On Packing Lunches

Cute pear

I have a bad habit of trying to live multiple lives at once. At present, I am a:

  • Full-time graduate student
  • Full-time freelance editor
  • Part-time Graduate Associate
  • Blogger

On Tuesdays, I’m in work/class from 8am-8pm. It’s kind of tricky. And those are just the “responsibilities.” Beyond that, I’m also a girlfriend, mother of two cats, yoga practitioner, friend (sometimes), sister, daughter, etc. It can be a bit much to keep track of, at times. Hence, my complete inability to ever know what day it is, whose birthday is when, where I am or what’s going on.

One thing I won’t let slip, however, is eating what I want when I want. It takes a little extra planning (and lots of tupperware), but it can be done.

Today's salad (leftover from last night)

My tips for preparing packed lunches/snacks:

  • Prep and pack everything the night before.
  • On that same note, use your dinner for one night as lunch for the next day. Prep and pack your lunch at the same time you’re making dinner and you’ll only be in the kitchen once.
  • Stock up on glass/plastic containers. Don’t waste your money (and planet) on endless piles of disposable goods. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy ziploc bags, foil, etc. But I don’t use them for daily lunches.
  • If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, buy an insulated lunch pack. I use this Fit and Fresh pack that I found at TJMaxx.
  • Make the meal special. Inhaling food in front of a computer sucks. I know this. I take my lunch outside every day and eat it with real silverware that I bring from home. It’s a nice escape.
  • Avoid packaged, prepared goods. I know they’re easy but they’re also more expensive and likely full of all kinds of crap. Make time on Sunday to wash and prep your own veggies sticks, fruit salads, etc.
  • Bring multiple snacks. If you’re away from home for 12 hours at a time like I am, one meal won’t cut it. I usually carry 2-3 pieces of whole fruit, trail mix and a bar of some sort to get me through to the next feeding time.

Do you pack lunches and snacks to go? What are your go-to packed goods?

15 thoughts on “On Packing Lunches

  1. Being a teacher, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the summer off. Come Monday, it’s back to packing lunches. I usually try to pack leftovers, but I also always have yogurt, cereal/granola, fruit, and raw veggies at the ready to piece together a quick meal. I never leave home without a piece of chocolate for the road!

  2. being on a meal plan working at a university, its surprisingly easy to eat a healthy variety of things for both lunch and dinner. Today I had what they called 3-clove chicken and veggies (bell peppers and onions)a few small garlic new potatoes, and this delicious cold corn and black bean salad they have regularly i’ve become obsessed with. Its not unusual for me to be able to have 4 or more veggies in one meal.

    the problem is when i run out of meals for the week, i don’t eat at home enough to keep my kitchen stocked with more than kashi honey toasted oats. so its runs to qdoba, panera, or whatever else i can find on the weekends

  3. I don’t have to pack lunches anymore since I work from home, but I love all your tips. I definitely used many of them when teaching. I also like to prep veggies and fruits on Sundays to have them readily available to grab and toss in a lunch during the week.

  4. Oh goodness! No wonder you get so confused! You are like 80 dif people!

    My go to snack is cut up fruit in Tupperware. Never fails! You can eat it in the middle of class. Even if you sit in the front row like I do ;)

  5. Great tips! Currently I don’t pack my lunch because I walk home for lunch from work, but I used to pack everyday. Once I got used to it, it didn’t take much time at all. I love preparing dinners that work well for lunch the next day. Sometimes one recipe can last me 4-5 meals.

  6. Pingback: » Eating at the Mall Sweet Tater | Food | Fitness | Etc.

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