You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Healthy Living: Think brown-bagging’s a bore?
It was a tragic lesson in the risks of consuming a fast-food, sugary diet:
Dr. Mona Meighan’s normally punctual 26-year-old son, Luke, did not show up for work one morning in 2009. A concerned co-worker stopped by Luke’s apartment and found the young man dead in his bed. An autopsy determined he died from complications of undiagnosed diabetes.
“For seven years, through college and into his work life, Luke lived on pizza and fast foods, sodas, and sweet desserts,” said Meighan, an education consultant and author of What Are You Doing for Lunch?: A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch.
“Since we have no diabetes in our family, I can only believe Luke’s diet contributed to his death. Too often, young people aren’t aware of how food affects their health. As an educator, I thought the best way to remember Luke was to give people the tools to change their lunch habits. “By brown-bagging, you can avoid a lot of processed foods loaded with calories and carbohydrates. It’s healthier -- and less expensive!”
Meighan emphasizes she is not a chef -- not even a cook! All of her recipes are designed to be tasty, and quick and easy to prepare. A couple of her favorite examples:
Pesto and Tomato Sandwich: Add 3 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt to 4-6 tablespoons prepared pesto. Spread on four slices of whole-wheat bread. Add thinly sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. (Place in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, if desired.)
Hummus Salad Wrap: Spread 1⁄4 cup hummus over two whole-wheat or flour tortillas, and add 1 tomato, thinly sliced, 2 thin slices of Swiss cheese, and 2 lettuce leaves, cut up. Tightly roll the tortillas and spear with a toothpick.
If you’re new to brown-bagging, Meighan offers tips to help you get off to the right start.
•Determine your personal lunch style. Some people are willing to spend 15 or 20 minutes in the kitchen the night before or morning of the workday to prepare a familiar lunch. These are traditionalists. Others want to just grab a container of food -- perhaps something put together over the weekend, or last night’s leftovers -- and hit the road. Meighan calls this the grab-and-go style. Maybe you’re creative, a midday gourmet, a social networker (likes to coordinate a group lunch), or a mix of all of the above, depending on what the week looks like.
•Do you have what you need to pack your lunch? Do you need a cooler-style lunchbox? How about reusable containers for sandwiches and soups? (Going green is, of course, better for the planet, and it saves money on items like disposable baggies and plastic cutlery.)
•Determine your upcoming week’s recipes. First, decide how many days you want to pack lunch this week, and plan your menu. Take stock of the ingredients you already have, and make a list of those you need to purchase. (To save even more money, either repeat lunches or plan lunches with similar ingredients.)
•Invest time on the weekend preparing food, if necessary. If you plan to grab and go, put together the first couple days’ lunches. If you’re a midday gourmet, you might want to cook up some homemade chili ahead of time; the creative may want to whip together Grandma’s chicken salad.
•Enjoy -- and don’t overwhelm yourself! If you’re used to going out for lunch five days a week, start slowly. Try brown-bagging twice a week at first. You can make it more interesting by finding a buddy and taking turns preparing a lunch for two. If you eat at your desk, plan a rewarding way to spend your lunch hour, whether it’s running an errand or taking a walk in a park.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
(NOT May 30!) Let your imagination take shape June 30 (May 25, 2016)
Canine care helps heal community’s most vulnerable (May 25, 2016)
Divine healing training June 2-4 (May 25, 2016)
Future collectibles (May 25, 2016)
Getting past a stroke (May 25, 2016)
Musical Club tours Helmke home (May 25, 2016)
Ousley fund-raiser May 28 (May 25, 2016)
Picnic and memorial service (May 25, 2016)
Save the date for June 2 Opry Jam (May 25, 2016)
Small town, big hearts (May 25, 2016)
The stuff of which sausage is made (May 25, 2016)
Unwind, de-stress with coffee and crayons (May 25, 2016)
What you can do to prevent asthma (May 25, 2016)
Witness live wrestling at Retama Park (May 25, 2016)
Attend the 38th annual Bluebonnet Fest Parade May 21 (May 18, 2016)
Baptist church plans Men’s, Women’s Day (May 18, 2016)
Cocktail dress (May 18, 2016)
Desperate search for old photo reveals city’s lack of memorabilia (May 18, 2016)
Learn about gardening practices (May 18, 2016)
Play golf for Peanut Festival (May 18, 2016)
Setting forth in search of froth (May 18, 2016)
Sign up for Summer Reading! (May 18, 2016)
Sutherland Springs bank bandits sentenced (May 18, 2016)
Tickets on sale for June 21 Taste of Seguin (May 18, 2016)
Boldtville Church Yard Sale is May 14 (May 11, 2016)
Create interactive games, stories with Scratch (May 11, 2016)
Enter 2017 Fiesta Poster Contest (May 11, 2016)
Extraordinary minds teaching our kids (May 11, 2016)
Healing ADD without medication (May 11, 2016)
Luffa vase (May 11, 2016)
May means dancing in Geronimo (May 11, 2016)
Meet the Miss La Vernia contestants (May 11, 2016)
Resurrection UMC plans Fun Fest (May 11, 2016)
Spring comes to Blue Bonnet Club (May 11, 2016)
Swing dance in Seguin (May 11, 2016)
Tracking down a little history in Hobson (May 11, 2016)
Union Valley meeting set (May 11, 2016)
Basketball tournament May 14 (May 4, 2016)
Boy Scout celebration stirs up memories (May 4, 2016)
British Royals (May 4, 2016)
Celebrating decades of memories and music with the‘Texas Top Hands’ (May 4, 2016)
Create a yard with bird appeal (May 4, 2016)
Cruise into Floresville for Lions Car Show (May 4, 2016)
Find cheap books at Sidewalk Sale (May 4, 2016)
Hear six pianos in one room May 7 (May 4, 2016)
Hermann Sons Casino Night to benefit CASA (May 4, 2016)
Road Runners plan May group runs (May 4, 2016)
‘Battle for Texas’ now open in SA (May 4, 2016)
‘Lily pads’ for kids (May 4, 2016)