Last week, we received a “Life After Your Whole30 “ testimonial of a different nature. She’s not talking about her weight loss, her improved energy or her new commitment to eating Good Food (although all those factors are present). No, this testimonial is about overcoming challenging lifestyle hurdles that impede your health and fitness progress. Meet Hilary B. of Neptune, NJ, who recently discovered… how to pack a lunch.
Note: The forthcoming exclamation points are all her own. We love Hilary AND her enthusiasm, and couldn’t wait to share her story with you. Yay, packing a lunch!
While this may not sound like a huge feat, I would like to semi-boast that I am now at WEEK 3 of packing my whole food Whole9 lunches for work like a “big” girl. I still can’t believe what a difference it makes to have my own food during the day. I eat when I want. I am not limited to when the cafe opens and closes. I have MORE CASH! (Double bonus!)
I have no idea why this has been such a huge psychological hurdle for me. I leave the house at 7:30 PM and am not home until 7:30 PM most days. Spending 12 hours away from home should = pack a cooler, but I was not on board. When I did my first Whole30 in November, I always ate at the salad bar. I just couldn’t get my head around “packing lunch” even though I knew I was wasting money. (The salad bar at my office is not much less expensive than Whole Foods.) But for some reason, despite the wonderful breakfasts and dinners I made, I simply would NOT pack lunch.
I wish I had some Freudian reason why. Was I tired? Lazy? I don’t know – I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Was I in total denial that my super cool “Pigs In Space” Muppets lunchbox from 3rd grade, packed with a salami sandwich, a Capri Sun and a piece of fruit were completely behind me? I have no explanation, but at the tender age of 38, the task of making packed lunches cool and sassy again has been daunting.
Well, last week, I decided to just get over myself. That’s it. Hissy fit: done.
First, I re-read your post on “What’s In Your Cooler”? at least 100 more times. Second, I started doubling up recipes. Three, instead of making one recipe, I made two. I also got out all of my unused Tupperware, ran it through the dishwasher and proceeded to start filling it to make sure nothing was left un-eaten. Having readily made DELISH food on hand just waiting to be warmed makes life much easier.
So how did I fare in corporate America with my cooler during my first week? Well, not so bad.
1. I didn’t want to yell at my boss AS much. She is, however, insane after her second bowl of oatmeal, so I have to just stay clear. I know that’s not super nice, but controlling my mood makes dealing with work craziness easier.
2. When I would get 100 emails at once, I’d reach for some olives and say, “Eh, this isn’t so bad. At least it’s not 300 emails.“
3. I did the math and only spent about $5 in the cafe for the week instead of closer to $70. I did not have to go to the ATM once. I was spending more at the grocer, but it’s a redistribution of funds for the better (as my husband likes to say). I get WAY more bang for my buck now.
So, in short, thank you for your cooler post and for making the art of packing a cooler look as cool as my 3rd grade lunchbox. Hilary B., Neptune, NJ
Share Your Story
Do you have a Whole30 or Whole9-related success story to share with the world? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Got any of your own pack-a-lunch tips or tricks? Share them with us (and Hilary) in comments.
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Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan - Whole9 EE says
I love this story! Way to go, Hilary! Right on.
I came to my full-time job after freelancing for years… which meant I worked at home and could cook myself awesome lunches every day. When I started my dayjob — full-time, so painful! — I decided I was going to bring my lunch every day. I’m the only person in the office who regularly uses our gorgeous work kitchen… floor-to-ceiling windows on the 12th floor, so it’s flooded with light. I bring a book and kickass Whole30 food… it’s like a mid-day re-charge.
At first, people teased me about never going out to lunch. Now they jealously sniff the yummy aromas and ask what I brought today.
YAY for bringing back packed lunches! And congrats, again, Hilary. You rule.
Teresa Manidis says
You are a barbarian woman – booya!
So glad you’ve started taking your supplies into enemy territory, so cool.
I gave up gluten this year, and that necessitated my bringing my own lunch into my five-hours-with-no-break-pre-Masters class. I get those envious looks, not for my good looks (which would be gratifying) but for the lucious fruits, veggies, cold leftovers (in the best possible sense of that word) and home-brewed teas I bring in each Saturday morning (I start grazing right after the 8:00 quiz, and usually continue right up until the 12:00 noon test).
But you are a superstar. The only thing I would recommend is to go on ebay right now and buy a vintage Muppets lunchbox (I used to have one, too, with a matching Thermos) and then you might just rock your world.
This is an awesome post. I cycle through bringing my lunch and getting lazy and going out to eat. After a couple of days of eating out at lunch, though, I quickly feel the effects around 3 or 4 when I can barely keep my eyes open. I quickly revert to bringing my lunch. Although, I get lots of -side eye- looks from others. Bringing your lunch (*ahem* your HEALTHY lunch) is NOT cool where I work. I eat a lot of food so the Lean Cuisiners and the Weight Watcherers (How many points is that??? I think that’s my entire allowance for the whole DAY!!) all give me funny looks and snide comments.
But. results speak for themselves!!
My experiences have been similar. When my boyfriend and I make dinner, we make 4 portions instead of 2. One each for dinner and one each for lunch. Easy peasy. Just pack the 2nd portions in glass containers and they’re all ready to go in the morning. No extra time consuming work in the morning.
I too used to work from home and then when I went back to a regular job (which i’m not a big fan of except for the regular pay check and social interaction), I was the only person who regularly brought a lunch to work. Every day someone would comment on my beautiful wonderful smellng lunch. Especially when there happened to be some bacon involved.
Now, practically everyone in my office except for a few buy-lunch die-hards (all men by the way), bring their own healthy leftovers. One co-worker just brings her groceriees to work and then cooks everything in our little toaster oven. Baked chicken and roasted veggies for example. Pop on toaster oven tray. Sprinkle salt, pepper, spices of choice and put toaster oven at 350 degrees for like 45 minutes. She works while her food bakes.
I like to think that maybe I was a good influence :-)
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