"How I Make My Lunch Every Day Without Losing My Sanity"

You suspect your delivered-to-you sub sandwich isn’t all that healthy, and you’re kind of bored with it anyway. What will it take to try—or get back into—cooking lunch for yourself?

In Bon Appetit, Christina Chaey explains what makes her homemade lunch routine both doable and enjoyable. Of her super-helpful (and funny) tips, I think this one is my favorite:


If I’m not deeply excited about what I’ve packed for lunch, I will actively look for any excuse not to eat it (and buy something else instead). No matter how noble my broccoli-and-lentil-filled intentions, I’ve learned that I need to include a “treat” in the mix to psych myself up for lunch as a whole. For me, this treat usually falls under my all-time favorite food group: simple ass carbs. Tucking some roasted potatoes, a couple of fritters, or some noodles into my lunch is usually sufficient to quell my starchy desires, which means I will happily eat piles of vegetables/whole grains/seeds/good stuff alongside. Again, it’s all about the mental trickery.

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CC’s kind of mental trickery syncs up nicely with our Box Lunch Lifestyle intentions. The more we can make each day about moving towards the things we like—food- and time-wise—and stop punishing ourselves with “no,” the more satisfied with life we’re likely to feel. Being a person who seeks out what you enjoy on a typical day can be a nice new identity to try on.

If the idea of any kind of cooking makes you sigh, try thinking about it as a pursuit of what you really want rather than a chore. Do you really want another dry sub sandwich? Or whatever’s on the cafeteria menu? Once you get going, I think you’ll start to crave your easy homemade favorites and wonder why it took so long to wrangle the food part of your better lunch.

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