How to Pack Food for a Full Day at Work

25 Jan

Before I get to the meat of this post, I wanted to share my treadmill run from yesterday. Once again, I slept in (getting up and out the door in this cold is just not happening), so I saved my workout for the evening after work. When I got to the gym, all the treadmills were full. Now, usually, I would just turn around and head home, because I hate waiting for a treadmill to open up. But, I was determined, so I just hopped on to an elliptical and kept my eyes peeled. Once I was on the elliptical, I looked down and noticed a tag on my leg…I had put my workout pants on inside out!! How embarrassing! I kept tugging at my shirt to cover the tag, and once a treadmill opened up, I ran to the bathroom to turn them right side out….and when I got back someone had taken that treadmill. I was just about to call it a wash when another opened up.

After all that, I ended up having a pretty good run:



I wish I didn’t have to stop after that first part of the run, I had made it a priority to run the whole time. I did pretty well, but after having to stop and run to the restroom, I ended up taking a lot of walking breaks. The first part I had a 10:59 pace, but the second part of the run brought my overall pace to 11:25 total. I have a much better pace when I’m running outside! But, that’s the first time in a while that I’ve run over 4 miles on the “Dreadmill”


As I mentioned the other day in my Healthy Living Survey, if I get overly hungry at work, I can and will attack the vending machine. It’s a habit I’ve tried to break, but if I’m hungry, I can convince myself that anything is a healthy option.

In order to combat that, I try to pack myself enough healthy food to keep me satisfied throughout the day. I also mentioned in that same survey my snack philosophy:


So, I thought I’d share with you what a full day worth of work meals and snacks looks like. This photo was taken on Thursday. On a normal day, I will eat my breakfast and a snack at my desk, and then Zach picks me up and we go home for lunch, or I will walk home for lunch. I will eat my lunch at home, and then re-pack my lunch bag with an afternoon snack. However, on Thursday, Zach was going to be on the road during the day and it was 20 degrees outside, so I decided to pack all my food for that day.


Doesn’t that look like a lot of food!? Well, it is! But, spread out during the day it is the recipe for keeping me satisfied. Here’s what the breakdown looks like:

Breakfast (8:30 AM, at my desk): Eggs with spinach and sausage (in the container above), half of the bagel with a thin spread (about a tablespoon) of neufchatel cheese.
Mid-morning snack (11:00 AM, at my desk): Some apple slices and half a banana with half of the container of yogurt.
Lunch (12:00 Noon, in the lunch room): The other half of the bagel with a thin spread of neufchatel, spinach and turkey. The other half of the banana and some more apple slices with half a serving of peanut butter.
Afternoon snack (between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, at my desk): The remainder of the apples and the rest of the peanut butter, and the other half of the yogurt.

This should keep my evil hunger twin from appearing before I head home at 5:15 PM. The other thing you may notice is that I cut servings in half a lot. I feel like sometimes I eat a full serving size of something (particularly the neufchatel or peanut butter) just because…that’s the suggested serving size, when in fact I would just be fine with half of it.

Sometimes when I stick around the office for lunch, I’ll skip packing the lunch portion and go out for lunch. This can be dangerous, because most of the restaurants near my office are danger zones for healthy eating. However, the one restaurant I go to the most frequently is Uno Chicago Grill. I don’t think people realize the healthy choices this restaurant has (mostly, I picture their deep dish pizza, which is a fat and calorie bomb), but they actually have some really great choices. My favorite is the fact that they have an “all you can eat” soup special for lunch, and they offer 2-3 soups that are actually quite healthy. First, and my favorite, is the Vegetable Soup. It’s so good, and a serving is very low in fat and calories. Paired with a house salad with chicken or their Power Salad, it’s a very filling lunch.

This week, I ended up at Uno’s for lunch and they didn’t have Vegetable Soup! I was devastated, until I realized that they had a new option that sounded so great: Kabocha Pumpkin Soup! Oh my.  It was incredible! Because of my chipped tooth (dentist appointment soon!), I was having trouble eating anything solid, so I skipped the salad and had two bowls of the soup for lunch. It was amazing! You must try it.


I only had to move one cracker to make this into a smiley face. That’s fate, you guys.

Question of the Day:
How do you keep the hunger at bay while you’re away from home all day? 

3 Responses to “How to Pack Food for a Full Day at Work”

  1. xtinaluvspink at 10:07 am #

    I do this too!! I bring breakfast, (unsweetened) coffee, snacks and lunch to work with me (also a desk job). My co-workers question how I can stay so fit when I’m always eating, but they don’t realize that the foods I bring are all healthy! Overnight oatmeal for breakfast, raw fruits/veggies for snacks, raw whole almonds, a healthy vegetarian lunch – usually leftovers. And I keep a bar of quality dark chocolate in my drawer, just in case I NEED a bit. Keep at it, my friend!

    • I get the “Wow, you are ALWAYS eating” comment a lot too. When I was overweight, I didn’t eat nearly as much as I do now, but I am eating much more high quality food. It’s crazy how that works, huh?

      • xtinaluvspink at 10:14 am #

        Indeed! Same for me – when I was overweight, I think I ate less, but it was far worse for me – junk food, fatty foods, etc. And I was still always hungry, but for the bad stuff. My body is so happy that I feed it healthy, whole foods now 🙂 Yay us!!

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