Packing Lunches with Resolutions
When the new year rolls around, it is always a time of reflection. While I am not a huge fan of “resolutions” I am always evaluating what I can improve on in my life. I enjoy setting goals for myself to lead a better life. The new year often sparks thoughts of eating better and saving money. Packing your own lunch can help in both of those areas.
By packing your own lunch, you know exactly what you are eating, where it came from and can control the quantities. I love eating “real” food, made from scratch with simple ingredients. Eating local is another goal of mine; I love exploring the farmers’ market and supporting local businesses. Controlling portion size is also important in any goal to stay fit.
Let’s face it: Eating out for lunch may be convenient but the cost can add up quickly. Not to mention, it’s not always the healthiest option. Even the “healthy” options at restaurants can have more calories, sodium and processed ingredients than you are led to believe. Packing your lunch can really help you limit your spending. Making food from scratch can be very cost effective.
By packing your lunch, you can tailor it to fit your lifestyle. Do you eat at your desk or on the road? Do you like to eat a full lunch at once or space out your nourishment into two or three smaller meals throughout your day? Customizing your lunch is a great way to make sure it fits in your day to enjoy.
If you get a chance to sit quietly to eat your lunch—at your desk, in a break room or possibly outside on a nice day—I suggest packing a hearty salad. I like to use fresh greens, vegetables and top it with shredded leftover chicken, beans and/or nuts and cheese. I mix up a simple vinaigrette and store in a separate jar. I like to add a nice slice of bread or some crackers and fruit on the side. This is a healthy and satisfying lunch that won’t break the bank.
If you have to eat on the go or you prefer to break up your lunch into smaller “snacks” thoughout the day, try packing smaller containers that are easy to grab or will fit in your car’s cup holder. A few jars filled with favorites like sliced apples, carrots and hummus and nuts are good snacks or sides. Then pack an easy-to-handle wrap. My favorite wrap is a whole-wheat tortilla with butterhead lettuce, hummus, red peppers, feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. Wrap it up in parchment paper to keep the drips at bay!
Using simple ingredients and packing your lunch from home can save you money and keep you on track for your new year’s goals.