Oh, the struggles of brown-bagging lunch

I need to just say it: Going out for lunch everyday is so much more convenient than brown-bagging it. I love that there’s zero kitchen prep time involved because I get extra time to do more fun things like polish my nails. I recognize that take-out can be expensive and sometimes not that healthy, but packing a lunch comes with its own set of annoyances. In fact, I’ve made a handy list of all of them. So if you’re looking to rationalize going out for lunch everyday, look no further than this list of things that make brown-bagging lunch so very imperfect. Life’s hard, I know.

The horrors of rotting vegetables in the refrigerator

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I buy cucumbers and forget about them until they morph into a science experiment. On more occasions than I care to admit, my vegetable drawer has turned into a hazmat zone. This doesn’t only happen with my produce. I once made a vegetable lasagna and forgot about the leftovers. Thank God my containers are see-through because there’s no way I could’ve opened the lid to clean out that moldy mess, which I’m certain had come to life.

Waking up early enough to make fresh juices sucks

There’s nothing tastier than a homemade concoction of fresh-pressed juice made with my Hurom juicer. It’s so much tastier than the bottled stuff I can’t even tell you. What I didn’t realize after investing in this machine was the amount of time it takes to wash, chop and press the veggies into juice and then clean all the gazillion parts once I’m finished. It’s a huge time commitment. Not to mention that one five-pound bag of carrots nets a mere 32 ounces of juice. What stresses me out even more is learning that the vitamins start to break down after just one day because of light and oxygen. This means if I press enough juice for the week ahead, all the vitamins have practically evaporated by Friday. Now that’s depressing.

There is no good way to prep food in advance. Really.

I envisioned how wonderful it would be to prep all my lunches on Sunday for the week ahead. I’d save tons of time every morning trying to find something to throw together. Packing healthy salads in small storage containers seemed like a no-brainer. What I didn’t envision was that a salad made on Sunday isn’t very appetizing on Friday, or even Tuesday, no matter how airtight the container is. I also didn’t factor in my taste buds. Sometimes I don’t feel like eating a salad that day. But I’ve already committed to the meal because I carried it into work, stored it in the fridge and told all my coworkers how I’m brown-bagging healthy lunches. How can I possibly save face if I hit the work café and order the hot lunch special?

Pesticides aren’t tasty

The “dirty dozen,” Monsanto, Bt Toxin and GMO’s. These are terms I read about and frankly they scare the bajeezus out of me. I get stressed out thinking about the toxic chemicals that are sprayed on food that winds up in my grocery store. The produce looks deceivingly healthy sitting in that refrigerated bin and frequently misted with cool water. However, if it’s not organic then it’s probably dripping with invisible pesticides. This makes me think I’m not being THAT healthy by packing my own fruits and veggies, unless I buy organic, which costs a ton. Might as well order in, right?

I’ve lost lunch friends

I found out the hard way that bringing a healthy lunch from home generates ill will with some of my lunch friends. While I’m crunching on my unexciting but healthy salad, my friends are trying to enjoy a cheesy enchilada. They don’t need the guilt of my greens reminding them they could’ve made a better food choice. I’m not judging their lunch or rubbing my eating habits in their face. I’m wishing for a bite of their meal to wash down my boring salad. Lately I’ve found myself sitting at the lunch table alone which kind of sucks.

I’m still starving after I eat

It’s my own fault. I haven’t yet figured out the proper quantity of greens needed to sustain me through the day, so I’m often starving by three o’clock. Then I hit the vending machine or get a brownie to hold me over until quitting time. I’m no longer hungry but I’m mad because I just foiled my healthy eating plan. Obviously, I still have some kinks to work out.

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