Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shopping with a List, Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee and Snacks

At the end of 2011 Mark and I decided that we would take our lunches to work to save money. It is also about making healthier choices for meals and snacks.

I promised Mark that I would endeavour to shop with a list. I have a notepad on the fridge and I add to this when we run out of things or when I remember something that we need. In the past I rarely shopped with a list and I would walk down every aisle to jog my memory for the things we needed. Also, because of the industry I work in I enjoy walking down every aisle and looking at changes to categories and new products. Now I do the same thing; just with a list. If I forget things then I just add them to the following week’s list.

Not eating breakfast within an hour of getting up was a big problem; it led to mood swings and general grumpiness in the car on the way to work. So now we try and have something before we leave the house even if it is toast. Sometimes I have cereal and fruit in the car; I am the passenger.

We are nearing the end of our second week back at work and I am pleased to say that I have made our lunch every day (except Friday’s when we are allowed to buy lunch) since being back. It is hard for me as I am not really a fan of sandwiches as I find them a bit boring. So to mix it up a little we have had:

Chicken and Green Vegetable Risotto
Chicken and Salad Burrito Wrap
Sandwiches with a mixture of fresh fillings
Crackers with cheese, tomato and hummus
Chicken and vegetable pasta

The latest Healthy Food Guide (February 2012) has some awesome ideas for kids (and adults) lunches so I am excited about trying some new things.

26 days into the year and Mark and I have not had fast food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. That is an enormous accomplishment for us. Actually, last night I had a dream that I had fries from McDonalds. I woke up feeling gutted that I had broken the 25 day fast food “free” period. Thank goodness it was only a dream!

Mark and I have also started making our own coffees; we have these in “keep cups” in the car on the way to work. This makes me happy for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we are saving money, secondly we are not adding more coffee cups to the landfill which is kind of part of my goal for 2012 and thirdly we both need coffee in the morning to transform us into happy, productive people.

Snacks are another thing…trying to find a balance of healthy and exciting is quite hard. I have also realised that we need to have snacks in the car or in my handbag for when we have long periods between meals; if I do not then we make bad food choices. We have settled with things like:

Dried Cranberries
Fresh Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, stone fruit, bananas)
Crackers or Vegetable sticks/cherry tomatoes with hummus
Crackers and cheese
Nuts and seeds
Acai Berries
Mini Wheats
Popcorn (apparently you can freeze popped corn)
Muesli Bars
Ginger Crunch (homemade)

What do you love for your lunches and snacks?

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