minutes: (32,711)
21,515 5/1/13 6:09 P
I am doing exactly that today! I have made myself a 'safe' lunch using a quality wholegrain bread that is high in fibre, protein and has healthy fats, but is low in sodium, bad fats and sugars. I have a protein spread (Vegemite which is similar to Marmite) and baby spinach. Other times I have put Banana and sprinkled ground Cinnamon on it. Peanut Butter is another option. I also have some apple (I only take a piece, cut up) and have made myself healthy Morning Glory Muffins, (with apple; carrot; sultanas' sunflower seed and pumpkin seed.)
Other times I might make a stuffed baked potato and use cottage cheese, spring onions, capsicums etc. finely chopped and added. I steer away from high fat cheese etc. They are actually more filling eaten cold. In the summer I also put my lunch into a little chiller bag, and if it is hot, add a freezer block with it, OR freeze a half-filled water bottle the night before, and top up with water when you walk out the door. It will last for ages and keep your food cool.
I always have a healthy high fibre bar in my bag for emergencies, too!
I have home-made MY make-over healthy pizza in the freezer, cut up into serving sizes. It thaws while I am out and is nice eaten cold. It is about an inch thick and loaded with veges (a full serve on a square just under 3 x 3 inches) but very light on the fats. Sometimes I have made a potato salad, light on the dressing, and a coleslaw - also light on the dressing. All it takes is a little thought and practice - and sometimes prep the night before - otherwise have a large stock in your freezer so you can "grab'n'go"
Good luck, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (14,942)
1,164 5/1/13 5:52 P
Sure I take a cooler often. You don't need a huge one; the smaller ones are great. You will need a cold pack to put it in too.
Just curious...where do you eat out and don 't order meat?
I eat out every day-sometimes twice a day. Besides being very fattening, it's burning a whole in my pocket. So five days ago I put myself on a one year challenge not to eat out at all. I'm afraid that if I eat out even once in a while I will lose control and make it a habit again. The problem though is I don't know what to do when I'm out for long periods of time. For instance, I'm going out all day tomorrow and I know I'll be hungry long before I get home. I'd like to pack myself a lunch and a snack but I'm not sure how to keep it from going bad. I've never packed food before without having a fridge available. I know it may seem like a stupid question from someone my age, but does anyone know of a good way to keep my meals fresh when I'm out? Perhaps a good cooling bag or something? I don't eat meat but it's getting hot out and dairy and egg can still go bad. Thanks in advance.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.