Friday, March 30, 2012

Packing a Lunch

I packed a lunch today.

I packed a lunch yesterday.

I will very likely pack a lunch tomorrow.

I don't do anything fancy, usually just a sandwich with some kind of lunch meat and cheese -- ham or turkey and Swiss or American, roast beef and cheddar, garlic bologna and American -- usually with a leaf of lettuce, or a piece of fresh fruit on the side.

I pack my drinks, too.  I make a fruit punch with 3 cups each orange and grape juices, 1 cup seltzer water, and 8 cups filtered water.  I also make lemonade with 2/3 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons xylitol, 2 packets stevia, 4 tablespoons of organic sugar, and 7 cups water.  I freeze them in plastic drink bottles filled 80% full.  I'll pull one out and put it in my insulated lunch box the night before if I'm working in the morning or in the morning if I work in the evening.  The other I'll put in right before going to work.  That way I have one ready to drink right away, and the other stays cold the entire day.

Why am I telling you this?  In part this is a response to Joel Caris's blog post on irrationality in food choices.  In the office where I work we frequently don't have time to go get lunch.  In previous years I would get so hungry I would just grab something from the vending machine.  Consequently, I would always gain weight during our busy season.  This year, in part by making sure I have something relatively good to eat when I do get hungry, I am actually losing weight (and not spending nearly as much on junk food).

Packing a lunch is a simple act, but it makes us look forward and gets us in the habit of preparing for the future.  We are much better able to resist temptations if we have made allowances for our needs beforehand.

The Ascent will be Long, pack a lunch.


  1. Hi John,
    I ate lunch just you did before you started brown bagging your own lunches.
    Because I store in bulk, dry foods for the long term I decided to create soups and stews from those stocks for my lunches and bring them to work in a thermos. This way I get to practice preparing this type of food and tweak the recipes until they are the best they can be with the biggest benefit of being healthy to eat and should the day come when I when I only have them to live on them there will be no surprises or guessing how to prepare.

  2. Hey John - I pack a lunch everyday when I go to work. It is usually leftovers from the night before. Yes, me and my wife cook a real meal every night for us and the kids. Some of my co -workers can't understand how we have the time to do this, and I ask, how do they have the time not to!!!?? I actually calculated one of my co-workers yearly bill to the vending machine... 3 bags of Combos or Gardettos per day, at $.65 per bag, at about 250 work days a year - that is close to $600 per year. Good thing he works 10 hours a day, or else he wouldn't be able to afford his habit!