Do you pack your lunch when you go to work? I used to eat out at lunch a lot, but since I’ve been trying to live fit, I pack almost every day now. (I wish it was in the circa 1981 Annie lunchbox pictured here, but alas, I don’t know what happened to mine.) I also notice my coworkers bringing their lunches more often, maybe because of the economy.
Some of my favorite lunch items to pack include:
- Any Amy’s, Kashi or Ethnic Gourmet frozen meal: These are more expensive than other brands, but if they’re on sale, stock up–they’re so much tastier and healthier!
- Progresso Light Soups: Pop the top and nuke them in a bowl or mug. A whole can is only 120 calories, and these soups actually taste good.
- Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers: A new addition to the HC lineup, but doesn’t require freezing or refrigerating. I just tried the Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce–it was surprisingly good(I’m not a big fan of their frozen entrees).
- Jello No Sugar Added Pudding Cups: Only 60 calories and they come in dark chocolate or chocolate/vanilla swirl. Yum!
- Sugar snap peas or baby carrots: These are no-fuss snack veggies that go well with your main dish or curb mid-afternoon cravings.
- Trader Joe’s single-serve creamy yogurts: OK, so they contain more calories than, say, Light ‘n’ Fit (140 vs. 80). But oh my God they are good!
- Any fruit that doesn’t require peeling, cutting, etc.: Throw in a banana, orange, apple, cherries, grapes, anything to get an extra serving of fruit in there!
- Hostess 100-calorie cupcakes: A nice little dessert for your lunch, guilt-free.
So there you have it–a few of my secrets to satisfying lunches at my desk. How about you? Share your top picks for packed lunches. (They don’t have to be healthy, either. I realize not everyone has 88 lbs to lose.)
5 thoughts on “Packed Lunch”
I’ve always packed a lunch. I can’t afford not to. But, I have never gone for the expensive and high-calorie/salt/processed foods with unnecessary packaging. I make a sandwich (right now its hummus and swiss cheese on pumpernickel), fruit (I cut it up at work) and more fruit. I keep things like instant oatmeal or cream of wheat or a box of crackers and a jar of peanut at work for an afternoon snack. Keeps me from eating junk (mostly).
I pack lunch almost everyday. My go-to lunch is sandwich but most of the time I try to pack left over like pasta, fried rice, chicken drumstick, salad with steak (leftover).
-Amy @ The Q Family
I forgot to mention another favorite lunch-packing food: Fresh Express Gourmet Cafe Salads to Go. Everything you need to make a delicious salad right at your desk–even the meat! And they’re very yummy and not too many calories.
I pack lunch almost every day as well. I try to bring leftovers when I can (but they go in my son’s lunch bag instead). I usually bring some kind of frozen entree – Lean Cuisines are my favorite, and I really like their paninis. Trader Joe’s has some good ones too. In the colder months I bring a lot of soup, I have a bowl that’s for work only.
I also like a fruit cup with single-serving cottage cheese, or Kozy Shack sugar-free rice pudding. South Beach Diet 100 calorie cookies are a good afternoon snack, as are Weight Watchers muffins (I like the chocolate). As you can see I buy a lot of pre-packaged single-serving items which are great for convenience, if a bit pricey. Coupons and wholesale club shopping help keep the costs down.
Sting cheese. Dannon Light ‘n Fit yoghurt are my standbys. Plus I love making soup or chili on Sunday afternoon and having it for lunch all week.