Even though I'm no longer a student, my morning routine is still much the same (although it takes place several hours, okay many hours, earlier). I slap the snooze button a few times, complain and whine to no one in particular (cats, husband, whoever has ears is subject to my morning grumpiness) about being up too early as I shuffle to the shower, spend far too long examining my closet and then have to rush to gather my things and get out of the house by 7 a.m.
I'm not saying I'm proud of this routine. Just that it hasn't changed much in the last few years. Or decades. Sorry, Mom!
Because I'm always running late, which here means getting stuck in that particular brand of Virginia torture known as the morning rush hour, I rarely pack a lunch. There is a deli in the building I work in and I will either grab a sandwich there or head out to a restaurant with my fabulous work colleagues who enjoy food as much as I do.
In the past month, I've noticed the scale creep up while my bank account dwindles. So this weekend I finally decided to do something about the situation. The answer to my problem (besides getting up earlier, which let's face it, is about as likely as me tap dancing on my desk at work tomorrow) is clear:
I need to pack my lunch the night before.
Talk about feeling like a student again. I remember my little blue lunch box and the ice pack I always forgot (sensing a theme here? I know, I'm surprised I function as an adult, too). Today I prepared three different meals that should work for dinners and lunches throughout the week. They're all individually packaged and ready for my new Target lunch bag (it's pink on the inside).
This got me thinking about how our lovely school system deals with providing healthy food options while not breaking the bank. Sure, packing works for me, but I'm childless and my husband can fend for himself. I can't imagine not only preparing my meals, but having to plan well-rounded meals three times a day for kids who might just trade it away at school.
FCPS seems to have a pretty great program. They offer free or low-priced meals for those whose income and/or household size demands it. Last October, they had a special promotion to identify the importance of eating a good breakfast (which they offer). The meals are planned by dieticians and emphasize balanced diets.
Now if only I could get my office to implement something similar...