Emma over at Modern Girls Kitchen is doing a brown bag round-up this week. I make my own lunch every day, even though we have a cafeteria at work. It not only saves money, but also lets me control exactly what I'm eating. (No wondering exactly how many tablespoons of oil something was cooked in or whether they used canned or fresh vegetables.)
I have to admit that for about 2 years, I ate a frozen meal every week day for lunch. It helped me lose 70 pounds - but it really got old! Now that I've lost the weight, I also find my eating habits have changed. A lot of times I nibble throughout the day rather than sitting down to eat one larger meal. So for example, my lunch bag today contains a piece of fruit, a cup of Greek yogurt, a baked potato, a couple of tablespoons of low-fat cottage cheese and some leftover broccoli and carrots from last night. The fruit and yogurt get eaten at some random time during the day (whenever I'm hungry), and the potato, cottage cheese and leftover veggies make up my lunch.
What I do is cook the potato for 5 minutes on high in the microwave the night before. Then at lunch time, I cut the potato in half, heat it up for 1 minute, add the veggies and heat another 1-2 minutes, then finish it off with the cottage cheese. It's yummy, filling, low in fat in calories - and you get 2-3 servings of vegetables in one go.
Sometimes I also sub-out the regular potato and cottage cheese for a baked sweet potato. They are so moist and sweet, you really don't need butter or margarine, IMO. Other days I'll make a little extra dinner and portion off a bit of it for my lunch before serving dinner to myself and Mr. ValleyWriter. My theory is that if it fits in your work bag and can be eaten as-is or microwaved, it's fair-game for lunch. So go forth and brown-bag it, girls! (Just don't use a brown bag. Get a reusable lunch bag instead - better for the environment and all that...)