More Baby Step Changes

Baby Step #2, Pack Your Lunch

from CrossFit Aspire

Your baby step #2 for eating and feeling better is to PACK YOUR LUNCH. Every single day. Just like you did when you were a kid. It wasn’t very hard to do back then, and it’s even easier now. Now that you’ve got a few healthy recipes under your belt, making lunches will be a breeze! Here are a few tips for making sure that brown bagging it is ALWAYS the cheaper, easier, and healthier choice.

Cook For An Army: Double or triple the portions of food you make for dinner, so you always have a reserve for the next day. Lunches are exactly like dinners – they should include a lean meat, a vegetable, and some good fat. So why not just take your dinner to work and call it lunch? It’s a no-brainer and requires minimal extra time, since you’re already cooking.

One man's leftovers are another man's lunch

Buy a slow cooker and Use it Weekly: CrockPot Slow cookers are cheap and require minimal culinary expertise. Let’s make Sunday your slow cooker day. Every Sunday at some point during the day or evening, follow these easy steps and you’ll have no excuse on Monday morning.

1. Buy a big chunk of meat. Brisket and pork roasts are two of our favorites.

2. Spice the meat as necessary (pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, paprika, chili powder and coriander are all great together)

3. Put the meat in the slow cooker with some liquid (red wine or low sodium broth work well) or if it has a decent amount of fat on it, then omit the liquid. Turn the slow cooker on, and walk away.

4. About 6 hours later, follow your nose to the amazing aroma in your kitchen and your meat will be cooked to perfection.

Keep a Full Pantry/Fridge: Your food choices should happen at the grocery store, not on your lunch break as you drive past countless fast food places and chain restaurants, or while you’re standing in front of a plate of cookies your coworker made. If you make an effort to buy MORE food on your weekly shopping trip, you’ll never be at a loss for a healthy snack or addition to your lunch while you’re at work. Bad food decisions are usually make in moments of desperation and intense hunger. If you always keep good food handy, you’ll never need to make another bad decision.

That’s our fridge!

Multi-Task: It’s as easy as boiling water. Literally. Just take a a few big pots, fill them each 3/4 of the way with water and put something into them. Hardboiled eggs (8 min), sweet potatoes (12-15 minutes), Chicken thighs (10 min), or broccoli (5 minutes, very little water) are great options. Remove from water and season. Some quickies:

1. Slice up your hardboiled eggs and add avocado, chopped onion and Frank’s Red Hot.

2. Sprinkle cinnamon on your sweet potatoes

3. Shred the chicken thighs and put jarred sun-dried tomatoes or pesto and olive oil on them.

Go Semi-Homemade: If your culinary creativity is failing you, or time seems to be moving extra fast on a particular morning, leaving you with few options for an entire meal, then consider bringing something from home and supplementing with something from a local supermarket or deli. For instance, bring a bunch of grilled chicken from home, and add it to a Greek or garden salad from the local deli. Or bring last night’s vegetable leftovers and add some meat from the hot bar at Whole Foods, lunch meats from the deli counter (ask for the brand with the least preservatives), or tuna straight from the can with a little olive oil.

And there you have it. Great suggestions for helping you take Baby Step #2. After reading this post, go back and re-read it, take notes if necessary, and implement what you’ve learned immediately. You’ll feel good that you did, and you’ll officially have no excuse for not being able to pack a lunch for yourself every single day.

What did you think? Was this post helpful? How does your current lunch differ from these options? What is one thing you will do today to help bring you closer to packing a lunch daily? Use your success stories to support the newbies, the non-cooks, and people who have never made their own lunch. Post thoughts to comments.

NutritionLisa RayComment