Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lunches That Work

(I should be working on school projects right now but instead I'm posting about stuff that nobody cares about but me! Wheee! It's fun being a procrastinator!)

One of the most stressful parts about my workday is making time in the mornings to pack a healthy lunch. I am always running behind in the mornings, but I rarely find the motivation to pack a lunch the night before. And I hate having to waste time to leave the office in the middle of the day to go get lunch.

Also, having a healthy, filling lunch that is actually appetizing is an important factor for me in resisting the siren-song of the snack box at 3pm.

Here are a few things that I've found that make my workday lunches easier:

LeanCuisine and SmartOnes frozen meals. I would much prefer something warm for lunch than a cold sandwich. There are several varities of these that I really like. The SmartOnes 3 Cheese Ziti Marinara is my all-time favorite.

I like to have a green salad with my lunch; it keeps me full longer without adding too many calories. A salad takes too long to make each morning, but I've discovered that in 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon I can prep the ingredients for an entire week's worth of salads.

I wash and tear lettuce

hard-boil and cut up 2 eggs

and slice up a cucumber.

I store everything in zip-top baggies in the fridge so in the mornings I can just throw a little of each into a tupperware. I also buy a container of cherry tomatoes to throw in the salad - no prep needed for those. I can put a salad together in less time than it would take me to make a sandwich.

I have a collection of the smallest size Gladware containers for dressing.

I also try to find a couple of fruits in season to rotate between; they are quick and easy to throw in a lunch bag. This time of year I like all of the citrus fruits that are in season - especially the tangelos and clementines.

Most importantly, I throw 3 or 4 Hershey's Kisses in my lunch bag to satisfy my sweet tooth. No meal is complete without dessert.

So, tell you have any secrets for healthy work lunches?


Pickles and Dimes said...

I'm with you; this time of year I don't even want to think about a cold sandwich (unless it's paired with a hot bowl of soup).

I'll usually bring a can of chili or some other soup to heat up. I also like the microwaveable panini sandwiches. My favorite is Stouffer's.

Oh, you wanted healthy ideas? TOO BAD.

Holly said...

My current favorite salad is baby spinach (or regular, cut up), orange sections, red onion slivers, toasted pecans, and possibly goat cheese or feta. With vinaigrette. It's pretty easy to prep.

Also, I make enough of all dinners so that there are leftovers for lunch.

These are really good and hold up well for several days.

Alice said...

i CANNOT get up in time to make myself daily lunches, so i buy a bunch of supplies and keep them at work. this week it's: hummus and pita; a cucumber & cherry tomatoes (cuke - sliced up on day 1 and stored in ziplock after that); apples, and a jar of peanut butter to dip apples into :-)

Tracy said...

I'm with you on the desire for a healthy lunch... but finding the time is H.A.R.D. Especially when I am in charge of getting me ready and the 18month old. :) I like the Smart Ones frozen dinners too! But lately I've been bringing the stuff to make sandwiches at work. Although, I do toast my bread in order for the sandwich to not be so cold.

But I really like your salad idea! I will have to try that and I have those exact tiny Glad containers to put salad dressing in. Yea!

sil said...

y'all i'm lucky b/c my fiancee makes my lunch everyday. i usually have a sandwich and then carrots so i have something crunchy that's not chips. i do like to have the lean cuisines paninis though! they are pretty good and warm!