Sometimes nutrition information can seem like the airline’s “in the event that you crash” spiel. We’ve all heard it so many times it’s hard not to tune out. A study came out over the summer that seemed to be another yawn. They reported you’ll loose more weight if you food journal and if you don’t skip meals, yeah, yeah. And then there was a third conclusion. Those who ate out more frequently lost less weight and the strongest association was observed with lunch. “Women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost on average 5 fewer pounds.”

They had me at 5 pounds but if you need further convincing (some of you are tough), I’ll appeal to your inner cheapskate. While I have all sorts of ways to justify money spent on good food. I have trouble with this:

In case you can’t make it out I had kale salad and coffee. Organic salad and organic coffee but still, $20.03? 
If you’re with me on this lunch thing, the question now is what to bring. Vanessa Peronne, a Canadian RD has a feature on her blog (which is great and I’m very picky) called What’s in Your Lunch Bag. She sent me a series of questions to answer. And since I spilled my beans, I asked her a few questions in return.
Vanessa: Can you describe the Foodtrainers lunch-packing philosophy? How do you keep yourself and clients motivated about packing nourishing lunches?
Me: I feel that skinny starts Sunday. It’s hard to decide the morning of that you’re going to make lunch. I advise clients to make, a grain, a green and a protein for the week. You can go a long way with those three. It’s also key to double recipes. We always make extra chili, steamed or roasted veggies and I make lunch containers as I plate our dinners so no family members infringe on my lunch for the next day.
Me: I think there’s a strategy in packing lunch; many people sell themselves short with skimpy portions. What do you see as the biggest lunch-packing mistake?
Vanessa: The most common mistake I see with clients involves salad-building. The lettuce-tomato-cucumber mix lacks sustenance and will leave you cranky within the hour. I recommend these key salad-building steps 5-steps:
1) A leafy green base (spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, escarole)
2) At least 2 other vegetables  
3) A source of protein (hemp seeds, hard cooked eggs, chickpeas, tuna) 
4) One extra (avocado, nuts, fruit, dried fruit or cheese)
5) Homemade dressing made with a good, cold-pressed oil
Me: Oh my goodness, we have very similar construction methods. I call extras “salad accessories”. I also love walnut oil and sunflower oil.
Vanessa:  About the Hardware: What lunch bag or box are you using right now?
Me: This is crucial information for newbie lunch packers. A while ago, I posted about quinoa. One of my readers whipped up the quinoa salad (may have been breakfast quinoa but anyway). That day I received an email with a photo attached with the subject line “Prada doesn’t like quinoa”.  So one issue is spillage and that’s sad for a number of reasons but other issue is a matter of pride. No self-respecting adult should carry something that looks like this

The only “hardware” as you say that gets the Foodtrainers’ vote is Black and Blum.
I use both the Bento Box and Box Appetit.

Me: Other than salads, what are your lunch greatest hits?
Vanessa: Tis soupy season. This recipe for Pasta e Fagioli (bean soup) is a classic and family favourite. It’s simple, inexpensive and filling to the max. For any G-free readers (or you Lauren), you can swap for gluten-free pasta or remove it altogether.
Me: Funny that you brought up soup (unprompted) because broth-based soups are an appetite suppressant, always a strategic lunch choice. And Black and Blum is just introduced this spectacular thermo pot which keeps food hot for 5 hours.

If losing five pounds doesn’t excite you this thermo pot (with magnetic spoon) certainly should.
Black and Blum is giving one lucky and stylish reader this thermo pot.
To be eligible, there are 3 things to do, yes 3:
  1. Comment and tell us your favorite lunch box/bag, spillage stories, fave lunches to pack and anything else lunchy.
  2. Like Black and Blum on Facebook
  3. Tweet Lose 5 Pounds without carrying an ugly lunchbag @Foodtrainers BlackANDBlum #giveaway
You have until Monday to enter.


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