Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Reddit button Linkedin button Youtube button

Paleo Lunch

by Suz on January 30, 2012 · 23 comments

in Cooking, Eating Out

Last year I got pretty bad about bringing my Paleo Lunch in from home.  This meant, most days, I went to one of the many food courts near my office.  Whilst I always went for the Paleo, gluten-free options – roast meat and vegetables or salad for instance, it really wasn’t the best option.  I’m careful with the ingredients I use and how I cook things.  If I make it, I know exactly what’s in it.  When I eat out, it’s probably a fair bet that the meat isn’t organic/ free range/ grass fed.  The meal could even have been cooked with seed oils – if not it’s likely to have come close to foods that have.  Food I buy in the city is always served in far too large portions – this is either a waste of food, or leads to me eating far more than I should!  The other issue with buying lunch in the city is the cost – I’d usually end up spending $10 a day on a not completely Paleo Lunch.

I therefore decided to start bringing pre-prepared lunches into work every day.  I’m normally really busy during the week, so need minimal effort each day.  As good as a salad would be I know I’d run out of time to make it – and end up having to buy lunch.  I have a fridge and microwave at work (I don’t even own a microwave at home, but in the absence of a gas stove, a microwave will have to do) – this means homemade frozen lunches are a good lunchtime solution.

Last Sunday I had a huge cooking session where I made soup, beef hash and beanless chilli, giving me a few different options to pick from each day.  I used the largest pots I had to ensure I was making as much as possible.  Once finished, I separated the dishes out into individual sized potions and froze them.  I managed to make enough for 20 lunches in just a couple of hours of cooking.  I take lunch out of the freezer in the morning, run to work – and by lunchtime it’s just about defrosted.

Other than microwaving my lunch, the only thing I’m not happy about is freezing the food in plastic bags.  Whilst the bags I use contain no phthalates, polycarbonate or use Bisphenol A (BPA) – it’s still plastic.  Glass or metal containers would be an option, but might result in freezer burn.  I’d also be concerned about my lunch leaking over my suit as I run into work – not to mention the fact my tiny running bag wouldn’t have space for a bulky container.

This solution is working well for me – but perhaps you have an even better lunchtime routine?  How do you keep your work/ school/ home lunch paleo?

The Paleo Recipe Book
Did you enjoy this article?
Get my 2 FREE Paleo eBooks!
Sign up to receive my weekly email, full of Paleo tips, recipes, events and news and download my free Paleo ebooks

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanna January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I bring my lunch in plastic containers (which I’m not too happy about) but leave a glass bowl in the office for microwaving. I make a lot of chili or soup. If I don’t bring my lunch, I end up spending $10 on the Whole Foods salad bar. I’m about to move and planning on upgrading my storage containers to glass with plastic lids.

Reply

Suz January 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hey Suzanna! Exactly – I do the same when I forget to bring lunch in, it’s such a waste of money. Good idea about upgrading the containers, they should last a lot longer too

Reply

Therese January 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hey there – my solution was become self employed :) and eat my last meal at 2/3pm before I start work.

Though now that I am training more, I use this http://www.thermos.com/products/vacuum-insulated-16-oz-food-jar-with-bowl-and-spoon.aspx, it works brilliantly.

So what you could do is defrost your soup overnight, heat it up in the morning then pour it into one of these. They keep warm for hours. I used mine yesterday for keeping sweet potato chips warm, and they were, about 5 hours later. So I was able to have a nice warm healthy snack after my Tri, instead of having to buy a whoknowswhatsinit sausage sans roll.

it has a nice tight seal plus a lid and isn’t too bulky. I got mine at kitchen warehouse. Does same for cold drinks, last week filled it with ice and coconut water and at end of race 5 hrs later was still Ice and nice and cold! No plastic needed :)

Reply

Suz January 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Therese self employment is the perfect solution! Love the thermos idea – will have to investigate!

Reply

Belinda January 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I take myself for a trip to the local woollies and usuall grab salad stuff and either smoked fish or eggs which I boil in the microwave, I found some sardines recently that were in Olive oil and nothing else, go really well with balsamic, will add those to the options

Reply

Suz January 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

That sounds like a good option Belinda – and definitely cheaper and better than the food court option too

Reply

Sally January 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Both my DH and I have a fridge and microwave at work. I normally have “planned left overs” where I make extra for both of us and dish up at the same time. We have some Pyrex glass containers though they have the plastic lid: http://www.bigw.com.au/bigw/search/bigw_search_results.jsp In Australia can be purchased at Big W and the like.

On occasion we do have salads with boiled eggs, cold chicken etc, so no need to heat those ones.

Reply

Suz January 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Thanks Sally, glass might be the way to go, despite the extra weight. Leftover lunches are such a good idea – and it’s next to no extra effort.

Reply

Gaby January 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

I use glass containers, they’re heavy but that’s ok for me because I take the train to work :)
Funny you mentioned you get big servings when eating out, for me is the opposite: my homemade lunches are 50-100% bigger than whatever Paleoish I can get in a restaurant (also healthier, tastier and cheaper).

Reply

Suz January 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Glass containers would definitely be ideal – I guess a bit more weight would add to my workout!
We need to swap restaurants Gaby!

Reply

Therese January 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Go the thermos, heavier than a plastic container but not as heavy as the glass, so with running to work that’d be my choice. There are various sizes, the one I have holds a decent amount of food, although I may get another one for those long days out. Best idea I found that works for me :) and it’s stainless steel, double walled, so it also doubles as my drinking cup in the summer because it doesn’t sweat and keeps its temperature. Love it <3

Reply

Suz February 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Agree Therese – thermos definitely sounds like such a good idea – especially if I could take in warm soup and not need to microwave it – win win!

Reply

Brian February 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I find lunches really hard. I get up early in the mornings, ride to crossfit, then ride to work, so I really need to have everything prepared the night before. The two options that have worked so far are slow cooked curries which I freeze in freezer bags but microwave in a bowl I keep at work. The other is bunless burgers. I cook up patties on the weekend then on Monday I take lots of lettuce, sugar and preservative free tomato sauce, sourcrout (spelling?), beetroot, gerkins, etc. to work and leave them in the fridge at work. I then heat up the patty and put together the salad at work. It’s a lot of organising on Sunday, but real food does take work. Been thinking about glass containers myself.

Reply

Suz February 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Your first option is similar to mine Brian – it definitely makes life easier in the week. I love the burger idea too. I do seem to spend hours cooking at the weekend, but it’s worth it to make life easier in the week! Also cooking is a great time to listen to Paleo podcasts!

Reply

Therese February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Suz check out alwaysonsale.com.au they have a bunch of thermos products and reasonably priced altho their freight is ridiculously high unless you buy 4+ items from the site.

Reply

Suz February 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Thanks Therese, I’ll have a look!

Reply

Ricko February 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

If I’m in a rush, bag of mixed salad and grab a can of tinned salmon (the kind that’s go bones n skin in it, and no added salt) I keep some homemade macadamia oil and lemon juice dressing at work :)

Reply

Suz February 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

That’s a good idea Ricko – especially as you can keep the tins and dressings at work instead of bringing them in each day

Reply

Megan February 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

Homemade paleo ‘muffins’ are great for breakfast or lunch on the run.
Make them in the big texas muffin tins or silicone trays.
To make 6:
6 free range eggs, 2 small zucchini (grated and squeezed, you can use carrots too), large teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, salt & pepper, some kind of meat like chopped up ham or corned beef,
mix it all together well and bake for approx 30 mins. Chopped spring onion and grated cheese can be added on top if you are doing dairy.

Scotch eggs are great with a salad. Scrambled eggs can be made in the microwave at work.

Reply

Suz February 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

Those muffins sound great Megan – I love things like that, that you can spend time making in the evenings or weekends – meaning you can just grab them and go in the mornings!

Reply

Les March 30, 2012 at 3:24 am

Have you considered canning? (Actually done in jars.) You could make tons ahead of time, and the soups would be stored in reusable glass jars w/ a vacuum seal. Just do a search for “canning set” and you will find kits w/ all you need.

Reply

Suz April 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm

What a great idea Les, I hadn’t thought about doing that, but love the idea! I’ll be investigating further, thanks!

Reply

Elissa April 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Each day for lunch in the morning, I grill some kangaroo or some free range chicken in coconut oil and boil 2 eggs, then I construct my salad, a mix of whatever is in season greens, carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatos, capsicum slices etc and half a lemon, pepper, apple cider vinegar etc I put everything together in my pyrex glass container :), quick and easy, no fuss and fresh. Then I mix it up every week or so , so that i dont get bored or i bring in some leftovers in my pyrex.

I hate bringing smelly food into work so I save the sardines, fish etc for home in the evening. I cant stand tuna the smell of it in office lunches makes me want to be sick haha.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: