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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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to add to the last poster. bags of ready to eat salad with tuna or salmon pouches..great salad

Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 10:54 AM

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I have been eating larger lunches with less fat and more protien and veggies. Fills me up, gives me more energy and I seem to be eating less at night.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 12:56 PM

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Get a thermos. When I was in gradeschool my mom would pack left over soups in a thermos. It was still warm by lunch time. Also, as someone else suggested, an insulated lunchbox stuffed with cold packs is good. That's how I packed food as a child. I never got sick.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 12:09 AM

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Insulated lunch box is definitely helpful.

I agree-- hard boiled eggs are a good quick source of protein and help to keep your tummy "full"...

Are you allowed to eat yogurt? Traditionally, yogurt is made using live cultures and is actually "cooked" at room temperature or just a little warmer--so it won't "go bad" if it's left out for 1/2 a day.

Definitely, use an isulated lunch bag...or a thermos (which can keep things hot or cold) If you get some fruit juice boxes (or bottled water) and freeze them, they can do double duty-- they will keep your food cold AND give you something to drink at lunch time and won't take up extra room in your lunch bag/box.

If you have time at home, how about baking some chicken or grilliing, taking the meat and shredding or dicing it, (usually, I use tuna, but I understand that it's not good for pregnant women.) and making a healthy chicken salad? It will add a bit of protein into your diet so that you aren't as hungry when you go to eat it.

Here's a few combos:

Pre-mix the chicken and yogurt together and freeze it.

Freeze together
Shredded or diced chicken
mix it with a little yogurt (instead of mayo)

Add when eating:
sliced grapes
canned (liquid drained) mandarin oranges


Another chicken salad option (you could probably freeze all of this together except the celery)

Freeze together:
Shredded (or diced) chicken
plain yogurt
your favorite spices (maybe a little fresh or dried dill and a dash of garlic or onion powder)
frozen peas & carrots (don't cook them, just add them in the frozen state)

Add when eating
diced celery
a little salt and pepper to taste'

How about a spicier version?

Shredded or diced chicken
Plain yogurt (This tempers the heat of the curry powder)
yellow Indian curry powder to taste
(freeze the above)

Add when eating:
celery diced
golden raisins
apples diced (use gala apples, jonagold or honey crisp for best sweetness and crispy texture)
Salt & pepper to taste

You could eat either of these chicken salads by themselves, on top of some lettuce, wrapped up in a tortilla or between some slices of wheat bread. :-) Yummy and not terribly difficult to prepare.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 11:34 AM

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