Sure, grabbing food is great when you don’t have time to throw something together in the morning or your fridge is stocked like a frat boy’s — as in empty, but here at Health we’re big proponents of bringing your lunch from home. Why? First, and most obvious — it saves you money. Second, it's eco-friendly, particularly if you're putting it in reusable containers. Third, it helps you eat healthfully (I won't be tempted by chili cheese fries in the cafeteria or a buttery cookie from Pret a Manger if I don’t have to go there to begin with). And last, it's portion controlled. I get to decide how much I’ll eat before my stomach starts to growl.
My favorite lunch tote is the Kipling Kichirou bag (above), which is lined like a lunch bag but looks just like a purse, so it doesn’t scream “there’s a turkey sandwich in here!” when I carry it around town. ($49; Kipling-usa.com)
Here, six other editors show off their reusable bags and containers (and give us a peek at what's inside!).
“I got the container at Target a couple of years ago and use it almost every day. As for what I brought, it’s dinner leftovers: whole wheat linguine with turkey sausage, chard, and tomato sauce.”
— Jeannie Kim, Executive Deputy editor
“This box is from a Bobbi Brown event — it was filled with a yummy, healthy lunch — which inspired me to cut back on calories and go for a cleaner diet. So far it's helped; I've lost 5 pounds! And you’ll notice tons of fruit in my box. Bringing them cures my afternoon munchies, so I won't be running to the vending machine later.”
— Diana Cerqueira, Beauty Editorial Assistant
“I love my Built bag because it's bright and fun, not to mention it keeps my meal cold and fits just about everything easily (like today’s Amy’s Kitchen frozen veggie lasagna). But the best part, for me, is that it’s easy to toss into the washing machine to get it clean.”
— Olivia Rassow, Editorial Assistant
“I love the spaciousness of my PackIt bag, which gives enough room for my food container, juice, water, and snack. Plus, my water and juice stay cold for about four hours — also a bonus because of my commute. Today I packed fish stew, sweet potatoes, and boiled plantains.”
— Franka Kerr, Office Manager
“This great container has a snug, snap-on top so salads stay fresh. And as for what’s inside, I'm a total creature of habit—I eat the same thing for lunch whether I'm sitting at my desk, out at a restaurant or grabbing takeout: a big bed of greens with roasted chicken on top. Yum!”
— Kimberly Goad, Deputy Editor
“I love my Built lunch bag because it fits a lot (despite its size) and since it's fabric based, when it gets dirty I can just throw it in the wash. I typically bring my lunch to work every day — partly because eating out in NYC is expensive and partly because I love to cook. Today's lunch is one of my faves: shrimp scampi and a cucumber, tomato and feta salad with balsamic dressing. I also threw in a Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. If I don't eat that for dessert, I'll use it as my pre-workout fuel.”
— Rozalynn Frazier, Assistant Fitness Editor