Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by NewTeacher2016, Aug 7, 2016.
Aug 7, 2016
Do you have a microwave in the room? Or access to one? I just make big dinners so that I have enough left over for the next day. It's not terribly glamorous, but hey it's better than six peanut butter crackers!
OK I think teachers being underpaid (while partially true) is still a gross exaggeration. You'll still have plenty of money to eat lunch. Trust me. I haven't yet met a teacher who starved to death because of $. You could even eat the over priced cafeteria lunch if you wanted. Your biggest problem will be TIME. You won't have sufficient time to eat a four course meal, even if you had the money. You want to just find something that you can eat quickly, regardless of what it is or how much it costs. I usually brought in those cafe steamer meals. They were quick and simple. But most teachers usually brought in left overs from the prior night's dinner. However, I know teachers who STILL -- all the time -- ran up to Jimmy John's or Chick Fil - A for lunch. So yeah, it's still possible.
I got a lunch crock for Christmas and I highly suggest it. We have 8 teachers eating the same 20 minute lunch so it was a necessity for hot food. I heat up all of my leftovers in my classroom and then bring the crock to lunch.
As far as meals I make a lot of crock pot stuff for lunch. Chili, soup, stew, casseroles, BBQ meats, even pasta (one of my favorite recipes is crock pot lasagna) all go in the crock pot. I get a rotisserie chicken about once every two weeks. Usually I eat it with a veggie and side when I buy it, then make chicken salad for the next meals. I try not to bring tuna salad because some of my coworkers hate fish, but that's always an option.
Many of my recipes come from Pinterest. This year I want to make more bento box style lunches and more cold salads (like chickpea salad or bean salad).
I eat a lot of salads...I buy the pre washed mixes, some grape tomatoes, shredded cheeses...I hard boil a few eggs...and then every night after dinner I'll make salad for the next day. I mix it up..adding in different veg, maybe a few leftover shrimp or some salmon from dinner.
Sandwich thins- spread with hummus or guacamole, assorted veg
Yogurt with fruit, granola
Cottage cheese with chopped herbs, seasonings and whole wheat crackers
I go out to eat once a week. I make really good money but I'm not going to eat cafeteria food or drop $10-15 a day running out for take out. Fresh is best!
On Facebook lately, I've been seeing a lot of mason jar lunch/snack ideas. I'm thinking about trying that. I LOVE to use my little hot pot at school. I use it to warm soup or leftovers, boil noodles, or warm cider. Sometimes I buy pita supplies for the whole week (turkey, tomato, lettuce, cukes, pickles, cheese, etc) and eat off of it. Salads too.
A salad, a sandwich from home, fruit, yogurt, soup, leftovers of any kind, the frozen meals if they are on sale (for dinner I build around them, for school, that is what I eat), salads, of course, etc. IF you are fine running on peanut butter crackers, go with that. I know teachers who munch on dry cereal, and having a box of cereal at work is not expensive. PB&J is fine, lunch meat is really not that expensive, etc. You will be fine. More important for me than the food is having a drink all day long. Sometimes a soda, sometimes what started out as iced tea, I am not a coffee drinker, but if you don't drink, that will get to you.
great advice above.
- you can put avocado, hard boiled eggs, and cheese in your salad and it will be very filling. Sometimes I would have left over meat (chicken, beef or pork) heat it up in the microwave and then add it to my salad.
- sandwiches. Can be very filling and eaten fast, even while you're standing lol. I myself am not very big on sandwiches.
I always make my lunches for the week (that's how I lost 33 lbs, prep it and log in in an app). It was convenient because the lunches were just waiting for me in the fridge to grab in the morning. It didn't bother me that I ate the same thing the whole week, but you can of course vary it.
It takes a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, but you have your lunches done for 5 days.
And as others mentioned: left overs!! Just make a little more for dinner and you have lunch for 1-2 days.
Great comment about knowing exactly what is in the lunch as far as nutrition/calories, because you can become a junk food eater and put on weight!
Cold pasta salads are also a nice change from green salads and you can add lots of veggies and dressings to them, also. Keep a bag of baby carrots on hand to munch on. I received a lunch bag that looks just like a purse from my sister and I don't mind carrying it around. I eat with my students now, so I always pick up an extra couple of plastic utensils when I am out to keep on hand for the kiddos. This year I want to get a short thermos so I don't have to use the gross microwave.
Since no one person "owns" the microwave, no one ever seems to feel compelled to clean up after themselves, do they? Gross is the right word for ours at work.
I've made the mason jar salads for a few years now. I make about six a week for my hubs and me on Sunday and they stay fresh until Friday. There about four or five variations I make so it's not the same thing all the time. The other two days, we take left overs or sandwiches.
Don't worry about money. Worry more about time. The ideal lunch for me is something I can carry in my pocket and eat while walking.
Exactly! When your schedule quotes you a "30 minute" lunch and you know it's a joke. LOL
I did leftovers mainly. I knew one teacher who would bring a half gallon of milk & box of cereal with own & eat that. Lol.
Just remember a lot of pre packaged stuff like lean cuisines have a lot of sodium if you don't watch it.
I never eat out unless it's a PD or work day with no kids when we have an hour for lunch. We normally have 45 min on days with kids, but it's too stressful to me to leave and constantly be looking at the clock. If I'm going to pay to eat out, it needs to be enjoyable.
I am really not a sandwich person at all. I very often do leftovers - just make one extra serving of dinner. I'll also do mason jar salads sometimes - those are VERY easy to do Sunday and have for the week. I learned that I can't have them 4 or 5 days in a row because I get super sick of them. Sometimes I'll just cook some whole wheat pasta and throw some sauce on top. Homemade bean and cheese burritos work well.
When really desperate, I have been known to throw a folded up tortilla and some shredded cheese in a plastic baggie to make a quesadilla in the microwave at work...haha...still better than peanut butter crackers, though.
I slot out one Sunday a month to cook a few different recipes and then freeze those meals into lunch sized portions. Then I have lunch (plus a few suppers) ready to go for the month. I usually throw in some raw veggies or salad on the side.
Aug 9, 2016
@Linguist92021, what do you typically pack in your lunches? I lost 15 lbs this summer but need good lunch ideas to keep going!
So thankful to have an hour duty free lunch. Time to eat in a civilized fashion, talk with colleagues and perhaps do a bit of work if I'm so inclined.
I've got a little patch of soil outside my room. I'm going to grow salad greens out there for myself, and have "Big Salads" for Lunch.
Aug 10, 2016
I've done the following, all around 200-300 calories:
- meat: chicken breast (cut up and sauteed, 4 ounces) or lean pork, same way, 4 ounces, they're both about 120 calories. Sometimes steak or ribs but they had more calories
- veggies: I love cabbage (sauteed, green or purple), or zuchini, green peas, green beans or cauliflower
- carbs: mashed potatoes, or brown rice / red rice (very tasty), lentils
(sometimes I had no carbs but had a lot more veggies)
- salad with 4 ounces of meat (chicken, steak or pork) heated separately then added, always used fat free Italian dressing.
- for snack I always had a granola bar or banana, 1 ounce Cheeze it crackers and sometimes cranberry juice mixed with water + Metamucil (tastes like orange) and chia seeds. Very filling.
I drink a lot of coffee and a lot of calories came from creamer.
I was usually under 1400 calories and the lbs just came off one by one. Of course I exercised, 3 Zumba classess a week, walks and for a long time jogged in the evening (nothing major a 1-2 miles)
Now that I'm on a low carb (20-30 gram) high fat diet, it will be harder. I love it because I can eat very yummy things, (although haven't had sweets for a month), and I've lost some weight.
My lunches will be mostly meat (and not lean), and some veggies, but also bacon, avocado, eggs, etc.
For snacks I'm going to rely on avocado, hard boiled eggs, hard cheeses, nuts. I've found a granola bar that has only 6 grams of carbs, maybe that sometimes.
What brand of granola bar is that, Linguist?
I don't have time for lunch so sometimes I'll have a Quest protein bar. They fill you up and can be eaten quickly. Granola bars are usually filled with sugar and carbs and won't keep you full for very long.
Quest. I just accidentally saw it at the cash register counter at the grocery store yesterday. I already gave up on granola bars or even protein bars, so I halfway took a look at it. 20 grams of carbs, but 14 of it is fiber, so that doesn't count. So it's only 6 gr, which is pretty good. It's $2.59!!!! though.
I bought one and it was really good. In the past month, that's the only sweet thing I ate, other than my teeny tiny chocolate Calcium chews.
Aug 11, 2016
Those are the ones I eat. If you buy them online I think they can be cheaper. The healthfood store in my town will give us a discount if we buy 3 or more!
Aug 19, 2016
I'll read through this thread soon, but I need work lunch ideas as well & I don't want any one thing all the time & I definitely do NOT want to use the microwave even 1/4 of the time. I'll more than likely eat in my room & won't eat much in the teacher lounge.
I guess so far, it's:
- lettuce salads
- pasta salads
For some reason, I don't usually eat during the school day...I guess I got used to it from a previous career, and it stuck.
I'm doing what I used to do: on Sunday I made my lunches for the week (pork loin and cabbage, the same thing every day, but I don't mind). Brought it and put it in the fridge we, teachers use. It's great, I don't have to worry about it, every day it's already there.
At Costco I found some protein bars that have very little carbs, and lots of fiber, and they really fill me up. And they taste great. They're a Kirkland brand protein bar, and found a protein shake that's the same way, tastes great, I drink it at 8 am and I'm not even hungry until lunch. Called Premier Protein, again, low carb and high in fiber and protein.
So these are my snacks stashed away, along with Atkins bars. But for a few days I've brought Gouda cheese and strawberries.
I think I'll bring hard boiled eggss with tomato slices, or avocado slices and cheese, or almonds, walnuts, etc. (I can't eat fruit because I'm on a low carb diet)
I don't either usually. Friday at lunch I'll have something maybe if they have a special lunch we can order. Other days I'll just nibble on a protein bar I brought or just have coffee. I can't eat early in the morning either so I don't do breakfast either except on weekends.
Thanks for sharing all the great ideas! I'm trying to stay motivated to keep working out in the am's but it will get harder, I am sure! Lunches so far have been salads or leftovers and I haven't been too hungry. I do have to remember to drink more water throughout the day though!
Aug 22, 2016
Same here. I was never one to regularly eat lunch at work. The bad habit I got into for yrs is that I didn't really eat breakfast either, so when I got home from work, I'd eat a little too much since that's really my first meal of the day.