I’m going to make the bold assumption that the majority of Real Women out there don’t go out to lunch every day. As a matter of fact, I’m guessing the majority of you don’t even buy/order-in your lunch every day. Nor do most of you take more than 8 minutes for an average “lunch break.”
In our never-ending quest to beat the clock and save a few pennies in this crazy economy, a whole lot of us are bringing food to work and eating it at our desks (or at the counter at home, or as you drive around, whatever your work environment may be). Some don’t bother eating at all. I for one can’t do that – even though it could mean I’d lose a few pounds, by 4pm I’d be either nauseous, angry, or asleep. None of which are terrible productive or friendly.
Each morning, I have that annoying task of packing lunches. One for me, one for my son, and on occasion, one for my husband. I used to do this chore at night before going to bed. Eventually I reached the point where it was just one more thing I couldn’t stand to do at night. Hence why my husband now usually loses out, because he gets up and leaves early in the morning. To say I hate making lunches may be a strong term, but it is frequently accurate.
My son, a 5th grader, is still pretty picky. Trying to be creative with limited variety while remembering school rules against certain foods (no peanut butter for snack due to allergies in the class room) is a challenge at best. And when it comes to my lunch, I try to eat fairly healthy foods. Yet making a salad every morning is not only tedius but on some days, just too time consuming. Then there are the quick “healthy alternative” heat ‘n eat microwavable meals, which I call Cardboard Food, and I doubt there are really any health benefits to eating them. Sometimes I have dinner leftovers, but that always feels like too much of a meal. I find sandwiches fairly boring, especially when they’ve been living in the fridge for hours before being consumed. Then there are the “whatever” days, where I’ll throw in an apple, some yogurt, some pretzels, and call it lunch. And wonder why I’m starving by dinner.
Is it any wonder that I get all sorts of excited when occassionally I’ll live life on the edge and run to Taco Bell for a crunchwrap? (Yes, sad but true, I admit it.)
The one truly healthy change I have made during lunch time, thanks to a co-worker’s encouragement, is most days I get out for a power walk, no matter the weather. Even if I only can spare 20 minutes, I get out for a bit of exercise, fresh air, and to clear my head. And the amazing thing is that when I come back, I’m more productive and focused than if I’d let myself stay chained to my desk.
One of my BFF’s and I talk about how someday, when either we’ve won the lottery, or we finally get to retire, we will then be able to be “ladies who lunch.” We’ll meet for a lovely little meal at a real restaurant, whenever we want to, with no rushing, no deadlines, no home-packed bags. But until then, it is “LFH” (Lunch From Home), desk-side. Now if you’ll excuse me, I better go rinse my dishes.
I am SO with you on this no-time-for-lunch thing, either making them or eating them! When I am really being good, I prepare salad makings for the week on Sunday (chop all the vegetables and hard-boil the eggs or open the can of chick peas, etc.) and assemble two salads on Sunday and two or three on Tuesday night. (There’s no way I would make one every morning!) The trick is you can’t use “wet” vegetables that will spoil – stick with cherry tomatoes instead of slicing whole ones, keep the cucumber slices separate and just stick them on top right before leaving for work, that sort of thing. My biggest complaint is, I get SO BORED with the same salads over and over! Finding new things to put on them is a challenge. Why couldn’t the Taco Bell crunchwrap be good for you?!?
I hate making lunches too, one of my least favorite chores…but I do enjoy those lunchtime walks, and I’m glad that you are willing to brave the elements to join me (so I do not look like the only crazy person walking in snow, thunder, rain, extreme heat, and (recently) hail)!