Packing a 'whole foods' lunch to go.

  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Oct 06, 2012 2:08 PM GMT
    In an effort to be healthier I've decided to stop eating (or at least seriously cut down on) processed foods.

    During the day when I'm out and about and I pack my lunch, my staple food is usually a sandwich, accompanied by some fruits and maybe some nuts. Possibly some cheese and/or yogurt too.

    My main concern is the bread (processed) and lunch meat (processed + a lot of sodium and other stuff). Pretty much the idea of the sandwich as I know it is out the window.

    Are there any other foods that could serve as the 'staple' of the lunch that are also portable and delicious?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Oct 06, 2012 3:54 PM GMT
    You're right about the sodium in lunch meat; there's actually a ton of sodium in the bread too! I eat a lot of hard boiled eggs, raw nuts, fruits and vegetables. I used to eat yogurt, but there's so much sugar in yogurt that I'd rather have a different snack to indulge my sweet tooth. If you know how to cook, chili is great this time of year and you can make a big batch and ration it out for lunches during the week. I like to make chili with beef, but I'll use ground turkey if I'm trying to keep myself in check. I also like turkey bacon, though some may consider that foodie-blasphemy. Of course, there's always that infamous dieters standby: salad. icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 06, 2012 4:14 PM GMT
    Bulk cook chicken and potato stew that's easily doctored into any number of meals with different spices and sauces.

    I'm talking big hearty satisfying tasty all white meat chicken breast meals for only $1.25 each. The trick is to come up with $60 (not to mention a big freezer) so you can crockpot batch cook a basic chicken stew which you could freeze into about fifty individual meals and eat "as is" or enjoy as burritos, soups, sloppy joes, Indian or asian fusion. Base ingredients:

    $25 boneless skinless chicken breast @ $2.29/lb (wait for a sale if need be and fill your freezer)
    $25 various diced root vegetables, whatever's available: yucca, yam, parsnip, onion, carrots, butternut squash, rutabaga, leeks
    $10 various: black beans, brown rice, quinoa, low fat chicken broth, spinach leaves

    Dice (also if you're inclined, brine and pound) chicken breast. Slow cook everything together for several hours and all the root vegetables develop the taste and texture of potatoes, so if you like chicken and potatoes you'll love this. Portion off as individual meals with or without the brown rice or quinoa into freezer bags or Tupperware and freeze. (I use specific sized Rubbermaid Take Aways that fit perfectly in my Six Pack Bag 3 meal cooler bag.) Relatively unspiced, use it as a base as chicken stew. Now here's the interesting part - spices and sauces, many of which can be bought cheaply at health food stores, make for completely different tasting meals daily! Examples:

    - add cumin and chile pepper and put in an Ezekiel wrap and top with plain yogurt and salsa for burritos

    - add broth to make hearty chicken soup

    - add with a tablespoon of peanut butter, Thai sauce and and unsweetened canned chunk pineapple to asian noodles

    - spread on a whole wheat or spelt roll or english muffin hot as a sloppy joe or cold as a chicken salad

    - add curry and maybe packages of "Tasty Bite" brand pouch sauces for Indian

    Sounds like a lot of work but it'll last you over a month.
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    Oct 06, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    HottJoe said I used to eat yogurt, but there's so much sugar in yogurt that I'd rather have a different snack to indulge my sweet tooth


    Get plain yogurt. Add a zero calorie sweetener, or honey, or mash up some fresh berries/fruit in it. Much better than the 'fruit on the bottom' stuff.

    For lunches I usually take chicken breast, brown rice, some veggies & fruit.
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    Oct 06, 2012 9:06 PM GMT
    Mixed Veggies icon_biggrin.gif
    cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli ...anything really

    With some meat...chicken steak..shrimp...anything really

    and some sriracha

    6
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Oct 06, 2012 9:15 PM GMT
    I always take about a pound of vegetables, usually:
    -baby carrots
    -celery sticks
    I'll add:
    jicama sticks
    radishes.

    I do have to take about an ounce of ranch/blue cheese/creamy caesar or peanut sauce to get the celery down.

    buying one of those apple slicers and cutting up apples and pears so the fit in lunch containers is a nice short cut.

    My new thing is making salad rolls, soak rice paper and then you can wrap:
    lettuce
    sprouts
    rice noodles
    grilled chicken / "shrimp meat" (the small ones)*
    lettuce
    cucumber
    carrot slices

    I also like a quick and dirty pasta salad with small mozzarella balls, pasta, & small olives dressed with some Caesar dressing. I only take about a cup of pasta salad, for some "carb satisfaction".

    grilling up a bunch of chicken breasts or top round steaks and then cutting them up into strips for "meat snacks" throughout the day.

    Edit: oh yeah and 2/3rds cup of low fat cottage cheese topped with berries is a good mid morning snack.


    *it's probably "too processed" but those Krab Sticks are easy to stick in salad rolls.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 06, 2012 9:22 PM GMT
    Make your own bread out of whole grain flour, and your own lunch meat. Out of whole breast. Voila! Whole sandwich.
  • amidon7

    Posts: 139

    Oct 06, 2012 9:34 PM GMT
    Medjai saidMake your own bread out of whole grain flour, and your own lunch meat. Out of whole breast. Voila! Whole sandwich.


    This is really quite easy. The bf and I have been doing it for a while now. A bread maker is a great investment. Got ours in the UK for £25. Don't use the bread premixes though. They have too much salt and sugar. Recipes are easy to get off the net.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 06, 2012 10:00 PM GMT
    amidon7 said
    Medjai saidMake your own bread out of whole grain flour, and your own lunch meat. Out of whole breast. Voila! Whole sandwich.


    This is really quite easy. The bf and I have been doing it for a while now. A bread maker is a great investment. Got ours in the UK for £25. Don't use the bread premixes though. They have too much salt and sugar. Recipes are easy to get off the net.


    You can even do it in a loaf pan with a stand mixer too. Home made is the best anyways.