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Hi Herbies, it's Courtney again. I've always had a 'day' job (before moving here). My last office had was one of those dorm-size refrigerators and a microwave - although eventually we did get a toaster oven!
I never gave much though to what to pack, for a long while I ate sandwiches or dry cereal for lunch, but that got old quick and so did the frozen meals. I lived about an hour away so I couldn't go home for lunch and eating out everyday wasn't an option either - I couldn't afford it. There were also times when I would work through my lunch, such as if I had a doctors appointment or had to leave early that day.
I knew I had to get creative otherwise I'd end up in a dangerous rut and looking at the local fast food options. Since I was bad about planning ahead, I would often have leftovers from the night before. While things like the Chili sans Carne (pg. 81, HHC) are great the next day, I wanted something a little more fresh - and not a salad.
Lindsay told me of many options to help make an enjoyable 'fresh' meal with little to no cooking involved. I instantly fell in love with meals like the Quick Black Bean Tacos (no cooking required!), Easy Enchilada Bake (you only need a microwave) and Breakfast Brushetta - I could eat breakfast all day long! Yes, these are meals from the meal plans.
I learned of so many meals that can be easily 'cooked' in the microwave or with minimal cooking at home (ie., cooking brown rice) and the rest at work. I even made extra a few times to share with my co-workers.
Assembling my lunch in the back break room, and then eating a 'fresh' meal that I just made was like a treat to myself. Leftovers can be great, but nothing beats a freshly made meal in my opinon, and being able to do this with only a microwave made it so much more enjoyable, and less stressful. I no longer felt bad about my lunch, in fact I started to look forward to it.
It is amazing how much better I felt after these meals too. I didn't have the 3 o'clock crash like I did before, and often I would make it until dinner without feeling hungry. Something as simple as making a fresh meal, instead of just reheating leftovers, made my afternoons more peaceful and relaxing.