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Lunch is in the Bag

Imagine this scenario: The clock strikes 12 noon. You take out your lunch bag containing a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. You sit and enjoy some time with your co-workers. After eating, you and your co-workers take a stroll outside. Your brain and your body are refreshed and refueled.

Here is another scenario: You don’t take a lunch break at all, or perhaps you only break long enough to grab something from the vending machine like 65% of all the other Americans. Maybe you do go out for lunch, but you get your meal by driving through a fast food restaurant – not an unusual occurrence since 20% of all American meals are eaten in a car!

Which of these lunch time habits would help you meet your health, stress management and financial goals?

ISEEMS simpler, easier, or cheaper to get the $1.00 value meal of burger and fries, but consider the benefits of packing your lunch:

  • Calories: A Double Whopper with cheese, large size fry and large soda contains 2,100 calories and 100 grams of fat – a full day allowance of calories (or more)for most people. Conversely, a home packed turkey sandwich on wheat bread with baked potato chips and a non-sweet tea totals about 500 calories and about six grams of fat. 
  • Cost: The book “What Are You Doing for Lunch” points out that were you to pack chicken salad on wheat bread, your cost to make a lunch would be $3.50 compared to the restaurant price of $7.50. The annual savings could be over $1,000.
  • Save Money: The value meal is very tempting, but you may need to plan for high medical bills if you are a junk food junkie. People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of over $13,000 per year with $7,900 of that due directly to diabetes.
  • Time: A few minutes at the grocery store, and a few minutes over the weekend or the night before going to work to prepare foods to pack can leave you time at lunch to relax. Try taking a lunch break and notice if you are more productive afterwards.

Bring Your Lunch

This grocery list is for a week’s worth of lunches costing $5 or less a day:

  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 bag of apples & oranges
  • 1 can of light tuna in water
  • 1 can of salmon (split for two meals)
  • 1 prepared grilled chicken
  • 3 cans of low-sodium, broth-based soup
  • Salad dressing

With this list of foods, you can prepare at least five unique meals: 

1 pita with lettuce and grilled chicken with light Caesar dressing; baby carrots; and an apple.

Salmon lettuce wraps with light sesame Asian dressing; 1 can of broth-based soup; and an orange. 

Tomato & cucumber salad with olive oil and vinegar; tuna salad on pita; baby carrots; and an apple. 

1 can of soup; and grilled chicken on a bed of romaine with sliced apple and light vinaigrette. 

Garden salad with salmon, tomato, cucumber, and baby carrots; an orange; and 1 can of soup.

Link for more Lunch Ideas here Lunch Ideas


KNOW ABOUT Nutrition with Abby Kurth, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Wellness CoachVisit our Website for More Tips for Living Healthy