During most of my commutes, I plug into my phone and listen to streaming music via Spotify, but on the rare occasions when I want to tap into my surroundings (or if I simply forget my headphones), I often end up eavesdropping on conversations. Sure, I know I am not really supposed to do this, but when people talk loudly and without much regard for the other commuters around them, I don’t feel bad about listening to what they have to say. Usually, it isn’t much, but sometimes, like during a recent morning commute, a dialogue will spark some kind of reaction from me.
In this particular case, the conversation was between two young professional men, probably in their late 20s. I started listening to them at first because their communication was so riddled with the word “like” that I had trouble deciding if they were actually saying anything to one another. Soon, though, they got onto the topic of lunch. Namely, they started discussing how pathetic it is when their colleagues make their own lunches and bring them to work. They described a co-worker’s homemade sandwich as, “the saddest lunch in the world.” In their opinion, it is far better to go to a local café or fast food restaurant and buy something every day, in spite of the high cost of doing so. In fact, one of them averred that he, in fact, had earned the right to buy lunch every day and should never be bothered to do otherwise.
Needless to say, this conversation made me sad. I will admit that I’ve been remiss in bringing homemade lunches to work over the past few months; I could give you any number of excuses for this, but none of them are valid. Simply put, I think it’s time for us to reclaim the homemade lunch. This will not only save us money over time, but will inevitably end up being a much healthier alternative to the high-fat, high-sodium options in and around your office building (and mine).
Some ideas I’ve been knocking around:
– Legume-based salads (lentils, beans, etc.)
– Innovative sandwiches using high-fiber breads
– Vegetable-heavy snacks and entrees
– Anything that can be made in a big batch for several lunches
– Dishes that take advantage of the growing season
This post is more to get the creative thoughts flowing than to provide any real instruction (at least for now). Post your ideas in the comments section and we’ll show everybody that a homemade lunch is not only cost-effective, but beautiful and nutritious!
I love this..Brown Bag Bravery..Str8 up!
Mason jars are your best friend:
I find that I usually like the food I make at home better than anything I can purchase out. It’s healthier, it’s taylor made for my taste, and I LOVE using what’s in season…that helps with the monotony issue of homemade lunches. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Sadly, I haven’t packed a lunch in over ten years. I do, however, admire the initiative.
I do packed lunch most days – big salads, left-over rissotto, Portuguese fish stew; it’s the way to go…
I totally feel you on the public conversations – same goes for super loud cell calls on the CTA. Its hard not to be dragged into some of these conversations.
I think most people that claim eating out is healthy need to do some serious investigation into what exactly they are eating. You can eat healthy at some places, but you greatly sacrifice quality and taste. I find it odd that most of the meats at these faster food places all have equal macro nutrients – since when has chicken and steak contained identical macro nutrient profiles? (looking at Chipotle, subway, etc)
I strongly believe more people should cook their own food; brings a sense of pride as well as promotes better diet and care for your health. Buying lunch every day is not only financially wasteful, but for me, it sends out a negative message about that person. Fig, I agree, people that always buy lunch will never “get” that reasoning.
The idea of earning it is just absurd. If they are straight out of college and are trying to financially justify their spending habits, so be it. I am sure its the same thinking of “I cannot afford that new life experience” although I will gladly spend hundreds on booze at a bar.
I cook in bulk; so depending on the seasons, I cook different items – chili, veggie chili, burgers, meatloafs, eggplant casseroles, etc. My all time favorite quick meal is greek yogurt and berries – perfect balance for any diet – and you can always swap whichever berries are in season.
Well stated, my friend!