Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pimp My Lunch

Is "Pimp My Ride" even a show anymore? This is how out of touch I am with the current MTV lineup. Anyway, today I come to you seeking advice, and I could really use your help. See, I am the ultimate creature of habit, and I am trying to do something crazy and break a couple habits. Lunch is one of them -- I eat the same thing every lunch.

Last spring I bought myself a new lunch bag to inspire me to be generally happier when packing my lunch every morning before the sun rises. It worked. I still get a little nerdy feeling of excitement out of my lunch bag, but the same cannot be said for my lunch.

When it comes to my lunch, I am horribly predictable:
  • Yogurt (Wegman's low-fat variety in any flavor except raspberry)
  • Fruit (usually an apple; sometimes I get crazy and have grapes or melon depending on the season)
  • Cracker-like snack (often Cheez-Its, sometimes Utz Honeywheat twists, occasionally a granola bar)
  • String cheese
  • Sigg bottle filled with water

It is time to bring some variety to my life. I'm in my eighth year of teaching and my eighth year of eating this way. I feel like I eat the lunch of a kindergartner. I probably should eat more, or if not more per se, at least something more substantial.

I will make your task a little more difficult, though, and present this reality check:
  • I need food that can be made/arranged quickly. My current lunch-packing routine involves throwing these items into my lunch bag approximately two minutes before walking out the door. I can try making something (incredibly simple) at night, but there's a chance that routine will go out the window once it's dark at 5 p.m. and I become dead to the world at night.
  • Matt eats our dinner leftovers for his lunch. Matt does a great job preparing weekday dinners for us, and then those turn into his lunches. On some rare occasions, I'm inspired to take leftovers, but as a general rule I do not eat leftovers.
  • My issue with sandwiches is that they require lots of ingredients than can spoil quickly if not used up. I'm open to sandwich suggestions, though, especially fun ideas that do not involve too many perishable ingredients.

Good news: I eat all kinds of food and I have no food allergies. Also, I have a small fridge in my classroom as well as a microwave.

OK, loyal readers, please share with me your brown-bag lunch routines and your suggestions for what I should be packing in my bag. Thanks!


  1. I used to take hummus and carrots (or pita or crackers or whatever) almost every day. I had a little tupperware container that I would fill with hummus each night, and it was very satisfying at lunch. Still takes a little more prep work than what you're doing but not as bad as a sandwich.

  2. Hey, Love the lunch bag, I have one too that Paul bought for me, it is totally awesome.

    I buy the big box of organic spring mix from costco and then grab a handful fill a tupperware and top it with almonds, craisins, cheese, fruit and sometimes some protein. Takes about 5 minutes and is a great lunch. Have you tried stonyfield yogurt? It's more $$ then Wegmans but has no aspartame like the Wegmans yogurt.
    BTW, the tree in your front yard is getting prettier and prettier every day :)

  3. I was going to say hummus also. That is packed with protein and low/no fat. You can either buy it, or more economically, make a large container to last all week with only a few ingredients (white beans, olive oil, tahini, little lemon juice). Keeps well (and pretty long) in the fridge. I like to dip pretzel, carrot, celeray, pita chips, pretty much anything in it.

    Another option, especially for cooler weather, would be to make a large pot of soup on Sunday and take it throughout the week. That would only require one days prep for the whole week.

  4. I would suggest my lunch, Mrs. Axelrod. Two turkey or tuna sandwiches, pretzels, apple or pear, two juiceboxes, pumpkin bread, chips or pretzels, cookies, cheesy bread or pizza from the lunch line, and the occasional donation from the people around me. It gives me lots of energy!

  5. Love the lunch bag! Where did you purchase it. I really need a cute one like that

  6. @Tonya: I got my lunch bag at The Container Store, but you can find the Built brand at lots of different retailers and websites. It's holding up well!