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DEBBIELYNNE64 SparkPoints: (5,358)
Fitness Minutes: (1,409)
Posts: 36
3/17/12 1:42 P

lots of great ideas....thanks for sharing. Think I'll be having healthy lunches, prepared ahead of time this coming week. emoticon

SBNORMAL Posts: 879
3/17/12 5:28 A

I brought an insulated backpack for lunches/food and it keeps things good very well. I like to keep my food close to me and this helps, plus it is large enough for multiple drinks.

BANANASLUGGIRL SparkPoints: (248)
Fitness Minutes: (45)
Posts: 18
3/17/12 4:33 A

I am a preschool/kindergarten teacher. I try to eat small portions every 2-3 hours. I found that that oranges and other fruits keep pretty well in a thermo type lunch box. Also pretzels, FiberOne bars, Special K cereal bars, and the Uncrustables all keep well. Keep the uncrustables int he freezer and put it in your lunch box frozen. By the time you eat lunch, it will have thawed. With an ice pack, spinach also keeps pretty well. Spinach with a little bit of virgin olive oil Raspberry mariott dressing takes great. Keep the dressing on the side until you are ready to eat it. The dressing only has 25 calories and the right amount of good fats. Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts) also are great, but make sure they are portioned. Yogurt is great to take along with you too.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (35,936)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
3/17/12 1:40 A

www.flickr.com/photos/66885435@N08/6975784
953/in/photostream
doesn't spoil in my bag on the go plus fruit..

I work as a freelance resthome helper so always have something in my work bag to munch on.. Sometimes people get ill in the middle of oh not now times like lunch breaks- I have some of the building stones in my bag to ward total hunger off until I can grab something more substancial..

I also pack it the day before where possible so if I need to charge out the door at short notice my food needs are covered the day before.. I ain't standing at the fridge saying bummer or purchasing crap from a automat..


WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (31,015)
Fitness Minutes: (23,430)
Posts: 86
3/15/12 8:13 P

PARASELENIC got to the root of what I find important:

I have enough small containers of good quality (won't get smushed in purse!) to pre-portion foods in advance of the busy weekday mornings.

I buy a 5 lb bag of baby carrots at Costco, but portion them out into a dozen small dishes on Sunday. I found inexpensive, water-tight, TSA-approved (less than 3 oz) containers on Amazon.com that hold individual servings of rice milk or salad dressing or anything else wet and messy. I even have tiny stainless containers the perfect size to hold one peeled hard-boiled egg (since my kids don't peel those well yet.)

You already know what foods you LIKE to eat, and what foods you are LIKELY to eat. Focus on getting the right containers to make it easy and safe for you to bring those foods with you to school and work.

I got many excellent containers (I prefer stainless steel to plastic) with Amazon's 4-for-3 promotions, which takes some of the sting out of the expense. This includes Thermos lunch containers--like a drink bottle, but without the pouring top.

An insulated tote is a great idea, too, and you can get an inexpensive one if you'll accept a store logo plastered on it. (I know Whole Foods sells a lunch-size version of its insulated grocery bag.)

I'm more likely to bring my lunch when I trust that it won't leak all over my purse, car, pants, etc!

--willo

ABBICUSHING SparkPoints: (416)
Fitness Minutes: (335)
Posts: 9
3/15/12 5:18 P

Thank you everyone for the great ideas! Today is my first day on SP! I am excited to learn more of these great ideas to get healthy and fit :)

DANEDANE1 Posts: 80
3/15/12 2:11 P

On Sundays, I make about a half dozen salad jars using wide mouth 1-quart mason jars and all my favorite veggies and dressing.Seal them tight and grab and go when I need a quick lunch or dinner. They last for a week or more in the fridge and is totally convenient.

I start with:

2 tbs Kens Northern Lite Italian
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
4 rings of red or yellow onion
5 Heirloom grape tomatoes sliced in half
5 slices cucumber
5 slices jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese

Just layer the jar starting wiith your dressing and working your way up to lettuces
fill the rest of the jar with your choice of baby spinach or any lettuce blend you desire. I enjoy a blend of baby butter lettuce and baby spinach. Grab and go love it.

KICKINGIT@56 Posts: 2,595
3/15/12 11:26 A

I use a soft-sided cooler with ice packs to keep things cold until lunchtime; usually a salad in a plastic container, a sandwich and a drink. Curves makes special containers which have built in cold packs or inserts which make it easier.

JWAYNE90 SparkPoints: (9,727)
Fitness Minutes: (9,949)
Posts: 83
3/15/12 9:43 A

I had the same problem last semester. I never knew what to bring!
I invested in a few nice portable lunch containers (some with multiple compartments) and that helped me get inspired to start bringing my lunch (rather then rely on cafeteria junk food)

Making meals on the weekends helps too
I usually make something big on the weekend that I can portion off through the week like a healthy casserole
Also muffins are great and can be really healthy if you make them yourself
They also freeze well so you dont have to worry about not eating them quickley enough

Pasta works well cold for me while rice gets hard and chewey so I generally wont pack rice nor would I reccomend it if you dont have a means of heating it up

If you eat dairy then yogurt is a good idea
I would say to try the greek variety since it supposedly has less sugar and more protein

Cashews are always my go to snack since they are not a fussy thing to pack
and portable fruits like apples banannas and grapes are great

Also
getting light whole wheat bread reduses the calories of your sandwich signifigantly

SKINNYMINNIE25 SparkPoints: (33,206)
Fitness Minutes: (20,243)
Posts: 1,668
3/15/12 9:04 A

so many good ideas! I have been taking lunch & breakfast for years...you need to get a routine. Plan for the week and shop adequately so you have what you need. Be committed...you will feel better from eating your own food. It will be fresher, taste better and you will be healthier. I eat a plant-based diet and take a huge container of salad every day. I dump frozen peas on the top which keeps the whole thing cool. Since I'm in a temp controlled environ it is fine. Good luck..oh, and did I mention...you'll save $$$$.

Skinny
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JULIOWEN Posts: 5
3/15/12 8:00 A

SP has really helped me keep my lunch in check - It use to be I would take left overs or run to one of the many local fast food restaurants and not make good choices. With the help of the SP meal plans my breakfast and lunch is different everyday and I now look forward to the variety. I try and fix the next days meals while cleaning up my supper dishes.

I also cut up veggies and put nuts or crackers in snack bags when I get home from the grocery store. Makes it easy to just grab and go. I do the same with oranges/tangerines.

SMROBE01 SparkPoints: (7,669)
Fitness Minutes: (12,074)
Posts: 3
3/14/12 6:58 P

love your organization. It's what I'm striving for, but it's been hard being regular about doing it. congratulations.

FLAMINGKITTEN SparkPoints: (1,001)
Fitness Minutes: (165)
Posts: 10
3/14/12 4:51 P

I am loving justbento.com! I really didn't like lunchinabox because all Biggie ever seemed to have was "I used my leftovers to..." (Part of our weight issues are portion control and stress eating so I can't always rely on having leftovers!) I also really appreciate how Maki talks a lot about food safety and how having an expensive box isn't necessary, just fun. I've been using glad or ziplock storage containers and foil muffin cups. (However, hubby has already requested I get him a nice box with chopstick holder ^^) I've made the carrot kinpira and blanched spinach with sesame sauce this week and not only were they so easy to make that I could do it half asleep, but they were super tasty ways to eat vegetables. I did make meatballs this weekend though, and have leftover turkey today. The tamagoyaki is my new favorite way to eat eggs. This has also helped with having more of a balance as if I just put 3 or 5 meatballs on a plate I'd not think there were enough, but funny how packed together with rice and carrots they seem to fit in just fine!

DIANNAPORTER SparkPoints: (8,003)
Fitness Minutes: (7,937)
Posts: 22
3/14/12 4:28 P

a koozie zippered lunch bag made up the night before stuffed with snack sized ziplocks full of 100-200cal options...and if you must use a drive thru choose their garden salad w/balsamic...then pull over in a park or even their parking lot... tune in a tranquil station and take 10 mins to eat...you're worth it!!! emoticon

WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
Fitness Minutes: (14,563)
Posts: 489
3/14/12 10:35 A

Lots of great ideas in this thread. It seems like a lot of the posters have similar habits-to always have healthy, quick & easy foods handy, even if they're busy. As busy as I am, I nearly always take the time to plan my meals and snacks out. I must say Spark People is GREAT for that! My routine is to get up on Sunday morning, eat breakfast, then spend an hour or so planning my weeks meals ahead, get dressed and go get just the groceries I'll need to cook or make everything on my meal plan. Come home and if there's cooking involved, cook the whole next weeks lunches/snacks. Then I pack those meals into individual bowls for easy lunch packing. Portion control and no guesswork at the same time, I am all about simple even if it's boring! Of course, there are always days that I either forget to take my lunch pack (much less often now that it's become part of the morning get-ready ritual!) or I get too busy away from the office to fit meals/snacks neatly into my day. When those days happen, my go-to mantra is "fresh fruit or veggies ONLY!" No matter where I end up, if I follow that I can drive right past the fast food joints. There's always, at worst, a gas station or convenience store where I can buy a banana or 2 or some carrot sticks. Anything fresh to get me back to the office or home to eat a more balanced meal.

EMILYROSEBUD SparkPoints: (13,727)
Fitness Minutes: (13,484)
Posts: 316
3/13/12 3:47 P

There are a lot of great suggestions here! I like to make enough dinner at night to have some leftover for lunch the next day. When I am cleaning up after dinner, I just make it a habit to put one serving of leftover dinner in a Tupperware container and throw it in my lunch box. That way I know I will have something the next day, and won't get tempted to grab something convenient,a aka unhealthy. Hope this helps!

SAMAHLBRECHT SparkPoints: (13,198)
Fitness Minutes: (6,822)
Posts: 590
3/13/12 2:29 P

I agree with a lot of the other posts. You definitely need a insulated lunch tote to keep food cold, and a thermos for hot stuff. Try to set 1 day aside to plan your meals for the week and that will make it go faster as well. Good luck, lots of good ideas here!

BIGLOSER4 Posts: 3,002
3/13/12 12:57 P

Loved this discussion board topic and saw some GREAT ideas. My favorite is hot broth in a thermos with some raw whole wheat pasta... should be cooked and still warm by lunch time. Brilliant!!!

LTANGELBABY88 Posts: 9
3/13/12 12:23 P

I work at a grocery store so i have everything there to chose from but if i dont pre pack my lunch i end up choosing some not so good for you lunches because its easy but as we all know easy is not always good but some days i wont take my lunch to challenge my self to pick something healthy from work! but i make my lunches in the morning while I'm making my breakfast fruit,sandwiches, salads , yogurt, carrots, celery, and penutbutter, laughing cow cheese wedge, string cheese, nutmix, or leftovers.

SILVERBRUSH SparkPoints: (1,483)
Fitness Minutes: (471)
Posts: 21
3/13/12 11:38 A

I love taking things that don't need to be heated. I use an ice packed lunch in an insulated bag. I bring humus, carrots, celery, cheese, grapes, a low calorie bread, and sometimes a hard-boiled egg. I bring bottled water when I'm not eating, then at lunch time I have a thermos full of hot tea. I find that the tea relaxes me and encourages me to eat slower and enjoy my break.

KHQ333 SparkPoints: (33,161)
Fitness Minutes: (37,615)
Posts: 4
3/13/12 10:42 A

I try to bring the same lunch and snacks to work (Mon-Fri) to help keep me on track. It's a mix of foods and all fits in my lunch bag with an ice pack:
Morning snack: Frozen Vitatop (it'll thaw by the time you want to eat it.
Lunch: Low carb tortilla with fat free turkey, reduced fat cheese stick or baby bel
Snack: Non-fat greek yogurt
I also try to bring either fresh pineapple or carrots to nosh on when I'm trying to figure out if I'm hungry or bored.
Good luck!

IXLNXTC Posts: 12
3/13/12 8:33 A

on Sunday's I cook up a lot of chicken breast or turkey cutlets and bag/portion everything out for the week ahead. Lunch usually consist of the chicken or turkey(pick it up and eat with hand) and some carrots, sliced peppers or raw asparagus. Also, I have these great clean-egg muffins (cooked on Sunday) that I eat for morning snack. Apples, grapes, almonds, and baby bels are perfect for afternoon snacks.

SHIPMANK Posts: 98
3/13/12 8:02 A

My quick lunch fix is usually and apple, veggies, and a sandwich. If I don't even have those 5 minutes Subway salad or sandwich (and a coffee ;) )

TIMJENNIFER SparkPoints: (65)
Fitness Minutes: (10)
Posts: 1
3/13/12 7:54 A

OMG! I CAME UP W/ THIS GREAT IDEA BECAUSE I DO NOT GET A LUNCH, WORK LONG HRS AND RARELY EVER SIT DOWN. ALL OF MY LUNCH HAS TO BE EATEN WHILE I TALK, WALK OR DRIVE. I PUT MY TUNA SALAD W/ ONION, CELERY, BOILED EGG IN A BAGGIE AND BITE OFF THE CORNER OF THE BAG WHEN DRIVING. SOUNDS LIKE A SQUEEZE LUNCH BUT I KEEP MY HANDS CLEAN, NO UTENSILS, NO MESS ON ME, AND REALLY THE ONLY TRASH IS THE BAG. I HAVE DONE THE SAME W/ PB&APPLES, CHOP THE APPLES INTO CHUNKS MIX W/ PB PUT IN A BAG. HIGH PROTEIN, FRUIT. TODAY IS SALAD DAY W/ SMALL AMOUNT OF DRESSING, WE WILL SEE & I WILL LET YOU KNOW. THE OTHER DAY I REACHED MY HAND INTO THE TOP OF THE BAG JUST BECAUSE I THOUGHT THIS IS SO WEIRD-I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN, DISASTER THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY! BREAKFAST TODAY WAS OATMEAL/PB/COCOA/SWEETENER-LIKE A NO BAKE COOKIE, THE BEST EXPERIENCE, WOW PERFECT. I WILL LET YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SALAD? IF YOU ARE EMBERRESSED, LIKE I AM THAT I AM EATING OUT OF A BAG THAT I BITE THE CORNER OFF OF, DON'T WORRY, EATING THIS WAY IS SO QUICK & CLEAN THAT YOU CAN FINISH IN A SHORT DRIVE TO THE BANK OR WHATEVER AND CLEAN UP IS A BREEZE! FOUND SOMETHING I LOVE & I WILL BE HEALTHIER BECAUSE OF IT, WHICH IN TRADE MAKES IT WORTH THE NEW STRANGE RITUAL.

ILOSTMYWAY SparkPoints: (279)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 3
3/13/12 2:18 A

String cheese, a piece of fruit, a few crackers and a bottle of water are great for me !

KELEKONA Posts: 605
3/12/12 9:03 P

Look into thermos cooking. I think that 5 minutes prep, some hot broth, some raw pasta, it will be cooked and still warm at lunch.

Canned fruit isn't the best, but there are worse things?

Salads stay good with an ice pack. Pasta salads with vinegar more than green salads.

Unconstructed sandwich, basically keep the filling away from the bread until time to eat. Deli meat, cheese sliced under very clean conditions, you can probably handle the bacteria even if they were at room temperature for several hours instead of getting squished under an ice pack.

I wonder about the food safety of metal food container for hot food sitting on the dashboard in summer. You'd probably want cold food under good conditions anyway.

Canned sardines are shelf stable and edible cold.

Focus on fruits and veggies that can be left out. Don't beat yourself up if you slip and have to get a burger.

WINNIIIE Posts: 396
3/12/12 6:52 P

I generally pack a breakfast and lunch 5 days a week and it can be really difficult to find things that are easy and convenient and not boring.

I am also a vegetarian/sometimes vegan, so it can be really difficult for me when I'm packing a lunch and know I don't have access to a fridge or microwave.

I find that veggie stir fry with wild rice, bulgar, lentils etc are a great lunch to pack. I usually heat it up before I leave in the morning so it isn't cold when I go to eat it at lunch. I actually have learned to enjoy eating rice and stir fry at room temperature.

I tend to pack a lot of lunches as handy snacks
- Snow peas- delicious and crunchy
- Carrots, cucumbers, celery and grape tomatoes packed in cold water in a container
- Bananas, apples, pears, oranges etc

An example of a typical lunch I would pack for myself:
Low fat peanut butter and sugar free jam sandwich on hearty whole grain bread
1 apple
1 container of baby carrots, celery, snow peas and red peppers packed in cold water
1 portion sized container of greek yogurt- To be eaten as a mid morning snack

I find this lunch extremely filling and I usually eat it over a period of 1-2 hours. It is more of a snacking lunch than a big filling sit down meal that could be consumed in 10 minutes.

GAMECOX Posts: 153
3/12/12 11:46 A

I'm an itinerant ESOL teacher and have no classroom of my own. I pack my lunch almost everyday. (the days I don't it's because I plan to go get a salad from Subway!) I have a small cooler (I keep a plastic 20oz bottle of frozen water to act as my coolant each day) and I utilize thermoses and other means of keeping food hot. In the fall and late spring it gets warm to down right hot. I have taken my leftovers and put them on the dashboard, still in their tupperware of course. I have come out to get it at lunch time to have a HOT meal.



T2SEE140 Posts: 58
3/12/12 10:51 A

There are many days that I am on the road and have to think about what I am going to eat. I am all about pre-packaging/pre-planning. I don't like to spend extra money on the 100 calorie packs when it's easier to pre-portion a box of crackers, cereal, or treats. I do self-indulge and buy Luna bars when they are on sale and usually eat a piece of fruit or veggie to compliment it.

Substitute ground beef with turkey and create a pasta/rice meal with it inside (homemade version of hamburger helper). Freeze individual portions and in the morning take it out ~ it will be thawed by lunch time. In the winter time when driving I will place the container on the heat vent so the thawed meal can warm up ~ sometimes you have to improvise when you don't have a way to heat something up.

Other quick ideas:

*turkey pepperoni with 50% fat free cheese (can put this in with lettace and FF italian dressing for a nice salad = difference between snack vs. meal)
*reduce wheat thins with WW spreadable cheese
*Pepperide Farms Cheese Crisps (20 crackers per serving)
*Turkey breakfast sausage compliments egg beaters, yogurt, cereal, or even put it in your next salad.

Remember breakfast is key!

CELIASYEAR Posts: 4,506
3/12/12 9:56 A

Leftovers make the best lunches. Prepare as many packages as you need and freeze them. Let them thaw until lunch or dinner time (don't know your shift) and let them be the cooler in your lunch tote.

Make sandwiches with the mustard between slices of meat so the bread doesn't get soggy and place lettuce and tomato slices in baggies to finish the layering at work.

Also, on the weekend, you can prepare snack sized baggies of veggies (especially with your own produce!), containers of yogurt that you've created with greek yogurt and a tablespoon of jam, even some leftover bottles of juices can be washed out and filled with skim milk, snack baggies of shredded wheat bites ....

JESSLOVES2RUN SparkPoints: (3,250)
Fitness Minutes: (2,885)
Posts: 31
3/12/12 7:04 A

pre-prepare your meals. on sundays when i do my food shopping i plan my week of dinners so i buy what i need for dinner plus i take leftovers for lunch or i pack a salad or sandwich the night before. preparation is key! making sure you have stuff on hand, I always buy deli meat and bread, stuff for fresh salads and i have a microwave at work to reheat leftovers. in the morning i don't have time to prep my lunch and snacks so i do it all the night before it only takes a few minutes and then i can grab my lunch bag and go!

FANCYNANCY66 SparkPoints: (22,845)
Fitness Minutes: (23,617)
Posts: 141
3/11/12 8:47 P

great ideas in this blog. It all boils down to buy the right stuff, then prepare it ahead of time. this weekend I boiled a bunch of egg, cooked five chicken filets, etc. Food prep with a routine down that after you do it you just grab the stuff and cook and wash up and fill your containers. All set to go. Like an assembly line.

WELLNESSQUEEN81 SparkPoints: (1,769)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 22
3/11/12 6:14 P

I make lunches and snacks ahead of time at least five a week on the weekends.

PATTIPRESENT SparkPoints: (2,279)
Fitness Minutes: (425)
Posts: 18
3/10/12 4:15 P

I had the same problem but I was able to find an Igloo cooler about 6 pack size. I put 2 blue ice in there and put it in the shade. I ate lunch by noon so I only had to keep it cool for 4-5 hours. Bonus point: if you use frozen blueberries they add coolant properties inaddition to the ice block you use.

I did a lot of frozen blueberries, fresh apples and organges or grapes. Also like yogurt or peanut butter or hummus for protein. Added veggies for dipping into peanut butter or hummus. Sometimes added some baked tostitos chips.

I don't like premade sandwiches as the bread gets soggy. So I splurged on Dave's Killer Bread multigrain or something like that. Put my lunch meat in a separate baggie, and mustard or miracle whip etc in a Tupperware midget. Put it all together in the car and ate on the run or sat at the school listening to radio relaxing and air conditioning on in summer.

You have to look at food in its natural state and then find a good ice chest type thing. The silver lined/padded lunch boxes work too it just doesn't have enough room for 2 ice boxes and pop or drink.

I also took salads with garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, cheese sticks etc for protein or to beef up the lettuce mix. Not as good as the above mentioned but it does work.

Good luck. Hot cars make it an extra challenge. Put things in the shade of your car and park under trees if possible to help insulate your car.

THATBRONWYNGIRL Posts: 659
3/10/12 2:55 P

I always pack the night before, so I can grab and run...no excuses, then.
I even pack my snacks!

STARBRITE9 SparkPoints: (18)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
3/10/12 1:05 P

This is my first time trying to find a support group. It is my first time on any type of chat rooms. I am on the road during the day, I don't have any where to cook. I am picky. I don't like any left over meat; don't like lunch meats, I have to leave food in a hot car. I just cannot seem to find a variety of things to eat. there is only so much peanut butter and jelly I can eat. I'm not sure which group to join. Can anyone make suggestions.

AUNTKATHY Posts: 207
3/10/12 11:51 A

Being prepared is the key. I usually cook on Sunday and then divide it all out for the week. Makes my morning go much smoother. Plus I can sleep longer too : )

HEALTHY_SB SparkPoints: (5,417)
Fitness Minutes: (2,689)
Posts: 36
3/10/12 8:21 A

@GAKCARTER: My son is allergoc to peanuts and I love PB & J. I can only eat them at work. I buy a loaf a bread, make as many sandwiches as the loaf allows and freeze. They are not mushy. Actually, they are a little dry. I have not tried it with other sandwiches for me. One of my sons get cheese sandwiches from the freezer and doesn't complain.

Edited by: HEALTHY_SB at: 3/10/2012 (08:22)
DAWNEDONU Posts: 45
3/10/12 2:43 A

Variety and planning are key. I rarely go into an office and work out of my car all day without access to a microwave or refrigerator. One day a week I work in a building wth access only to a water cooler with a hot water nozzle. On those days I bring Dr. McDougalls instant oatmeal and a few snacks such as somersaults (sunflower seed snacks that I love), a zone bar or similar type bar and maybe some nuts or edamame. On the days I am on the road I bring a power bar pure an simple, luna bar, planters nut bar or Emeralds breakfast on the go. Don't underestimate thinking outside of the box by bringing packets of precooked brown rice/quinoa and eating 1/2 for lunch and 1/2 for dinner (store remainder in cooler). There are new boxed items in the store called "go picnic" and although calorie content is high in the whole box for one sitting, you can nibble at the variety of items throughout your day. I also like Smuckers frozen uncrustables whole wheat pb and honey- just grab from your freezer and they defrost for you to eat later and are yummy. I like cold veggies such as cooked or raw asparagus with tofurky lunch "meat" wraps or smart dogs. Don't forget the protein drinks or meal replacement drinks. One I really like is called Orgain. It may seem expensive but if you were to buy lunch out somewhere, it would definitely cost you more. The frozen food isle now has pre packed frozen fruit cups and although the strawberries are a little soggy once defrosted, they arent bad. The pineapple thaws better. Frozen grapes are great and like a cool treat later. Think outside of the box and ideas will flow. Good luck....

Edited by: DAWNEDONU at: 3/10/2012 (02:51)
BAMBI31311 SparkPoints: (12,357)
Fitness Minutes: (8,572)
Posts: 498
3/10/12 12:39 A

Definitely do it the night before. A sachet of tuna, or a little water packed tin of tuna, a small handful of nuts, boil an egg or two, grill/broil a chicken breast, peel some carrots, wash an apple. It depends what you like to eat, but plan and prepare ahead of time. Last resort grab a banana and a handful of nuts.

GRACEMCC45 Posts: 1,134
3/9/12 10:23 P

I (or my dear sweet DH) do everything the night before. I make a list of everything I need to eat the next day (I work 12 hour shifts, so I eat 4 separate times at work). And we prepare the night before. Somethings that are helpful"
- If you are a leftover type of person, when you portion out your supper, immediately portion out your lunch for the next day in a reusable container. This will keep you in portion control of your supper as well
- pre chop some of your veggies once or twice a week - carrots are kept well in a glass bowl with some water in it. Peppers keep well when presliced as long as they are refrigerated. Cucumber does not turn out well like this!
- take advantage of "portion-control" or pre-packed healthy foods. Danactive yogurts and 100 calorie fibre 1 bars are a daily staple for me, and pack quickly.
- Take as much to work at once as you can safely leave there: I leave a clif bar in my mailbox for emergencies, and when I start my set of 4 12 hour shifts, I put a package of lavash crackers and a tub of hummus in the fridge. I take them back home when I finish my last shift
- Get yourself a large enough cooler-type case for what you need for the day. If you are in Canada, the Sobeys brand (I believe they are called pack n fresh) bags are fantastic! I can fit all my food in there that I need, and it is insulated well
- Containers: I have all different shapes and sizes (and many of them!) of the "lock & lock" containers. Having a surplus of them gets me out of the excuse that they aren't clean.

FRUITYFUL Posts: 1,009
3/9/12 3:28 P

I don't have time in the mornings to do much packing and I'm not organized enough to prep everything on Sunday. So what I do is I buy a four pack of yogurt, I buy a bunch of fruit, and I take it to work and put it in the fridge for the week. I have other things like 100 calorie packs of trail mix or nuts, or fiber one bars. I also have a loaf of bread and peanut butter in case I need a sandwich or something to dip my fruit in. I buy baby carrots and ready made salad and I occasionally bring that for lunch, and I already have the dressing in the fridge. Usually all I have to do is grab a little something occasionally to add to my work stash. I also keep a pack of trail mix and/or a fiber one bar and sometimes an apple in my purse just in case I get hungry. I hate being out somewhere and not having any healthy choices when I need something to eat.

JOYFULME01 Posts: 475
3/9/12 9:25 A

I think it all comes down to being organized. I shop on Sunday afternoon and come right home to prep everything for the week. I organize my fridge and freezer based on my menu plan. Having a menu plan and detailed shopping list makes things so much easier. My husband can look at the menu, locate the recipes (if needed) and prepare a meal too! I leave the house every morning at 6:30 so I don't have time to pack a lunch before I leave. I pack my lunch at night either while I'm preparing dinner or doing dishes. I used to pack everyone's lunch, but we've found that it works better for each of us to pack our own. There seems to be fewer forgotten lunches in the morning with this schedule. I naturally tend to be an organized person, but it still took discipline and being intentional in my behavior to develop this habit and stick to it.

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SUSANFREE54 SparkPoints: (7,375)
Fitness Minutes: (4,945)
Posts: 87
3/8/12 10:11 P

That is some awesome organization! I do something similar with beans, rice, my turkey muffins, etc., even pumpkin for my oatmeal in the mornings. You can do this with all kinds of things. I make up a big batch, portion them into muffin tins and freeze. Then put in freezer bags, ready to grab, microwave for 2 minutes, add some fresh veggies and lunch/dinner is ready in 3 minutes.

BOBBY1091 SparkPoints: (332)
Fitness Minutes: (480)
Posts: 6
3/8/12 8:47 P

that is awesome............. way to go.

PARASELENIC Posts: 2,467
3/8/12 5:11 P

I leave the house every morning at 7am and don't get home until 9pm M-F.

What I do:
SUNDAYS go shopping for week, and prep EVERYTHING on Sunday.


1 week example:
Wash and cut all veg, DRY with a paper towel. (3 Red bell peppers, 1 bag of baby carrots, 1 bag of sugar snap peas, 1 bag of pre-cut broccoli, 1 container of cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch of celery)
Separate all veg into 5 separate containers (one for each day of the week -1/w) *no cucumber, it doesn't last all week. the veg above will last til Friday if prepped on Sunday.

portion out hummus/dip/dressing into 5 sep containers (1/w)-- hummus is my favorite

put 1 T of peanut butter and 1 T of nutella on two slices of light sara lee whole wheat bread, make one choc-pnut butter sammy for everyday., baggie into 5 separate bags

open up two cans of cajun spicy black beans, separate into 5 containers. Add dollop of light sour cream to each container (cajun black beans taste awesome cold)

Open up one jar of baby dills, separate into 5 bags



in the morning, grab one of each pre-packed thing from the fridge.

Add one orange and one apple, one granola bar, one chobani greek yogurt, one 100 calorie pack of almonds, and maybe some pretzels. Pack with an ice pack and you have everything you need for the day, 5 minutes of grabbing every morning.

Every week changes. Sometimes instead of a sammy it's tuna pasta salad... or a hard boiled egg for a snack.

Plan it out, partition it out on Sundays, and you're good to go. It's a learning experience, you'll learn that some things keep well for 5 days, some don't.

As an aside: I'm always carrying a pack of almonds and a fiber granola bar with me--everywhere. If I ever get a bad case of the hungries, or if I find myself stranded, I always have something to gnosh that isn't totally horrible.

You can totally do a grab and go all day of food, just gotta put in one hour of work on Sundays for it, but the time and cals you save-- totally worth it.

Edited by: PARASELENIC at: 3/8/2012 (17:26)
CHARLOTTE1947 SparkPoints: (39,630)
Fitness Minutes: (47,684)
Posts: 1,751
3/8/12 3:38 P

When I was still working 45-50 hrs a week, taking care of the house and a mother with dementia, I used to prepare salad fixings on Sunday and stored them in bags or air tight containers. The night before work, I put together a huge salad with chopped eggs, cheese, low fat cottage cheese or meats. I kept the low fat, low carb salad dressing at work in the frig, I kept a supply of plastic knives and forks at work too. I also packed a fresh fruit for the pm snack. Friends at work said I should start a salad concession b/c my salads always looked so good. Try mixing fruits, nuts and seeds into the mix. One problem with this is that trimmed, washed veggies only keep for a few days, so I had to prepare new salad ingredients mid-week. In a pinch, I went to the deli dept. at the local grocery store before work. They usually had pretty nice Chef Salads for sale. I lost weight during all this craziness!

JAOTTO SparkPoints: (47,529)
Fitness Minutes: (51,665)
Posts: 1,470
3/8/12 12:40 P

pack a salad

STEPHARONI85 Posts: 109
3/8/12 10:06 A

i found the fit and fresh containers to help me out immensely when it comes to packing all my meals for the day. they have attachments in the lids for a cool pack, and the containers are not made cheaply. they hold up very well AND... wait for it! ... theres measurements on the sides of the containers so you know how much your taking lately i have been filing up one of the 2 cup containters with strawberries and blueberries to munch on during the day and the cooler pack keeps it cool all while sitting on my desk all day! i hate warm blueberries... yuck!

also something i have grown a great addiction to, is starbucks has a protein box that costs about $5 depends where you live, and it has a hard boiled egg (peeled and ready to eat), handful of grapes, half an apple, about 2 or 3 wedges of white cheddar cheese, and my fave part, a muesli bun with a packet of honey peanut butter.. so delicious.
but because to me $5 can get costly esp when u enjoy them as much as i do! i started making my own, the only thing i have a real problem getting is as yummy of a muesli bun and the pb as it is in the box. but i have been getting great harvest dakota loaf once a week, so i can have a slice with my lunch. i also pack the entire apple and another fruit just in case i get hungry or some veggies.
hope this helps!!! emoticon

GOHAWKIS1 SparkPoints: (45,956)
Fitness Minutes: (14,071)
Posts: 1,597
3/8/12 9:54 A

I have been known to bring cold cereal for lunch with a banana or an egg, a slice onion and a couple slices of tomato to put on a toasted whole wheat English muffin. The company I work for has toasters as well as microwaves, so I toast my muffin and then assembly my egg sandwich. Delish.





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