Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Brown Baggin' it...
Starting in January, I have been making a concerted effort to cut back on spending. When I looked at my monthly budget, it was glaringly obvious that food was a good place to start.
My daily routine consists of leaving the house at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym. From there, I head about a mile down the road to work. At least 3 nights a week immediately after work, I have tennis matches or practice. All this means I am eating breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner away from home. Let’s face it, our days are full enough by the time you get home who wants to put together 3 meals and snacks for the next day? For me, it added up to a lot of meals eaten out.
I go through periods where I am really good about packing meals and then fall off the wagon for a while. I am guessing there are others out there in the same boat trying to figure out how to fit it all in and not spend a fortune eating out on the go. Here are a few things that have been working for me:
1. Prep the bulk of your food at one time. On Sunday evenings, I usually take about an hour to make meals and snacks for the week and pack them in containers so I simply grab and go every morning. For example, I might cook a few chicken breasts, some brown rice and veggies and then put a little of each in plastic containers.
2. Yogurt and cereal is an excellent grab and go choice for breakfast. Following with the prep on Sunday theme, I put a little cereal in 5 small containers along with chia seeds or any other stir in.
3. Snacks. You know the drill… prep 5 containers of carrots, nuts, hummus, fruit, hard boiled eggs or whatever strikes your fancy. I was fortunate enough to win a supply of Honey Milk a while back. I love the light chocolate as a snack. It is in the neighborhood of 150 calories and a good mix of protein and carbs.
4. Keep a few staples at work. I always have a few snacks in my drawer at work. A couple of packets of oatmeal, peanut butter, trail mix and larabars all are great choices and can get you through the afternoon or a long morning.
For me, the key is doing it all in advance. I can’t count on my desire to prep meals when I get home from work/tennis at night so having it ready to go is a lifesaver. Be creative with your choices, you might be surprised at how good your brown bag lunch can be!
For my next trick... How to pack 2 gym bags in less than 10 minutes!