An adventurous girl cooks, eats and explores in Europe.
I have always been a fan of the packed lunch for work. Going out to eat was not only a hassle with lunch crowds everywhere, but it gets expensive. And at the end of the week, those receipts aren’t the only thing adding up- I consume far more calories when eating out. I love to pack lunches for us to save money and eat better. Usually the lunches include a snack intended as breakfast since we rarely ate before leaving, a main item as lunch (sandwich, salad, leftovers), and a few snacks to eat alongside lunch or in case we end up hungry throughout the day. Even when I am not sending a lunch, I still like to send snacks. If you eat a good snack when you start feeling hungry, you can avoid that starving by lunchtime feeling that leads to unhealthy cravings and overeating. Below are a few of my favorite things to send.
–1 ounce of nuts and 1 ounce of raisins– I love snacking on raw, unsalted cashews, almonds, walnuts, or pistachios. As long as I keep portion size under control, it is a healthy snack for me, and a good source of healthy fat and protein.
–1/2 cup of raw broccoli– Marcus and I both love broccoli, raw or cooked, and its so easy to chop up a head of broccoli and throw it in a few containers to send through out the week.
-1/2 cup of sliced cucumber and carrots– Cucumber is so refreshing; I love to eat it on its own. I also like to send carrots sliced up alongside it. If you aren’t as excited about either of these alone, start eating them with a bit of hummus and see if it grows on you.
-3/4 cup (popped) of popcorn, popped with a small amount of oil and salt- We could never find microwave popcorn that we felt great about eating, since it is always covered in butter and salt. I’ve started popping kernels on the stove in just a bit of olive oil. I also sprinkle a pinch of salt into the oil, but this could be left out.
–1/4 cup of peas– This may sound strange to some, but Marcus loves peas. We eat frozen peas all the time so I make sure to pull extra out for snacks the next day. I send a small tupperware container of peas for him that I think he just snacks on without heating. I judged him, but it is pretty good.
–1 piece of fresh fruit- It is so easy to throw in an apple, orange or banana, or sometimes I will slice a combo of these with berries, canned peach or pineapple, or whatever other fruit I have on hand to make a fruit salad.
–2 ounces of Multigrain Wheat Thins- We love crackers, and wheat thins are a favorite. They are filling enough and healthy enough for me to feel good sending along sometimes.
–1 splurge treat- Once or twice a week, generally on a Monday, Wednesday or a Friday, I like to throw in something that really is totally a treat. When packing this for myself, it is nice having this as something to look forward to. For Marcus, it is a nice surprise to give a little pick-me-up if the afternoon drags on. It is always something small- a Hershey’s Kiss, a two-bar dark chocolate Kit-Kat, a small bag of Goldfish crackers. Something you like to give you a special moment on an ordinary day.