Bring My Lunch to Work Challenge

I’ve decided that next week I will be embarking on a “Bring My Lunch to Work” week-long challenge. I’ve never brought my lunch to work. Ever. It’s New York City – there are a million sandwich, soup, salad, sushi, pizza shops out there where I can grab something quick and return to my desk. Not to mention the endless places where you can get all of this stuff under one roof. It’s even possible to eat healthy while eating out for lunch in NYC – you just have to make good choices. Eating healthy, or just eating well usually runs my lunch bill up to around $10-$12 per day. That’s $50-$60 a week – just for lunch.

I don’t really mind the cost all that much since my breakfast (cereal) is free every day at work. (Yay!)

(I’ll have to do a separate post on cereal soon – it really is my favorite food.)

So even though I don’t pay for breakfast, I do tend to order take-out for dinner a lot on weeknights. I don’t usually cook during the week because it’s a hassle, I’m usually exhausted by 8pm and cooking fun recipes is only fun if I’m cooking for more than just myself. I don’t plan to decrease my take-out budget, so why not decrease the lunch spend instead? Sounds good to me!

Plus, some of my coworkers have been more rude than usual lately and I need a break from tagging along to get lunch with them every day. I’ve tried my best to “be a part of,” but I need a break. Not giving up…just letting go for a bit.

Grocery shopping was my favorite de-stressing activity in college. I literally would leave my dorm room, hop in my car and drive 10 miles to Whole Foods just to walk up and down the aisles. Sometimes I bought things, sometimes I didn’t. It was just a nice place to go…maybe because everything was so nicely arranged and organized on the shelves and my life felt completely the opposite.

NYC grocery stores tend to stress me out because they are cramped and crowded, but I think it will be fun to go in with a mission.

In addition to free cereal, my company has an endless supply of free apples, bananas, fresh berries, granola bars, yogurt and other assorted snacks in the kitchen. There is also a large supply of free soda, coffee, tea, water and juice that never seems to run out.

I drink about three of these bad boys:

And three of these bad boys:

per day. I alternate them to hydrate and caffinate! I’ve gotten so used to this system of alternating that it’s hard to sit at my computer at work without a can on the coaster next to my keyboard. Ok, maybe I have a problem…

To summarize: my beverage and fruit will be taken care of, so my mission will be to concoct a main dish (salad, sandwich, etc.), a salty side and a small dessert/treat. Does this mean I also get to purchase a new reusable lunch box??

FUN! I haven’t had one of these since…well, elementary school. I’ll try to pick something that looks more “grown-uppy”

Thanks to all the healthy blogs I read that are written by amazing young women (see side blogroll)! You have motivated me to go for my own eat-in/grocery store challenge thing.

What do you do for lunch at work?

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8 Comments

Filed under Beverages, Food, Fun

8 responses to “Bring My Lunch to Work Challenge

  1. I am so inspired by your blog and would love to give you some great & easy lunch suggestions. I also love the MicroDot lunch bags:
    buy Ezekiel sprouted wraps/bread – found at whole foods
    here are some sandwich/wrap ideas with the Ezekiel bread
    -chicken, spinach, 1tbs tahini and 1/4 avocado and sprouts
    -vary the protein. instead of chicken use a palm size of tempeh, turkey, shrimp, fish
    -salmon, watercress, 1tbs yogurt dill sauce (mix plain greek yogurt, dill and sea salt and pepper to taste)
    -chicken, lettuce, finely chopped apples and 1 tbs yogurt dill sauce (or 1 oz of sliced raw cheese (try Organic Valley Raw Cheese)
    =====
    Bring Leftovers from dinner
    ====
    Avocado and Bean Burrito OR Lettuce Wraps
    See recipes below:
    Avocado and Bean Burrito
    Makes: 2 servings
    Prep time: 15 mins
    Cook time: none

    2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
    2 tbs yellow onions, chopped
    1/2 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
    2 tbs chopped cilantro
    4 tbs chunky tomato salsa
    1/2 c nonfat vegetarian refried beans
    2 sprouted tortillas

    Mix the lettuce, onions, avocado, cilantro and salsa in a medium bowl until the vegetables are evenly coated. Smear half of the beans on each tortilla, fill with vegetable mixture, and wrap burrito style.

    Chef Tip: You won’t miss the cheese at all in this delicious burrito loaded with fresh vegetables.

    Sweet Note: Cilantro, the stems and leaves of the coriander plant, adds vitamin C, carotenoids, and folic acid, along with its high dose of lively flavor

    Lettuce Wraps
    Prep time: 10 minutes max

    Few long Romain lettuce leaves
    choose a Protein: fish/tempeh/chicken
    Sliced Avocado
    Sliced Mango
    Sprouts
    Roll up and enjoy 🙂

  2. Great suggestions N!! I will definitely add these items to my Sunday night grocery list 🙂

  3. This may sounds kinda gross, but it really is very yummy. I eat whatever is left over from dinner the next day for lunch ON A SALAD.

    Seriously, I poor it over mixed organic greens, stir it up and dig it. Eliminates the need for dressing, usually.

    Today, it was leftover stir-fried chicken and black rice with purple cabbage, on lettuce. Yesterday it was leftover almond sweet potato soup, you guess it, on lettuce. So yummy. And easy.

    Good luck!

  4. just came across your blog! it’s fabulous! you have some great insight on your posts! I think thats a great thing to bring your lunch to work to save money. I try and do that on a daily basis and whole foods always my one stop shop!

  5. This is such a great challenge. I should do a month of taking my lunch to school with me. P.S. Cereal is a favorite of mine too. I can’t ever just have one bowl. Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds is the BEST!

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