Suggestions on How to Pack a Healthy Lunch When You are Short on Time, Money and Cooking Skills:
Back in the day when I was gainfully employed and not living the student life, I used to buy lunch nearly every day. It seems crazy to me now, but my life and lifestyle in DC is just so different. Living in New York with my 2 roommates, we just did not keep food in our apartment, ever. In our fridge you might have found old hummus and many bottles of wine and that was it.
These days, I keep a stocked fridge and prepare 3 meals a day for myself. It definitely takes time and effort but the cost savings is huge (and it’s healthier). I find that the hardest part is packing lunch. No matter how much time I leave for myself in the mornings to get ready for work, I always need 5 more minutes. It’s so easy to run out the door and just buy lunch but I have tried to get in the habit of planning ahead to make sure I can throw something together quickly (notice how I am not using the work “cook” – I literally throw things together). Recently I have gotten in the routine of packing these easy lunches that are super simple. I usually do my shopping on Sunday and try to plan out what I’ll be making for the next few days.
Here is what I’ve been packing this week:
At Trader Joe’s I bought soup, spinach, and chick peas. On Sunday I made a big batch of quinoa to last me the week. and I just have hemp seeds because I toss them in most anything. So, in the morning I just pour a cup of soup into some Tupperware, throw in a big handful or two of spinach, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chick peas and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of quinoa, and 1-2 tbs of hemp seeds. I heat it up at work and I’ve got a tasty lunch that has some fresh greens, protein, and healthy fats. I’m no Martha Stewart, but it works. I guess I’m more like Sandra Lee and all that semi-homemade jazz.