Let’s talk lunch… For grown-ups

Lunch, glorious lunch! Briefs & cases strewn about my desk, the aroma of sardines in the air…

Yes. My go-to lunch may be mildly offensive to those with delicate noses but they’ll survive. I live on sardines & greens & veggies (& sometimes chocolate) at work.

Did I mention I love sardines?! B12, omega-3s, iron… They are full of the good stuff that keeps us running! (So is liver, but to each her own…)

Big salads, with leftovers thrown in are my quick go-to lunch. I have tried some strange concoctions, some more appetizing than others (mac & cheese, sun dried tomatoes & sardines over spinach anyone? Anyone? Oh, yes, please! … Seriously!)

At this point in time, I’m like a lot of moms I know: No time for exercise, no time for deep breathing, no time, no time… I’m still on the work-kid-sleep-repeat cycle, for the most part (that ends, right?!) I’m actually ok with this as a life-stage sort of thing, though I know I need to exercise).

But one way I prioritize me is by bringing a healthful lunch & snacks to work almost every day. I take the time (admittedly, probably too much time because I am slow if I’m under-caffeinated … ah, yes, my caffeine addiction is a post for another day…) to take care of myself in this way. (With due respect to Glennon Melton, I have found that putting myself first in modest ways is enough to fill my cup so far—enjoying healthful food, lovingly prepared is one way I show myself love. I really sympathize with her, but I don’t agree that Botox is a way of respecting & loving oneself. Sorry, just don’t.)

These crazy salads help keep me healthy, it’s a great way to save $$, & it helps my family to use up all our left-overs.

Plus, really, who wants to eat out for lunch everyday. Consider this (from Mark Bittman’s review of Pandora’s Lunchbox, by Melanie Warner):

For instance: Warner writes of your food being “constructed from powders,” and uses as an example the Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. (The name alone feels like it took five geniuses two weeks of brainstorming to devise.) “Of the 105 ingredients,” (you read that right) “55 are dry, dusty substances” whose names sound familiar only to those who read labels, names like disodium guanylate, calcium disodium EDTA, and other things you probably don’t have lying around your kitchen.

Warner reserves much of her astonishment for the amoral food technologists she meets, many of whom decline to eat their own products, which include the much-discussed processed cheese, white bread, soybean oil (extremely complicated, but let’s just say that once you read about it you’ll stop buying it) and breakfast cereal.


Though I can’t wait to read the book when my hold come through at the library! If you don’t have access to Ms. Warner’s book either, at least check out “The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food” by Michael Moss. The assumed amoral, I’m-just-trying-to-make-a-living stance by some of the scientists he profiles is truly shocking.

And guess what, once you learn to say “no” to eating out, lunch, going to work has an added benefit for your well-being: You need to plan work lunch (minimally, but it’s still thinking ahead). When you’re home with your child, there is no thinking ahead to a certain degree (at least there wasn’t for me…). Many days I’m home with my son, I forget to eat anything at all.

Preparing healthful lunches for yourself has the added benefit of setting a great example for your littles. T knows that I take time each morning to throw together a nutritious lunch for myself. He sees me rifling through the veggie drawer, grabbing handfuls of greens, cutting open an avocado, or stealing roasted veggies left over from dinner the night before. He often asks for a bit of the same in his lunch (unless he knows that there is mac & cheese left over in the fridge… Yet another post for another day: T’s mac & cheese addiction).

It’s really not hard & it’s (usually) delicious!

Un-Recipe for Mom, JD’s Quick, Healthy Lunch
• At least two handfuls of greens
• Left-overs
• Any veggies you have lying about
• (If no protein in the leftovers) sardines or an egg
• Spoonful of sauerkraut, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or any other garnish with a bit of olive oil or liquid

Dump it all in a reusable container. Enjoy.


1 Comment

Filed under Feminism, Food, Lawyering, Living, Mothering, Parenting, Simplicity

One response to “Let’s talk lunch… For grown-ups

  1. Pingback: The Problem with “Me Time” | Mom, JD

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