I’ve been eating the Weston A. Price way for at least seven years, and even before discovering the principles of traditional diets, I took my lunches with me. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned on keeping my diet nutrient-dense and fat-filled while working at a full-time, busy job with a thirty to forty minute commute each way. First there are a few expenses we made to do this well. An extra freezer is critical to store batches of homemade food, lots of two-cup Corning Revere storage bowls and extra lids, high quality thermoses, a place at work to store things and the ability to leave a small crock pot on the counter.
Here are five tips on how I manage:
1. Buy lots and lots of the same size freezer food storage containers. I use two-cup Corning Revere containers that have lids you can buy separately. Buy a few extra lids so you never run short. Corning Revere can be ordered but we usually stop on trips at interstate outlets to continue to build our stock. I’m not kidding when I say I have a few hundred dollars invested in these. But I’ve bought them over a few years and they last a lifetime. A good stock of same-size bowls makes life so much easier. And with Corning Revere they can be. . . microwaved. . . or if you’re like me and rarely microwave, see below.
2. Buy at least three thermoses that are the same size. Same for insulated coffee mugs. Once you decide on the one you like, replicate it. The most frustrating thing is the early morning hunt for a missing thermos lid for a ready-to-go cup of steaming herbed broth or hot tea.
3. Plan four to six weekends a year to seriously cook huge—I mean huge—pots of soups and stews. Once you test a recipe and fall in love with it, make up batches and batches for freezer storage in the two-cup Corning bowls. My personal constant favorites are turkey soup with wild rice, chicken coconut soup, tomato beef stew and chicken rice noodle or spaghetti squash tetrazzini casserole. I start broth Friday when I get home, purchase ingredients and prep them on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon turn the broth into stews and soups and package all for the freezer.
4. Not interested in ever using a microwave again? Well, this is actually the hardest part for me but I decided to try for one year. At first I put everything in thermoses but even with towels wrapped around hot soup, it wouldn’t stay warm enough from the 6:30 am heating to the 1:30 pm eating. So I bought a five-dollar crock pot at the Salvation Army. Now I have wonderfully hot soup at lunch. I put the crock pot in our teacher’s area and keep an inch of water in it. Halfway through the morning I run in, turn it on and place my frozen food bowl in. By 1:30 lunch time, it’s piping hot and smelling so good in the break room.
5. I keep one desk drawer loaded with nutrient-dense snacks to keep me from giving in to our soda or snack machine or for days I’ve forgotten lunch. I keep:
- Cans of flip-top tuna and salmon
- Crispy nuts with dried fruit chunks
- A few cans of fruit spritzers to quickly nix soda cravings
- Tea, muscovado sugar and Mt. Capra powdered goat milk
- Nut butters made with coconut cream plus non-gluten crackers
- Supplements like B-vitamins and C to replace the pain killers most teachers use when things get hectic
- Sea salt, pepper and dried herbs to flavor broths I tend to sip during the day
- A small electric cup warmer to keep tea or broth warm
- Salmon and beef jerky
I’m in a lucky situation as I have easy access to a refrigerator with freezer at school so I can leave frozen soups and broths at work all week. And I have a small counter and sink area where no one minds if I take up room with my crockpot.
However, my engineering husband works for a large corporation and lives in a cubicle all week long. He eats exactly the way I do but compromises by microwaving his lunch. It simply isn’t feasible for him to leave much food at work or a crockpot on a counter. On the scale of nutritional compromises he considers the microwave low even though as an engineer he understands the cost of the convenience versus the damage it does to food.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2008.🖨️ Print post
I too live in cubicleville during the week. I put my crock pot under my desk :-).
Kari H. says
My husband has to eat on the go at work so we use Thermos brand food containers: fill with boiling water for 2-4 min, heat soup, stew, etc as hot as possible (on stovetop or in oven), pour boiling water out from Thermos and fill with hot food.
The food stays hot enough to eat lunch 5-7 hours later, and we avoid microwaving the organic, grass-fed ingredients so the nutrition is not compromised.
If you can find a spot in your office, I recommend buying a hot plate or electric burner. You can get them from goodwill for nothing.
My basic system in the morning is to take some bone broth, put it into a small pot with some leftover meat, sauaage, whatever you have really (sometimes I’ll fry some bacon at the bottom of the pot and then pour the broth in). Then add raw carrots, onion, and a ton of uncooked kale, mustard greens or chard. On the spice side, tumeric, garam masala, black pepper and sea salt do it for me.
Throw the lid on and boil it at work to cook the carrots and greens (5 min). Bring a stash of raw kraut (beets, carrots, cabbage) or a little Kombucha to get your fix of fermented foods.
Besides the broth, the whole thing requires practically no prep. And your saved from the fate of eating disgusting sandwiches and take-out food everyday!
SP Bradley says
Crock-Pot now has something called a Lunch Crock. It’s personal sized. You put your leftovers in it, plug it at your desk or break room, and by lunch time, steaming hot lunch! Not bad for $20! 🙂
I used the Lunch Crock for the last several years (before Covid) and it took up very little room on my desktop. It was a life saver and gave me lots of nutritious meals to eat at work, mostly soup/stews and dinner leftovers. Everyone that stopped by my desk would ask what it was and wasn’t it a great little appliance! Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be more adopters to the bring lunch from home 🙂