Let’s be honest, it’s NOT easy to continually pack healthy lunches, but regularly packing a quality healthy lunch is a good idea for so many reasons. Whether you’re trying to improve your health or help your wallet, bringing your own lunch to work keeps you in charge of the ingredients that fuel your body and helps you perform at your best at work, in the gym or at school. Read below for why you should brown bag it – and some tips on how you can brown bag better!
Bringing your own lunch helps to keep YOU be in charge of WHAT and HOW much food goes into your body. We’re often taught as kids to finish everything on our plates, and for most people, our portion sizes are dictated by what is in front of us. By packing the right amount of food and portion sizes, there’s less room for restaurants and takeout places to control your food consumption and you can eat everything on your plate in the correct proportions.
Newsflash! Eating out can get expensive! Packing a lunch cuts down on costs. Even saving $2-$3 per lunch (which is the bare minimum you will save) can lead to a savings of $500 a year. That’s an extra $500 that can be spent on haircuts, clothes, shoes, manicures or something that you’ve really wanted to do!
There is no doubt that homemade packed lunches produce less waste than buying lunch. When you bring your lunch to work in reusable containers and reusable bags, you are saying “no thanks” to the millions of napkins, condiment packages, Styrofoam, plastic containers and utensils thrown into lunch bags each day.
- Future You will Thank Past You. Take a few minutes the night before to prepare lunch for the next day and it won’t affect your beauty sleep or morning routine. Seems like a simple answer but we know everyone wants to hit that snooze one last time so the extra prep the night before will allow you to snooze and eliminate rushing in the morning.
- Mason Jar Salads! Have leftover chicken or steak? Create a generous salad for lunch right in a mason jar! The general equation is to put the heaviest, sauciest items at the bottom of your jar before topping it with other veggies and finally the lettuce leaves.
- Tonight’s Dinner, Tomorrow’s Lunch. Here’s OUR secret lunch weapon: leftovers – the key to lunchboxes. Making your dinners larger by doubling recipes or making an extra chicken breast means you won’t have to lift a finger or spend a dime on lunch the next day. If you’re currently in the habit of cooking dinner, then we recommend doubling recipes. Hey single-household Chef’s Plate users, this is where you come out a step above everyone else! We love using extra portions of Chef’s Plate to sub as our lunch meals for the next day!
- Cook a Big Batch on Sunday. So maybe leftovers are not your thing. That’s okay! Use your Sunday afternoon or evening to create a big batch that you can use for lunch each day. Whether it’s salad with separately packed toppings, pasta with roasted veggies or a big pot of chili, you can always cook ahead and save for later!
- Soups and Stews – Virtually any and every type of soup and stew works well recycled and re-hearted for lunch the next day. Level your soup up by serving the leftovers with pita chips (for tomato soup), diced avocado (for tortilla soup) or a spoonful of plain yogurt to give a tart punch to a creamy vegetable soup.
So at least for March 10, celebrate National Pack Your Lunch and brown bag it! Be the envy of all your friends and colleagues when you bring in quality meals to work the next day!