Any time of the year is a good time to change your habits for the better and adopt a healthier lifestyle which also happens to save you money. But as it is early January, it’s a good time to get fully behind the best New Year’s Resolution you can make today - Start Packing Your Lunches!
You’re likely already aware of the benefits of packed lunch, but let’s face it - packing lunches seems like a hassle. It’s a task that very few of us actually embrace. We at Yumbox believe that with the right tools and prep, you can make your New Year’s resolution of packing healthier lunches a breeze and a resolution you will keep!
Let’s review the benefits and steps of getting you through the year with appetizing and healthy packed meals.
Benefits of a Packed Lunch
Packing lunches saves you money
We are not talking dimes here. Experts estimate that you can easily save over a $1,000 per year bringing your own lunch (yes, that includes the expense of buying a lunchbox and food). You could be channeling those funds into fun times like fancy new shoes or a nice weekend away! Or use it practically to pay back student loans or bills. Any way you look at it, it’s extra cash in your pocket!
Packed lunches are cleaner, healthier and better for you
And they probably will taste better too! By packing your own meals you put yourself in charge of your health. You know exactly what goes into your dish. This is especially important if you are allergic or sensitive to some ingredients, or simply want to lose or maintain your weight. As much as we like to trust the restaurant industry, they are not always super upfront about what ingredients and additives are mixed into their dishes. You do not want to know about the amount of fat and salt that is added to a lot of restaurant meals to make them taste good. Do you really need to subject your body to that on a daily basis? Pack healthy, green and clean lunches and you’ll feel rejuvenated throughout the day. The 3PM digestion coma will be a thing of the past.
Packing lunches makes it easy to manage your weight
Whether you want to lose weight or just to maintain a healthy body, packing lunches makes it super easy (especially with a lunch box like Yumbox whose design embraces portion control). You can pack smart portion sizes and limit yourself from overindulging on snacks, sugar, and other empty calories. We all know that when you’re super hungry and cranky you might not make the best choices at the lunch counter. But with a prepared lunch you can rest assured that there is no room for overeating or buying foods that are just too rich and heavy.
Limiting food waste at home
It's my personal annual resolution! I’m guilty of this myself, so I know what I’m talking about. How often do I make extra for dinner, only to lovingly place it in the fridge to “eat later”. That later rarely ever comes the following evening when I typically want to cook something new. And perfectly good food goes to waste. Lunch is a perfect time to use up those dinner leftovers or the great fruits and vegetables which you bought at the farm stand because they looked so fresh (and they don’t stay fresh forever). Roasted veggies and lentil salad or cold sliced roast chicken with olives on a side are a filling packed lunch. On a side slice up those delicious looking apples and pack the grapes that are starting to get lost in the back of your fridge. Big score for you to be more economical and reduce food waste.
I’d like to point out one extra little benefit of spending those 10 minutes packing your own food at home. Ten minutes saves your 30 minutes. How? Think about the whole process of going to get the food, selecting the food, purchasing the food...by the time you are done, there is so little time to actually enjoy it. Instead, why not use the time to take a walk, or read a book or simply sit on a bench enjoying your picnic lunch and take some sun.
3 Easy Steps to a Healthier Lunch
Get the right lunch box
You want to invest in a product that not only makes it easy to pack all kinds of food, but one that is durable and stylish. Food that looks appetizing tastes better. Yumbox fits the bill. It’s design ensures that you can pack wet foods, so your hummus doesn’t end with the blueberries and vice versa. It’s also designed to promote healthy eating, embracing the concept of smart portion sizes across a variety of foods. And it’s hard to find a more stylish lunch box. Yumbox comes in an array of beautiful colors, all featuring a smooth and sleek exterior finish. And just take a look at any photo of Yumbox lunch. Yes, food just looks so much better in a Yumbox food tray - even those leftovers!
You do not need to spend your Sunday preparing lunches for the week ahead - unless you want to. For us food prep is simply ensuring that there is food in the house and also taking few steps to prepping some vegetables and few side dishes that makes the process of preparing lunches and snacks super easy and fast. Here are some Food Prep ideas:
-Chop a week’s worth of carrots and veggies and whip up a nice batch of hummus.
-Boil a few eggs (for egg salad or a protein rich snack)
-Prepare few savory muffins and place them either in a freezer or a grab bag in your fridge.
-Make extra fried rice for the week ahead.
-Make your favorite salad that will hold, like a protein-rich lentil salad with tons of herbs. You can mix the lentils with rice for a more filling dish or serve as a side.
I admit that I’m really terrible about this, but it’s my personal goal to become more menu organized. Why? Because menu planning can save you time and money. Plus I think it could be a fun activity if you are packing lunches for others. Use the menu planning time to find out more about their likes and dislikes. Use that time also to do a bit of fridge and pantry inventory checking and plan your menu around things that should be eaten sooner rather than later. Sylina Lunches has a super cool menu planner for Yumbox lunches. We just love it. You can purchase it via Amazon Menu Planner by Sylina Lunches
Enter for a chance to win a $50 Yumbox Shop Credit by clicking on the Rafflecopter giveaway below and following instructions. Contest ends January 6th at 12PM PST. US only.a Rafflecopter giveaway