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Thread: Preparing lunches

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Preparing lunches

    I work two jobs currently and I don't have a very regular schedule. I sometimes get lunch breaks when I work full shifts. At either location there is usually a lounge with a refrigerator and sometimes there is a microwave.

    I've always had trouble packing lunch; not because of any actually difficulty but because of finding foods that are nourishing and substantial. When I was in public school, I packed lunches all the time, but obviously now, things are different. I'm overly dependent on fast food because of how sporadic my schedule can be(I eat at McDonalds least once a week) I'm tall and lanky with a little bit of a gut, and if it weren't for my very high metabolism, I'd be morbidly obese by now.

    So, I would like some ideas on packing a lunch. Here's what I require:
    1. No sandwiches
    2. No cold pizza
    3. I'm trying to avoid including processed meats
    4. Protein drinks are a supplement, not a meal
    5. Low sodium, but an occasional soup is OK

    I usually eat a pretty healthy breakfast, even in a rush. (Oatmeal, cereal). Just lunch is mostly an issue for me.

  2. #2


    You can get a Microwave Noodle Bowl from tons of places online, and they're pretty good. Noodles are healthy, extremely quick to cook (2/3 minutes) and pretty inexpensive. And I'll quite often take in some cold meats (like salami or pastrami) to put in with my noodles, to give the meal a bit more flavour. I

  3. #3


    Here are some things my husband enjoys.
    Flavored chicken (or any kind of meat) with rice. (can be eaten cold and still tastes good)
    Curry with rice

    Mason jar salads, you place your dressing, any Harty vegitables (sun flower seeds, carrots, avacado, hard boiled eggs, ect.) on top then any meat you want to add and keep the lettuce on top. At lunch time shake and enjoy.

    Cheese and cracker platter bring along some jalapeņos (we like candied jalapeņos) maybe some cream cheese along with hard cheeses.

    Pasta with pesto a little Parmesan cheese, garlic and any meat you want (chicken and beef work really well) I think this is better cold than warm.

    Some things you could do for a quick snack Dried fruit and nuts, English muffin with some peanut butter. cottage cheese, olives, yogurt.

    Hope this helps give you ideas.

  4. #4


    What I usually do is bake some chicken and make some rice for the week and use it in everything. Chicken is cheaper than beef here, and I always had an easier time using it in so many recipes. And plus chicken seems to absorb whatever flavor you pair it with. I usually make everything at the beginning of the week and put it all in containers that are ready to go. Tuesday's are my day off so I usually get everything ready for the next 7 days

    One day I might do a chicken Cesar salad. Like BabyMoonFox said, mason jars are great for this.

    Tuesday I'll do chicken and vegetable soup and freeze what I don't need.

    Wednesday is stir fry day.

    Thursday is vegetarian day (I skip the meats to save a little money. Look at Pinterest for some lentil chilli recipes. You don't even miss the meat!)

    Friday's I might do some kind of chicken salad wrap in a leaf of lettuce instead of a tortilla.

    I freeze most of my soups and stir frys in muffin tins and then pop them out and put the little cups into plastic baggies. They're great for just throwing things together in a lunch box when you're in a mad dash out the door in the morning. It's also good for premade smoothies! You can let the fruit smoothie thaw out until lunch and then just stir it and drink it. I do that a lot since I work in healthcare, and I often don't get breaks if we are short staffed.

    If you're really looking for no processed meats, try putting a small chicken in the croc pot. Just take out the gizzards, rub some salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, whatever you want on it. And leave it on low for 8 hours while you're at work. You can usually get the whole chickens a little cheaper, and then you can use the broth for soups or stir frys or whatever you want. I used to do this all the time. I would even cook the gizzards separately and grind them up in the food processor and feed it to my dog to save money on dog food as well.

  5. #5


    Leftovers are the most obvious answer if you tend to cook your own dinner. Just make extra and bring it the next day.

    If you want to buy something specifically to bring for lunch though, canned chili is usually my go-to. It's quick, easy, filling, and reasonably healthy (just watch out for ones high in sugar).

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