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The Brown Bag Blogger and her favorite lunch pail

“She doesn’t look too good.”

I overheard an 11-year old say this to his buddy as I struggled to maintain control over a classroom full of junior high students.  But the kids were winning.

I was a 27-year old substitute teacher.  That morning, I had imbibed several cups of coffee along with a glazed doughnut on the way to class.  It was now ten a.m., my sugar high had faded, and I was falling into a deep chasm.  I was dizzy, weak, and my heartbeat was going a mile a minute.  OF COURSE I didn’t look good!  I felt like I was going to faint!

The following week, I met with my GP and admitted to him that I had developed a habit of having nothing but coffee and sugary foods for breakfast.  Didn’t eat too well at lunch, either.  The doctor shook his head.  “You’ve had a hypoglycemic reaction,” he said, referring to my classroom incident.  “You need to change your diet.”

I had to agree with him: Things needed to change. And because my food budget was a bit tight, brown-bagging was the answer. However, I quickly found that preparing my own meals was both challenging and time-consuming. Perhaps some of you are familiar with the following situations:

  • What if you spend long hours commuting back and forth to work? Add that to your regular work day, and there’s no time to prepare food.  Isn’t it easier to pick up something on the way to work?
  • There’s no microwave or stove at work. Cold sandwiches and chips every day get boring.  It’s easier to go out for fast food or run to the cafeteria.
  • There’s no refrigerator at work. How do you keep the food cold and not die of food poisoning?

Over the last thirty years, I’ve developed solutions to these and other brown-bagging problems and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.  It really is possible to prepare brown-bag lunches that are nutritious, delicious, and varied.  It just takes a little planning, and some knowledge about your local market.  We’ll cover all of that, and more, in this blog.  Also, get ready for some delicious, easy-to-assemble recipes.