Thursday, June 28, 2012

Home-Packed Health

I have people ask me frequently how I pack healthy, tasty lunches from home. It's quite simple, really. (Say that in Hermione Granger's voice.) My mom's morning lunch-packing memory schema used to go like this: sandwich, chips, fruit, yogurt, dessert. In that order. Simple, inexpensive, easy to remember, healthy.

I've adapted her schema a bit to fit my current lifestyle. I'm no longer a self-elected spokeswoman for Yoplait, nor am I interested in room-temp PB&J. It's no longer the epitome of uncool to carry a lunchbox with freezer packs. Phew! Also, actually eating at lunchtime is back in, as is eating well.

My new schema looks more like this: sandwich or carbs, fruit, yogurt, Cheez-Its or pretzels, granola bar, vegetable, water bottle. For example, this morning I packed a small container of homemade tuna salad (light chunk tuna, a tiny dollop of mayo, pickle relish) with a whole wheat Sandwich Thin, a banana, one serving size of Reduced Fat Cheez-Its, a Kashi granola bar, a container of raw baby carrots and cucumber slices, and a Taste of Inspirations Greek yogurt. I wish I had a picture for you, but that requires getting up. Clearly, my industriousness in packing lunches does not carry over to photography.

I find that it's easy to be creative with packing lunches because I'm not a picky eater. My absolute favorite thing to pack is leftovers -- they're already in Tupperware, they're easy to reheat, and they're generally the thinkless "sandwich" component of my schema. I've been packing extra food this week. Many of the staff elect to eat a snack mid-morning, which suits me perfectly, and I've been swimming in the afternoon. This schema works wonders for me because I'm getting a variety of textures and flavors, as well as lots of options. I'm also getting calcium, protein, Omega-3s, vitamins C and D, fiber, and potassium.

On a mildly unrelated note...
Today I accomplished that long-awaited goal of swimming one mile! I probably swam a mile or more in twice-a-day practices when I was on the Walton Park Waves swim team, but I usually didn't tabulate the laps. It isn't that swimming 65 laps is particularly difficult; it's always been a matter of having a lane to myself for an uninterrupted extended period of time. I even swam all 4 strokes(!) though I mostly alternated between freestyle and breaststroke. I'm tellin' ya, I couldn't do it in the afternoons without a granola bar or a few peanut butter crackers. In my book, eating and exercise are best mates ;)

No comments: