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I need lunch ideas-Please help!

Because I am pregnant I am no longer able to eat lunch meat. I'm am not at home or in an office so I don't have ways to refrigerate food. Any good lunch ideas that are tasty and filling but don't need to be kept cold?
I pack fruits, veggies and granola bars but they only take me so far before I need a real meal!

Tue. Nov 7, 7:40pm

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You could use regular meat (not cold cuts) and just put an ice pack in your lunch bag. Benut butter and jelly is always a good option or you can make tasty portabella mushroom sandwiches. If you don’t mind eating cold food, you could make up dishes (anything really) and freeze it. Take it out of the freezer the night before, and by lunch time it should be thawed out. That way it doesn’t go bad.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 8:20 PM

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Great source of protein. Just cook up a pot of lentils early in the week and eat a cup of so for lunch each day. There is really no need to keep them refridgerated if you eat them around noon for lunch and keep them in a plastic container till then. I usually add sauteed onion, or a couple of tablespoons of salsa (yum!), which adds a lot of flavor w/out much cals. You could also add some cheddar for a little tasty fat.

Lentils are really easy to cook, just boil them in a pot of water for about 20 min or until they are soft when you bite them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 8:33 PM

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What is a "real" meal? I pack frozen edamame, which defrost themselves nicely by lunch time. But this sounds like too much of a "veggie" for you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 8:52 PM

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Do you have a way to heat food or boil water? You could make many kinds of soup if this is possible.

Your salad and fruit possibilities are unlimited.

You could eat your veggies on a wrap with hummus (hummus will be fine out of the fridge for a few hours).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 9:58 PM

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tortilla... a tbsp or 2 of peanut butter smeared on top... sprinkle a few generic grapenuts.... roll up and wrap... nummy, soft, and crunchy all at the same time.

drain diced tomatoes, add minced or dried onion, oregano (basically what is in your basic salsa), garlic- green pepper if you feel like chopping... some red kidney beans... corn... refrigerate... can be eaten cold, cool, lukewarm, best hot, can be nuked, put in or on a tortilla, with a little sprinkled cheddar, fold up and eat.... bring napkin...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 10:02 PM

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OP here

Great ideas! It's tough finding things that are "safe" to eat. I'm not sure how bacteria grows, which kinds are bad when your pregnant and what kinds of foods it grows on more. It's all very confusing. I take classes a few days a week and find that these are the days I eat the best by packing veggies and fruits but also the worst now because I come home and eat whatever I can get my hands on.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 10:23 PM

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My husband has the same situation - no way to refrigerate foods at the office (although he does have access to a microwave). At first I thought this wold make packing lunches impossible, but I've found that the options are practically limitless!

If you don't already have one, you definietly need an insulated lunch carrier and some ice packs. You can add ice packs and carry anything that needs to stay cold. I send leftovers from dinner the night before, along with fruits, veggies, cheeses, breads, yogurt, cereal and milk (in separate containers), etc.

On days when we don't have leftovers to send, I make sandwiches using the pre-cooked chicken strips - so much yummier than lunch meat! If you don't like all of the chemicals in the pre-cooked strips you could get a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store and slice the meat from that, or roast one or two yourself on the weekends. I like to do that and then I freeze the meat in little portions to defrost and use on sandwiches and in other recipes.

If you dont have access to a microwave, you could use a thermos to keep soups and chilis hot until lunch time.

I have the e-book "Freezer Lunches to Go" from, and it explains how to keep foods safely packed until lunchtime.

I found that it just took a little practice and experimentation to see what works (e.g., what size plastic containers fit well). Now I can pack his lunch in 5 minutes.

SInce you're pregnant, I'd definitely recommend also tossing a few non-perishable snacks in your bag, too, like granola bars, crackers, and nuts, so that you always have a snack handy and you don't go too long without eating.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 6:53 AM

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FYI, the link in the last post is to the 30daygourmet e-book "Freezer Lunches To Go".

Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 6:54 AM

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You can't eat lunch meat while pregnant because of the risk of contracting Listeria.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 8:11 AM

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hard boiled eggs!

mix your favorite legume w/ extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper for an impromptu bean salad

soy milk drink boxes

tuna and salmon pouches

kashi shredded wheat "autum harvest" dry

Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 9:58 AM

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