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Prepping for the Work Week

What do you like to pack for lunch?


For the majority of my life I’ve hated lunch. In elementary school, my mother lovingly packed sandwiches, but I always preferred picking out the meat and cheese and eating my friend’s cookies. In high school, our cafeteria served watery pasta and I often found myself digging into my second chocolate chip muffin of the day or trying to leave early so that I could make a proper lunch at home.

After high school I experienced the rushed lunches while working retail, sneaking food into university classes, and shovelling whatever I could into my mouth while waiting tables.

These days my job allows time for a proper lunch – even though it’s often eaten while fielding emails at my desk.  But I am still always looking for ways to make the experience more pleasurable.  So I plan to succeed.

This Sunday I’m especially organized.  I’ve slow cooked and shredded chicken, washed fresh berries, prepared salads, cut up vegetables, sliced avocados, bagged almonds and cashews, and organized my fridge lovingly.


This way when I wake at 5 a.m. and get ready to run out the door, I save myself a headache. And give myself more time to brew a strong cup of tea or coffee.


And it means that with the right ingredients on hand, I can make myself love filled salads at work like the one I enjoyed for dinner tonight.


Ideas I’m loving:

 How do you prepare for the work week?  What’s your go-to lunch?

{ 25 comments… add one }

  • pure2rawtwins March 25, 2012, 9:04 pm

    I used to hate lunch too. well kind of still do, I do not really have a lunch. I eat a lot throughout the day. I try to have one day to prep my food, but does not always work out. A goal of mine is to prep some of my meals the night before.

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 7:45 am

      Your meals always look amazing! And I could eat Twin Cakes Bakery snacks all day long!!

  • Marie-Sophie March 26, 2012, 1:40 am

    I actually eat out a lot with colleagues for lunch during the week …. but I always try to organize some good snacks! Hard-boiled eggs (forgot to make them this week), nuts and roasted soy nuts, protein muffins, baby tomatoes for some veg ..
    Since I just started a new job, lunch tends to be wherever my new colleagues take me and I do not feel like eating a big good dinner … so making sure to have a good breakfast and some healthy snacks do make things easier!

    Gillian, do you have an idea how to prepare shredded cooked chicken without a crock pot? (I don’t have one and since my kitchen is tiny right now I also won’t be buying one any time soon :-( )

    Have a great week!

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 7:44 am

      Hi Marie-Sophie! I love hard boiled eggs as snacks too! What protein muffin recipe do you use? Sounds great!

      Here is a non-slow cooker shredded chicken recipe! It looks great!


      • Marie-Sophie March 26, 2012, 11:32 am

        I use Deb’s microwave protein muffin recipe with coconut flour and banana instead of pumpkin! I add almond butter on top if I need something really filling! (nut butter jars in my workdesk, here we come :-)) I usually make two muffins in advance, halve them, pack them in foil and grab some in the morning to take with me. They keep really well, too!

        Meal prepping really helps me, especially for quick dinners. When I come home at 8 or 9pm, I am usually starving or already past my hunger point, so having some rice/sweet potato, veg and protein ready ensures I get a decent dinner.

        Yay, a crockpot-less shredded chicken recipe, thanks Gillian! That’s going to be part of my next Sunday routine :-)

        • Gillian March 26, 2012, 6:12 pm

          Genius – must try this recipe of Deb’s to the to work too! I keep a snack drawer handy at work with nut butters too (and soup, tuna, snacks ect.)!

  • lynn @ the actor's diet March 26, 2012, 2:25 am

    i love freezer burritos! i need to make another batch…

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 7:45 am

      I have yet to make freezer burritos, but I need to!! I’m always dissapointed in store bought ones!

  • Michelle March 26, 2012, 9:04 am

    I feel so much more relaxed with some preparation for the week… planning my outfits, my meals, etc. I have an erratic schedule so sometimes I use my mornings off to make lunches for the next few days, or if I’m really good, I’ll do some work on Sunday for them. I’m loving brown rice bowls and quinoa bowls right now… They take some prep work but they are so good and a great alternative for salads for me.

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 9:26 am

      I love doing a big batch of quinoa and throwing it into meals for the week! So good! I have never planned my outfits but that’s a great idea too!

      • Michelle March 26, 2012, 9:54 am

        Ooh try it. The weeks I do it, it changes my whole mood each morning!

  • the delicate place March 26, 2012, 9:54 am

    well usually i’m pretty good about sunday prep for workweek lunches. let’s just say me & the malbec had some fun instead last night and i was totally scrambling this morning throwing things together haha.

    my go to lunch today is juice pulp (leftover from the green juice i glugged to ease my lil hangover) + poached salmon with a hefty spoon of dijon, raw walnuts & almonds, an orange. breakfast was on the go hemp-protein with almond milk, cinnamon and cocoa in almond milk.

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 10:02 am

      Ah yes, Malbec does make a great date for Sunday night! I’m so intrigued by your juice pulp salads – please take a photo for me! And how do you poach syour almon? Something I’ve never done!

  • Lisa March 26, 2012, 11:47 am

    When I was younger I used to never eat lunch, my parents would pack one and I just wouldn’t eat it. And I also hated pizza and mcdonalds and all the other stuff. I only ate white bread with butter, I was odd. Now I always prepare my lunches or dinner the nights before, it makes thuigs much easier, and I can’t imagine having to buy lunch everyday, my wallet would hate me! For now my go to lunch is a big salad, with baked chicken/tempeh or beans and some kind of dressing.

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 6:11 pm

      Yes, making lunch saves so much! I need to buy more tempeh, I love it in salads too!!

  • Lara March 26, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Gillian! I don’t think I’ve visited this new site yet! Is CYW totally gone now?

    Your healthy lunch ideas have inspired me. I’m lucky that I’m not in an office all day anymore, so I really should be doing better than a PBJ sandwich and leftovers from the night before. I love the idea of a make-ahead burrito! Maybe I can get the husband eating better, too!

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 6:11 pm

      Yes, CYW is all gone! You can still go to http://www.gillianyoung.com but it’s now more of a portfolio! And aint nothin wrong with a good PBJ or leftovers!!

  • Annelies March 26, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Do you always have to wake up at 5? That sounds horrible :).

    • Gillian March 26, 2012, 6:09 pm

      Haha yes, it’s not that bad when I get to bed early enough!

  • Kilee March 26, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Look at how organized and healthy you are girl! I prefer dinner to lunch any day. I’m always trying to be careful not to eat something that will upset my workout or make me feel too tired for my afternoon workout. With dinner, I really don’t care!

    Have a great week!

    • Gillian March 27, 2012, 7:23 am

      Thanks Kilee! I agree, dinner is far more pleasurable!!

  • Katy March 28, 2012, 11:43 am

    I pack all my lunches in the beginning of the week too. I bought those snap lif containers so they keep everything fresh for much longer. Yours look delicious though. Do you squeeze avocade on your lemons to make them last longer?

    • Gillian March 28, 2012, 11:47 am

      Thanks Katy! I usually bring half an avocado with the pit in to keep it fresh – and eat up the other half with my dinner :)

  • Jenny April 1, 2012, 2:07 am

    Now I need a crockpot That slow-cooked chicken is such a good idea.

    Love your writing, as usual.

    • Gillian April 2, 2012, 7:59 am

      Thanks Jenny! I LOVE my crockpot – makes my life way easier and I love me some slow cooked meat!

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