I am 20 years old, so I guess I’ve been an adult for more than two years. However, I proudly carry a lunchbox to work everyday, just like I did until high school graduation.
I’m not ashamed. In fact, I wish more young professionals like myself realized how much money you can save by brown-bagging lunch and snacks for the workday. During my three weeks in D.C., I’ve only gone out for lunch once, and it cost $10!
In addition to being expensive, most to-go lunches aren’t the healthiest meals on earth. I’m not even referring to adult portions; popular, “healthy” fast-food kid’s meals can topple the 500 calorie mark, provide 20 grams of fat, and contain more than 900 grams of sodium, which is almost 40 percent of the recommended daily intake for salt!
This realization inspired me to start a new series called the (Almost)Grownup Lunchbox. Every Sunday, I’m going to share at least one lunchbox meal, hot or cold, that you can pack for the workweek. Some Sundays I might include a week’s worth of packable meals, but it will depend on how creative I was during the past week.
I promise each meal will contain healthy, filling ingredients that energize you. Every meal will take no more than 10 minutes to assemble, so you can’t use the “I-don’t-have-the-time” excuse.
If you pack a lunch for school or work, please share your ideas with me. Comment on my posts or email a lunchbox idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking for ways to make the day more interesting! 🙂
So without further adieu, here’s the first installment in the (Almost) Grownup Lunchbox Series:
Simple Turkey and Cheese Wrap with Veggies and Dips
- 1/2 pumpernickel bagel (normally, I would eat whole-wheat, but I splurge occasionally)
- 2 ounces Boar’s Head EverRoast Chicken Breast
- 1 slice Swiss cheese made with 2% milk (inside of turkey wrap)
- 2 tsp deli-style mustard (inside of turkey and cheese wrap)
- 1/3 cup green and yellow bell peppers, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Chipotle Pepper hummus (any flavor will work)
- 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Spread with eggplant and garlic
*Don’t be afraid to mix the dips! The duo makes the perfect sweet and spicy veggie dip.
- Buy a good-quality lunchbox. I invested in the Spicy Relish Lunch Tote in mini dot navy/magenta from Built NY this year. It’s large and made from machine-washable neoprene, which means it molds to fit any container you put in it. Moreover, the tote is ideal for kids and adults alike because it has a long shoulder strap that can be worn across the body (perfect for long train/metro rides).
- Buy sturdy, machine-washable food containers. I bought two of Ziploc’s divided rectangle containers last month, which keep my foods from mixing. Now I wonder why I suffered through soggy sandwiches and squashed grapes in my lunch for so many years.
- Buy ice packs and/or thermos containers for keeping food in the “safe-zone” of temperatures.
I hope my tips and lunchbox ideas inspire you to break the cycle and start a brown-bag movement among your friends and co-workers!