Home > Nutrition > Brown Baggin’ It

Brown Baggin’ It

January 18, 2010

One change I made when I first began this journey was to switch from eating lunch out to bringing my own lunch to work.  Before, I had every excuse in the world (which seems to be a pattern that reinforces staying overweight) not to take my lunch – I didn’t have time to make my own lunch, I enjoyed leaving the office for a little while in the middle of the day, the office refrigerator smelled like gym socks, etc.  But then I realized the benefits of taking my own lunch to work were many.  It gave me more control over calories, portion, and nutrition, it was MUCH more economical than forking over 9 bucks a day for a burrito the size of a cruise missile (and of course the diet soda to cancel that calorie bomb out), and overall, I just felt like I was doing one more thing to take charge of my health.

I have to admit, my breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks are routine and somewhat boring, but for me that works well on weekdays, because I’m rushing to get out the door and don’t need to have to think about what my food is going to be for those meals.  Breakfast is a bowl of healthy cereal(I like Quaker Oatmeal Squares) with skim milk and half a banana, and then lunch is a sandwich of Boar’s Head lunch meat (my nutritionist recommended sticking with turkey, ham, roast beef, or chicken, and avoiding salami, bologna, mortadella, etc.), a slice of cheese, and mustard on some type of whole grain thin bread (there are lots of these little thin flat breads out there now that have around 100 calories each and are a really great alternative to traditional sliced bread – my favorite are Arnold Sandwich Thins), along with a piece of fruit – usually an apple.  My afternoon snack – a great suggestion from the nutritionist to keep me from attacking my dinner like a starving wild animal – is typically a piece of fruit and a quarter cup of mixed nuts (which really is a great substitute for an apple or banana with peanut butter – peanut butter is one of those foods I just have to keep out of the house as it’s slightly akin to something like crack for me).

This makes sticking with my plan on weekdays easy and routine, and gives me the flexibility to be more adventurous with my dinners and really go for variety there, as well as play around with different breakfasts and lunches on weekends when putting more time and energy into my menus can be done on a more leisurely schedule.  And I also found a great way to get my lunches and snacks to and from work.  Early on, I’d take a plastic bag from the grocery store – not only did it look sloppy, but my sandwich was limp and the fruit was warm before lunch.  Then I switched to a typical little insulated lunch bag that you can buy at a grocery or discount store.  That kept things cold and crisp, but left me looking a major league tool walking into work.  Maybe I’m vain, but I wanted something that looked professional and kept my sandwich and apple cold – is that too much to ask?  Well, for women, there are plenty of options out there, but for guys, that combination is apparently a tall order.  I finally found a great, plain black messenger bag by celebrity chef Mario Batali that’s insulated and looks like a typical laptop bag or briefcase – meaning I can walk into work and look like a young professional in a suit with a messenger bag instead of a dude who looks like he’s ready to drive a 1983 Volvo diesel station wagon to the mountains to hike part of the Appalachian Trail with his granola and cold water in a mini rectangular soft-sided cooler.  Hey – you never know when you might meet Ms. Right and need to make a good first impression.

Happy Lunching.

  1. January 20, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    I eat a packed lunch too! For the same reasons (to have more variety with dinner, etc)…the only difference is I live a few mins from work so I can come home for lunch. I eat a deli meat sandwich on wheat bread and some baked lays usually.

    Do you ever use string cheese as a snack? They are around 70 cals a string and while not “filling”, really…they are yummy and satisfy my snack urge. I like to have one as either a mid morning or afternoon snack.

    • Chad
      January 20, 2010 at 11:57 PM

      I’m a convert to packing lunches! I haven’t done it since high school, but have gotten into it pretty well now. I’m not a huge fan of mozzarella cheese (unless it’s melted on pizza or pasta – which doesn’t help me much in this effort!), so I buy the sticks of reduced fat cheddar instead of string cheese. Occasionally I’ll throw that in my bag instead nuts to have as my protein along with a piece of fruit for my afternoon snack. Looks like you’re doing a great job from the looks of your blog, Craig! Look forward to keeping up with your progress.

  2. January 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Same to you! I added you to my blogroll (could they have picked a less obese sounding term for that, btw?) and subscribed and all that jazz. When do you weigh in? I do it on Thursdays…I’m nervous this week. I’ve had two gains in a row, altho last week was super tiny gain. I had stumbled off the wagon but got back on this week (except Sunday…yikes!) so we’ll see!

    My big problem is I hate fruit. I know, I know. I’m weird.

    • Chad
      January 21, 2010 at 12:04 AM

      Saturday is my official weigh in day – though I can’t seem to keep myself off the scale on any given morning. Hope your weigh in goes well tomorrow! No fruit for you, huh? Not weird at all – we’ve all got our preferences.

  1. January 19, 2010 at 11:17 PM
  2. January 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: