Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day. It’s in my top 5 for sure. Which is why this brown bag challenge might be, uh, challenging for me.
Here’s the thing: here at Rodale, the café is pretty amazing. The food is always fresh, usually local, and mostly organic. I’m totally spoiled. Here’s a screen shot of today’s menu.
So why would I want to pack my lunch every day for a month? Two reasons come to mind:
• It’s an exercise in self-discipline and self-sacrifice. I will become a better person by packing my lunch.
• I will save money. The café isn’t SUPER expensive, but it adds up. Plus, if swipe my employee card, the money comes right out of my paycheck, so I hardly ever pay in cash. It’s easy to forget that this food is costing me money.
I admit, though, that I loathe the idea of having to prepare a meal in the morning before work. I did this every day for years when I worked in the electrical and solar trades. In my early morning pre-coffee fog, I would throw together the saddest little lunches you’ve ever seen. And then these lunches would sit in my truck all morning until it was time to eat and they would be wholly unfulfilling. So when I got to Rodale, the café was an oasis of goodness.
This morning, however, something wonderful happened: My wife offered to make my lunch. Now, you have to understand that she doesn’t just make a sandwich—she builds a sandwich. She takes such care with each ingredient. Her every action is deliberate. The result is an amazing testament to good food made with real love.
So my first day of the challenge, I will have the pleasure of eating a chicken salad sandwich (local, organic, free range chicken of course), with onion, tomato, and parsley from our garden (picked this morning), on multigrain grain bread. Plus, a handful of organic grapes, a box of raisins, and a piece of leftover blueberry cake that my wife made for my daughter’s third birthday 2 days ago.
I’m probably more excited about lunch today than I’ve been in a long time. So thanks to the Good Eats people at the Food Network for challenging me in such a way, and thanks to my wife for making this incredible meal.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some eating to do.
(wondering now if the other challenge should be to not eat lunch in my office.)
We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.