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Beat the Brown Bag Blues

Put the Fun Back in Lunch


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  • These are great idea's for lunch!
  • I like the grid. The only thing I'd like to mention that bothers me just a tad is the dairy component. Not everyone can eat dairy. It's not just here - I see it everywhere. Yes, there are other types of yogurt and fake cheese (which really, just scares me), but those aren't the same (and they are pricey).

    It still amazes me how very prevalent dairy is.
  • Tupperware is your friend. I found some "meal packs" (they looked like TV dinners) at the Grocery outlet. Do a batch of cooking Friday night. Cram your protein into one section. Cram the other section with frozen vegetables. Fill 4 or 5 of them and freeze the lot, then take them in a cooler Monday and stow in the break room. Reheat as needed. Take cooler and tupperware home Friday. I do have to be mindful about my "brown bags" - fish is usually a no-no, as the smell's strong, and always clean your trays right after you're finished eating.
  • If you love variety and having a multi-"course" lunch, tupperware is your friend. Little portions of things. Today, I have turkey salad (from leftover turkey) with nofat mayo, couscous tabouli (parsley was going bad) with lots of cukes and tomatoes) and a low-carb tortilla. Often it will be a chef salad (no cheese but tuna or lean meat) with crackers or low carb tortilla and Laughing Cow lite, and 1 cup of low cal soup, sometimes fruit. Lean Cuisine TV dinner with leftover steamed veggies. The more containers I can bring within the calorie limit, the less boring!
  • I pack lunches almost every day, but rarely settle for a sandwich. If you have a mircowave, make a meal you would eat at home or at a restaraunt and heat it up. I had a stir-fry today. Monday I had steak with green beans. I did chili last week. Mix it up so that it isn't the same old rut.
  • I always try to mix it up so it's not boring - sandwich one day, salad the next and leftovers the day after. The biggest help for me is to plan what I will bring the night before. That way I make sure I will actually bring something and not need to hit the drive thru.
  • I always take my lunch to work but instead I take it in an insulted bag so it doesn't get stale sitting there at work waiting for me to eat it. Also, I take healthy choice meals that need to be kept cold. I think brown bag lunches are fine, but I used to use them more when I was my son's age and he is 10. He even has his own insulted lunch bag.
  • I try to pack a lunch. It saves time, money and I can eat exactly what I like and know how it's prepared. I will usually splurge and go out with coworkers once a week. But in this economy, packing lunches is in style.
  • I always pack my lunch the night before and it is usually leftovers from dinner. Since I've been a member of SP, my meals are more exciting than ever. I love the recipies and trying them out. No more brown bags for me, instead I make a presentation on a regular plate. Now my co-workers marvel at my lunch wondering if I've got a personal chef at home. I just smile and pass the Spark!
  • Also something that motivates me to actually EAT my lunches that I bring is putting my lunch in a gift bag. If you are like me, I save the bags that I get from people from christmas and birthdays. Grab one that isnt in the greatest shape (because hey its probably been used for a couple years anyways!) whether its bright yellow, lime green with polka dots, or a brown paper bag with handles (with a picture that your little one or significant other drew on it). You will be more likely to pull that bag out (and use it over again) rather than having a plastic or plain bag that will be used once and tossed.
    It has become a joke at my house...cicken or fish. That is my choice for lunch and dinner.
    tuna or chicken salad for lunch and chicken breast or fish for dinner with a vegetable. Talk about boredom! Oh and add to that pbj sandwich every morning for breakfast
    It has become a joke at my house...cicken or fish. That is my choice for lunch and dinner.
    tuna or chicken salad for lunch and chicken breast or fish for dinner with a vegetable. Talk about boredom! Oh and add to that pbj sandwich every morning for breakfast
  • A friend and I did the "lunch club" thing a few years ago. It worked out really great for a while and then it just fizzled out. The good part is that I found I would make the extra effort to pack a good lunch for the two of us when I wouldn't have done it just for me. Knowing that someone else is counting on you to bring their lunch that day will give the extra push to take it even when you don't really feel into it. We also put more thought and effort into it since it was technically "for someone else." She introduced me to Orange Roughy and I showed her how to puree fruit and have it as a frozen dessert. It got to be too much to keep up with, but with the right people it would work out for awhile!
    Because taking my lunch has always been challenging, I put in about 10 extra minutes in the evening to prepare something. For instance, if I bake chicken for Sunday dinner, I cut some up and maybe one day put it on a salad (which I cut up and leave in a spinner in the refrig for easy access and it doesn't get soggy), another day, add it to a can of soup with crackers, make a sandwich of course, or buy some "steamers" and add it to them. I do the same with fresh deli meats or tuna.
    I understand your frustration.....hope this helps

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