As we continue with yet another edition of the In My Lunch bag series, I’m excited to present today’s guest; registered dietitian, author and blogger, Doug Cook. I’ve been a fan of Doug’s blog for quite some time now, and highly recommend it for his always informative posts and no-nonsense approach. I had the pleasure of meeting Doug back in July when I headed to Saskatoon for the love your lentils tour and am glad to have him share his personal lunch bag tips with you all today. So here we go.
In three words, how would you describe your lunch-packing philosophy? Easy, portable and simple.
Tell us about the hardware, what lunch bag are you using right now? I use a small reusable bag, either from Lululemon or from Metro.
What quick, easy-to-pack protein source do you have in your lunch? Quick protein is light tuna for salads, single-serve seasoned tuna, sliced cheese or small pre-wrapped cheese such as Babybel. I also pack leftover chicken, beef or salmon.
Always in your lunch bag: Vegetables of some kind, raw or cooked
Never in your lunch bag: Store bought desserts like cookies, or poor quality granola bars.
Snack of the moment : Air-popped popcorn with a tiny bit of organic maple syrup and sea salt! A little syrup and salt goes a long way – This sounds delicious, love the salty-sweet combo and will definitely be giving this a try.
Are there any other lunch items you’re currently enjoying? Quinoa-based crackers by Enerjive [new to most markets, from Ottawa but now in Toronto and Montreal], NOMAD yogurt drink from Iogo [resealable yogurt drink, super convenient], and a good set of reusable cutlery with a carrying case is a good investment, that way, you’ll never be left looking for some at the last minute!
As a nutrition professional, do you have any other tips for making lunch-packing a quick and easy process? Prepare the night before. If cutting up vegetables for a basic salad is still a challenge, buy pre-cut veggies and loose salad greens. Also, stock-up on small containers for proper portioning for foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, granola as well as leftovers. Small snack bags are also great for nuts or homemade trail mix and single serves like tuna are easy to open and toss into salads without waste.
How do you keep yourself and clients motivated about packing nourishing lunches? I remind them, and myself, how easy it is to pack a lunch. It’s cheaper and the best way to control the ingredients, quality and your portions. Every choice has a consequence and convenience may seem like a good idea ‘in the moment’ but one either ‘pays now or pays later’…
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