Week 2 of, 52 Weeks, 52 Ways to a New You, is sure to help your wallet grow and your waste shrink.
Pack Your Lunch
Yup, that’s it! I’m not going to tell you specifics of what to pack, I’m just going to tell you to pack your lunch. With this small change, a healthy weight is in the bag. Your lunch bag that is. With all the fat, calories, sodium, and food additives packed into fast food and restaurant food this small change in your diet is sure to help you be healthier. Packing your lunch will help you avoid making a quick run to McDonalds® where a quarter pounder with cheese and a medium fry has 900 calories, 45 gm of fat, and a whopping 1370 mg of sodium, no drink included. Even if you are at home all day, having a prepacked lunch is a great idea. When we get hungry it is harder for us to make healthy food choices. If your lunch is already packed then the choice is made before you get hungry. If I haven’t convinced you to pack your lunch yet, how about this? It is likely to save you money. When you eat out for lunch you will most likely spend $5-$10, a price that’s easy to beat with a home packed lunch. Here are some tips to help make it happen:
1) Pack your lunch the night before to ensure that it is done. No excuses in the morning when you are running late and “don’t have time to pack your lunch.” Since you will likely be less rushed the night before, than in the morning, you will have more time to actually prepare something for your lunch and not just throw some processed food in a bag when you’re running late in the morning.
2) Don’t pack your lunch on an empty stomach. If you wait until after dinner when your satisfied and not hungry it will be easier to choose healthy foods for the following day’s lunch.
3) Make sure you can keep it cold. If you are packing perishable food make sure you have adequate ice packs and an insulated cooler to keep your food below 40 degrees. This is especially important if you have a long commute in the morning where your lunch will be out of refrigeration and/or you don’t have a refrigerator to keep it in once you get to work.
4) Plan ahead. Buy items for a pre-planned weekly lunch menu ahead of time. Consider what you will be eating for dinner that week and what you can use as leftovers in your lunch the next day. Using leftovers will help reduce food waste at home and can save you even more money.
I hope that you are able to not only implement this small change but make it permanent. To a healthy new year!