Ever get tired of the same old lunch at work? Or maybe you go out to lunch more often because you find it more convenient, easier, and has more variety/options?

Where do you start?!

Me? Well I’m a bring your lunch type of girl. Most times, you’ll find I bring my own lunch to work.

Why? Well I’m cheap, I like to know what is in my food, and I like having my food with me so I can eat it immediately or anytime I want. Those are the main reasons. I have found that I can easily add my own variety depending on my mood, the time of year (hot foods/cold foods), etc.

Today I’m sharing my lunchtime tips, and I would be interested in your tips/suggestions too!

  1. Plan according to your location– Kitchenette available? Traveling? Eating in your office or classroom? What’s at your disposal? This determines my options. Frankly, I am usually lunch-ing somewhere where I’m not able to easily heat up anything. So my lunches are typically cold, which is fine- I work with it.
  2. Get a good lunch bag. Frankly I need a new lunch bag. Soon I’ll be on the hunt for one. My current lunch bag has been with me for years. Literally. But I like simplicity- it needs to be insulated with a zipper, not bulky, and have small handles (I don’t need a shoulder strap). Sometimes I have to carry my bag with me, just due to my day’s responsibilities, so I don’t need a bulky bag getting in my way. I need the food to stay cold and I don’t need to be fussing with it. I’m open to suggestions if you have good lunch bag suggestions.
  3. How much time do I have? This may seem like a silly one, but key. How much time do I have to eat? Many of my lunch foods would be considered “grab and go”, because I want the convenience of being able to just eat. Eat, like right now. For example, my frequent ‘go to’ choices are string cheeses, crackers & hummus, or apples and peanut butter, etc. Also there are times when I want a snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon, so I dig into my lunch. Easy and convenient. But also let’s not over look the key question, How much time do I have to pack? Personally, I put my lunch together in the morning. It just works for me that way. Everyone’s lunches get packed in the morning, at the same time. However, I usually guesstimate what I’m going to put in there the night before. When I think about it the night before, throwing a lunch together in the morning only takes me 3 minutes. 
  4. Include a veg and a protein. For some this may be a salad. While sometimes I bring a salad with some fixin’s to serve as my lunchtime veg, it is not often my go-to. My personal go-to veg with the most versatility is spinach. I like that you can add spinach to sandwiches or wraps, use the spinach as the lettuce in your salads, or what you’ll find me do the most- smoothies. Hands down, I like my smoothies for the convenience and health benefits. I’ll take 5 minutes and make it in the morning, then consume it between mid-morning and lunchtime. Other ideas to include a veg would be bringing raw veggies and some dip, such as hummus, or the good ‘ol fashioned leftovers. Now protein. This is key. While I eat meat, I make a large effort to consume protein from non-animal sources too- such as eggs, nuts, beans, dairy or cheeses, etc. If I include a bar in my lunch, my favorite right now are RX Bars, specifically the Sea Salt Chocolate kind.
  5. A small dessert. I like a sweet treat now and then. Right? I mean, c’mon! You’ll most often find me with 2-3 pieces of dark chocolate in my lunch bag. It satisfies my craving at the end of my lunch. But if a fantastic, splurge dessert is added to your lunch- enjoy it! Ya-hoo. I just try not to make splurge desserts on the regular.

What tips/suggestions do you have? Please share!

Or tell me if you have a lunch bag you recommend!