Nutrition accounts for around 75% of our success with weight loss and fitness results. And it is absolutely the hardest thing for me to control. I am a stress eater, I resent not being able to eat what I want, when I want, and I just LOVE food. BUT I don’t want to feel gross. I want to feel good about myself, I want my stomach to be happy, and I want to feel proud that I’ve been consistent.
For three months leading up to our massive event at work, I was experimenting with a “keto-ish” way of eating. Maybe because of the enormous stress I was under, but I didn’t see any huge results. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t seem to have any measurable impact on my body. I may try it again, now that the stress is much lower.
But that’s not the point of this post. For three months, I took my lunch to work. Apart from two work lunches, I packed my lunch every single day. And for me that is EXTRAORDINARY. I think it was partly the keto diet, and partly because everything was so full-on chaotic that THIS was one thing in my life that I could actually control.
I have always been a gadget person. Having the right equipment, tool, or app to get me excited about something helps to ensure I will stick with it. And lunch-prep was no exception. Our kids’ lunches monopolize the container supply in our home and I already stress about anything cooking-related. Mornings are a flurry of chaos is our home (whose aren’t?) and one more layer of complexity was likely to send me over the edge. I needed a system that I could rely on to make my own lunch prep simple and fast. Fighting Mr Awesome for the right size containers for the food I was packing was not a good way to start our day. I needed MY containers. It’s true – I didn’t want to share.
I found the Rubbermaid LunchBlox system at Walmart. It comes in a variety of sizes which is perfect for various snacks, dressings, toppings, etc. It also works really well alongside the color-coded portion plan that comes with so many of my at home fitness programs. Every “block” clicks together in a larger block to make an efficient stack in your lunch bag. The random containers of all shapes and sizes had been making my lunchbag a crazy mess, so this once again spoke to my need for order and control. (Sensing a theme?)
One of the best parts for me is the freezer blocks that click in between the blocks. Our office has two fridges in a kitchen that is nowhere near my desk, and the fridges fill up FAST with lunch bags. Yes, walking down there is extra steps in my day and that’s good, but 99% of the time I am eating on the fly at my desk and it’s time I can’t afford. These freezer blocks and the efficient click-together system keeps my lunch “refrigerated” until about mid-afternoon when in a good insulated bag.
Rubbermaid makes a ton of different container systems and they don’t necessarily work interchangeably, so make sure you know what goes with what. Anything in the LunchBlox line seems to click together and work. You can buy the kits or individual containers, depending on what you need as far as sizes. You can also buy extra freezer blocks. The whole trick is to have the right containers and configuration that you end with a perfect block shape. (That’s not actually necessary, it’s just a game I play with myself each morning to appease my control-freak tendencies.)
After our work event was over and I took some vacation time, my lunch-taking success fell apart. I have managed to take my lunch about 50% of the time since getting back to work but it’s nowhere near as planned out as it used to be. My goal now is to get back to where I was when I was doing the keto-ish plan, but with my new more balanced nutrition plan. As I mentioned, anything cooking-related stresses me out so it will just take me having a few minutes to think ahead and figure out the plan will be. Planning breakfasts and dinners are easy, but for some reason lunches confound me.
Even if they were simply a vehicle for a larger food plan, these containers changed my habits. They made it easier for me to take lunch to work, and that is a miracle. I saved SO much money not going to the food court every day, and I stayed on plan. Yes, the food court has healthy options, but knowing exactly what I was going to eat and how it had been prepared ensured I stayed on track.
They’re dishwasher safe and so far haven’t stained from anything like tomato sauce, beets, etc. They haven’t warped at all, but definitely keep them on the top rack of the dishwasher. They have a good seal on them but I have had a bit of a liquid creep out when I have filled them too full and that’s on me.
All in all, I totally recommend this system. And from doing a bit of extra research for this post I discovered they even sell lunch bags made especially to hold the blocks. I might have to investigate further, as that is the one pain – maneuvering my perfectly-packed block into my bag. Although I tend to take more blocks than pictured here. I don’t know if their bag is big enough for my block of awesomeness. It looks as though they have Small and Medium sizes, but they don’t currently list a Large or “Healthy Working Mom” size on their website. As I said, I will investigate.
Let me know if you try them!