I must make a confession. I’m pretty good at dinner meal planning now, thanks to some rockstar suggestions from friends. But, for someone who is so focused on feeding her family wholesome lunches and dinners, I really fail at making my own lunches for the work day. I spend an inordinate amount of time making sure the toddler has a lovely lunch. When it comes to my own lunch, if I’m lucky, I pour a giant bottle of water and grab a bar of some sort.
Preparation is always a struggle for me. Inevitably, at 1pm, the gas station specials start calling my name – and by that I mean, I grab Hot Fries/Ruffles with sparkling water (It would be terrible to grab a soft drink, after all). I work out of my car so I don’t have access to a microwave or fridge. My options are limited. And, I hate to stop. If you knew me while I was breastfeeding, you probably passed me on the road pumping and driving / talking on the phone (via blue tooth), and probably drinking an inordinate amount of coffee. This momma is on a schedule! No time to stop!
But, when I go all day without eating (or just eating junk), I feel wiped out by the time I get home. With an active 3 year old, I cannot afford to have low energy in the afternoon.
So, I’m turning over a new leaf. I have to eat lunch. I also have to get out of the house on time in the morning. Here are some of the most attainable ways to eat lunch while being a momma on the move!
Mason Jar Salads
If I have to make lunch for myself every morning, it just won’t happen. I need something I can make in bulk at the beginning of the week. And, if it’s boring or gross, I’ll conveniently forget it at home. That’s just how I am. But, these salads are a revelation. If you follow the directions, everything stays crisp (I HATE MUSHY VEGGIES). Maybe you could get away with making 5 jars on Sunday, but just the threat of mushy veggies makes me nauseous. So, just in case, only do 3 days at a time. Here are some yummy recipes with directions on layering of the veggies! And another one here! For max crispness, keep cherry tomatoes, olives, that sort of thing, whole. And only use English cucumbers, they stay crisp the longest (Pro tip – you can get an organic pack of 3 of these bad boys at Costco on the cheap cheap). When you get your Mason Jars, make sure to get wide mouth jars so you can easily fit your fork!
I’m talking blended soups. The kind that I can eat without a spoon. Like an animal. I don’t have time to stop! Cook 3 blended soups at the beginning of the month and freeze them in individual servings. Then, all you have to do is stick it on the stove while getting ready in the morning. Blended soups are nice because you can fool yourself by hiding extra veggies in them … carrots and spinach are great to throw in! The trick to a soup that will be appetizing at lunch is to have a thermos that actually keeps things warm. We have this one and it’s perfection.
And … in a pinch, an adult version of The Lunchable!
Go Picnic Meal – Keep these suckers in the pantry / car for desperate times!
Remember, the perfect lunch is the one you actually make! Here is a lunch planner for a month to get you started. If I have something already planned out, I’m always more likely to succeed!