Let’s talk lunch.
Do you pack it or buy it? Maybe a little bit of both? Me? I’m a lunch packer. Always have been. Probably always will be. Sure there’s those one-off occasions when I may not have my lunch, but hey life happens.
So let me ask you, if you buy lunch everyday – why?
I know we all get busy. And now that it’s back to school, you may be busy keeping up with your kid’s activities. Or just busy at work. Or maybe you’re not a planner and don’t want to bother with what to bring for lunch. I know – you’ll worry about it when the time comes right?!
Okay, I get it. But did you know bringing your lunch to work is actually good for you? Not to mention it’ll save you a ton of money. Really. Just hear me out.
Did you know a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that 92% of chain and non-chain restaurants exceeded recommended calorie requirements for one meal. One meal. And you know what else? According to a Tuft’s University study, the so-called “healthier” choices aren’t that much better because they’re too high in sodium and fat. Sad face.
Well, guess what? If you bring your lunch to work, you have the control. Yup. You control the type of foods, the variety of foods and portion sizes. And you know what? You may be more satisfied too because it’s catered to your taste – you’re not settling for whatever’s on the menu that day. Yes?
Okay, so I don’t really think I’ve converted you to eating out every day to packing your lunch every day. That’s totally unrealistic. How about try 1-2 times a week? Or if you already pack your lunch 1-2 times a week, increase it a day or two. Think you don’t have time? You could take some time on the weekend and spend an hour to two prepping your meals for the week. This works for many people. But you know what? That may be a bit overwhelming and may not work for you. Maybe try making your lunch when you make dinner the night before. Or maybe just plan for leftovers. Do what works for you – there’s no right or wrong answer!
I usually do a combination of both. Sometimes it’s leftovers (super easy!). But now that the weather’s getting cooler, I’m more likely to spend a little time on the weekend to prep for the week. It’s easy to whip a big batch of Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup or White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup. I also like to make this Mediterranean Chickpea Spread. It’s easy to make, makes a great sandwich and super full of fiber goodness!
What do you like to bring for lunch?
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 2 carrots, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon each: cumin, zaatar, sumac
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Add all ingredients to large bowl. Stir to combine. With a fork, roughly smash down the chickpeas so it has a chunky but spreadable texture. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more olive oil or even a little bit of hot water.
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