Happy Motivation Monday!
Chances are that you’re reading this around lunch time. What are you having??
When I posted this picture of my packed lunch and snacks on Instagram last week, I got thinking about the many benefits of bringing in a homemade lunch. I pack my lunch up every day, and love this part of my routine for the many benefits it provides. Here are my top 4 reasons to bring your lunch!
- Healthier overall: This BlueHealth Advantage article estimates that you can save about 1,500 calories and 95 grams of fat per day by bringing in your lunch! That may be a little extreme (I certainly wouldn’t be buying a Double Whopper, a Coke, and fries if I did buy my lunch!), but the point is valid. We tend to eat significantly healthier food if we bring in lunch. I always aim to include 5-6 fist-sized servings of veggies and fruits between my lunch and snacks. This keeps me full and energized throughout the workday! A veggie pack is an everyday favorite, and I generally have some type of big salad, plus some fruit for a snack!
- Tastier: I may be biased, but I think the lunches I bring in are pretty delicious! I genuinely look forward to my packed lunch every day, and I can tailor it based on my activity levels, my cravings, the situation (will I have a leisurely 30 minutes to eat, or will I have to sneak in bites and sips between clients? Will I be sitting at a meeting where I don’t want strong smells, or will I eat outside?). I know my home-prepared meals are fresh and use high-quality ingredients, and I don’t have to guess about what’s included, like I would in a meal that purchased elsewhere.
- Cheaper: This Huffington Post article showed one person’s estimate of saving $1,547 per year by bringing her lunch! When I have my clients start bringing in their lunches (and cooking dinners at home), they often notice that their grocery bill is going up. True. But … they’re also saving a ton of money at restaurants and to-go options! That $12 salad here and $9 breakfast bar and coffee there really add up, day after day!
- Time-saving: Many days, it’s all I can manage to sneak in time to really enjoy lunch, and if I had to leave work to go buy something, I wouldn’t be able to actually eat it! Yes, preparing lunch does take a good bit of time, but it’s completely worth it! And the time can be spent in the mornings or evenings, rather than during the middle of the work day. Plus, I use plenty of helpful tips and tricks (including weekend meal prep) to make preparing my meals a bit easier!
Here are a few more lunches that I have Instagrammed (totally a word!) in the past:
Need some more ideas on what to bring? Check out this PopSugar roundup of 50 ideas, this list of 25 from EatingWell, or this list of 50 from FamilyFreshMeals! And whatever you do, don’t forget your veggies :).
Now it’s your turn … Do you bring your lunch? If so, what do you like to bring? If not, can you commit to bringing your lunch just once in the next week?
Most schools are trying hard to upgrade their lunch programs and offer the best food they can.
I agree, Dick! I appreciate their efforts, but we still have a ways to go!
Bringing your own lunch definitely is better than buying one from the fast food outlets. You can control the amount and decide what to bring and make it a healthy choice.
I agree completely, Lynne!
Agreed to all your points! I love bringing in my own lunch, in fact we cook at home most nights as well. The occasional lunch out and definitely dinner out is wonderful, but so too is cooking at home=)
I agree, Bre!
I’d say I’m right in the middle — I bring my lunch and snacks every single day I’m in the office (with maybe a few business lunch exceptions per year), but that lunch is usually a frozen meal. I like Amy’s brand, it seems to be all normal ingredients and most of the ones I choose are pretty healthy (though that broccoli cheddar bowl is deliciously unhealthy once a month or so), and I supplement the meal with an individual servings of frozen peas (my fave veg). It works for me since I can pack all my lunches and snacks on Sunday, though my spinach wrap snack is sometimes a bit wilty by Thursday… Still cheaper and hopefully healthier than going out I think, but also faster, which is usually my goal!
Well hello, 4 months later 🙂 🙂 :). Agree that most Amy’s meals are far better choices (health, time, and dollar-wise) than most things you’d pick up from a restaurant. Love the idea of supplementing with frozen veggies! I have a bag at the office, and people always ask what I do with them!
I have had lunch NOT brought exactly TWICE this year – both for special stuff with some work friends. And I am having lunch with another old friend next week – we’re doing every 6 months just to keep in touch, which is awesome. And since we’re both health conscious and active it is a light and interesting choice.
And I agree about everything – you control the ingredients, and everything is cheaper and just how you want it. Yesterday we got an end-of-camping weekend lunch at a place on the water in Watkins Glen, not the best food but awesome view. Lisa ordered a salad with ‘fresh crab and shrimp’ … not expecting there to be mayonnaise involved .,.. ugh!
Those exceptions are totally valid, Michael! Good for you for bringing in your lunch so often – very impressive! Glad you had fun camping, and sorry about the mayo!
For the last several years, I have brought my lunch to work. More often than not, it is just a banana, a flax seed bar and a fruit or granola bar. I have decided to move into your house as your lunches definitely look more appetizing and nutritious. I bemoan the rare days when someone dares to book a lunch appointment on my calendar as I always seem to lag all afternoon regardless of what I choose from a restaurant menu. To think that “in my prior life”, I couldn’t wait till noontime to ride through the drive-through lane to pick up my burger(s) with fries, pizza, tacos, or subs, etc. Its amazing I have lived this long! Thanks as always for the education and encouragement. I promise to put in the kitchen time to enhance my midday nourishment, at least occasionally!
Gary, that’s awesome!! I’m so proud of you 🙂 :). Feel free to move on in … you know where to find us!!
I bring my lunch 99% of the time!! Today I have grilled chicken and “slutty no-carb pasta”…such a funny name for an amazing zoodle recipe!!! And some raspberries for dessert!!
Wow, that is a funny name, Sue! I hope it was delicious!