Wednesday, February 04, 2009

of packing a healthy and cheap lunch

today is only 4th of february.
megat is only in year four this year.
upsr exam is only two years away from now.

no matter what the circumstances are, megat and his batch (year four) have already started to attend extra classes after school hours with effective today, organized by the school' PTA. take note that megat is schooling in a local chinese school. so as for now he will be going home only at 2.55pm from monday to wednesday, while on thursday and friday is at 2.25pm. parents are allowed to deliver their kids lunch during their second break i.e. when the normal school hours end (1.35pm for monday to wednesday and 1.05pm for thursday and friday).

so as for me it's not a problem at all to bring megat's packed lunch to him at those hours. normally it would be like that anyway, where i would fetch puteri right after megat anyway. so it's definitely fine for me. and the best thing is we do not have to be worried for food poisoning, as the food is home-made. home-made food are more healthy i tell you. if not why on earth we could see quite a number of chinese mothers do the same. in fact one of them who always chatted with me when we bumped in to each other in school, told me that even she do not trust canteen food. she prefer to cook her kids' packed meal herself. besides that, we can teach our kids to save their pocket money since they already bring packed meals/lunch from home.

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so as you could see from the above pic, that is the school' side entrance gate. that is where i usually waited for megat. and the missing grill are meant for us parents to pass anything to our kids, vise versa. kewl huh?!!...

i tell you what... isn't it good for you people to adapt this packed lunch ideas for work., no matter whether you are single or married. lunch is the meal where most people end up scarfing down whatever fatty, greasy food they can find. but it only takes a little pre-planning to create a healthy, energy-boosting meal, at little cost to you or your long-term health.

step 1
create a healthy shopping list, with easy-to-pack, nutritious foods in mind. opt for low-fat granola, dried fruit, nuts, low-fat meat slices, whole wheat bread, fresh fruit and deli tray-sized bits of fresh carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet baby carrots, eggs (you can hard boil or create egg salad sandwiches with vegan mayonnaise or olive oil mayonnaise), and peanut, soy, or sunflower butter.

step 2
strategize the night before. it's best to pack more than you think you'll eat. that way you won't run out of the food you need to keep your energy up throughout the afternoon. plus, you'll have a little extra for mid-morning and even a quick breakfast on the run or during the commute.

step 3
include three components to make a meal: a main, snack and side. a salad, sandwich or whole grain wrap is a good choice for a main. throw in homemade trail mix (see #4) or granola for your snack. add in a salad with your sandwich, a container full of bite-sized veggies, or cubes of various fruits and honey for your side.

step 4
make your own trail mix. homemade trail mix can be customized to suit your taste, and can be created as a low-fat alternative to the store brands. mix together some sesame sticks, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, a few dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries and almonds. the result is a snack that's tasty, low-fat and packed with protein and antioxidants.

step 5
try new variations on old standbys. there are hundreds of variations just on a whole wheat wrap. try a garlic or basil flavored flatbread or tortilla. brush on vinaigrette dressing instead of plain old mustard. add almonds for a protein boost, or just switch up your standard wheat sandwich bread with a whole grain roll. that way you'll never get bored and be inclined to stray from your healthy DIY route.

step 6
pack your items in reusable containers. bags formerly containing your snack mixes, veggies and sandwiches have only one place to go after you use them: the landfill. do this for the environment, while you revamp your lunch routine for yourself.

step 7
eat with co-workers in moderation. don't completely cut off lunches with colleagues. these are good morale-boosting sessions (or venting sessions, whatever the case may be). be a team player. you may be overdoing it when your lunches out really start to show up on your account balance and your thighs.

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on another note, kay came over to my place yesterday evening, for us to visit the late kak fairoz' mother. i think probably that time her (kak fairoz) brother was already on the way back to kuale from klia, to bring back her remains. read more about her in today's news here, here, here and here.

"may she rest in peace"... amin.