View Full Version : How can I pack a 16 hour workday's worth of RAW into a little lunchbox?
08-31-2006, 06:35 PM
I am very new to Raw Foods...I actually left Atkins Diet for Raw. I'm committed to staying there, but I've run into issues;
1- My Fiance' is currently working 10-16 hour days, hours away from home, and usually away from any kind of store where he would be able to buy something Raw and Organic. I've met a wall in trying to think of things to make/dehydrate that will pack well into a lunchbox and keep him from starving out there (as he puts it). I'm not so worried about him starving, but would love to give him some variety. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue, and anyone with suggestions is more than welcome to chime in! :D
2- Money has become a serious issue converting to Raw... would love to own the 3hp blender and the dehydrators, the right juicer, etc...but i don't have it!! to keep us raw, we spend more than double what we did in groceries (mostly because of the elevated costs of Organics vs. Yucky stuff). HONESTLY! I have forgone paying some of the bills just to make sure we stayed as raw as possible.
3- A moment of praise however!! My man, i was sure would be the hardest to convince. We both grew up meat and potatoes people, Taco Hell was one of our favorite stops (it has all the fresh produce in the burrito RIGHT??....NOT!) After just listening to all the information I've gleaned from countless books now it seems, and watching a few videos on how meat affects our body, he was ok when I destroyed the kitchen and gave away all the meat(freezer was full), diary, cheese (about 5 pounds), and about 7 dozen eggs. IN FACT, left over from my atkins diet was an unopened bag of pork rinds. I asked him to take them to work and give them to someone to get them gone (we were also raised to never waste food!)... he exclaimed "I don't hate anyone that much!"
SO, enough said, my man is convinced, I'm more than convinced, being the one doing all the research and reading, WE just need to make it work.
Thank you for any suggestions in advance!
08-31-2006, 06:45 PM
Howdy and welcome. I work long days too! I usually pack about 3 or 4 bananas, a couple plums or peaches. A tupeware container of melon. One of the following: hummus, green sunny patte, or a avocado. And either lettuce, celery, or cucumbers to go with one of those. I like flax seed crackers (if you have a dehydrator). Never leave home without raisens. Also making like a trail mix with raisens, nuts, and seeds. A smoothie or juice in a canister.
08-31-2006, 06:52 PM
I'm sorry, I should have clarrified further. He's a Wildland firefighter, he's been taking fruit, but it doesn't travel in the fire engine well bouncing on logging roads etc. For example, the plum he took one morning he had to throw away by noon because of the extreme turbulence in the truck where he food has to travel. sitting on a gel ice pack for padding apparently didn't help it.
08-31-2006, 06:57 PM
Could you package his fruit in hard plastic containers?
08-31-2006, 07:17 PM
I wouldn't try packing a plum or a peach or anything else that is delicate for a trip like that. Harder foods would work better. Like carrots and apples. Yes, the apple might get bruised but it would still be edible. I would concentrate mainly on stuff like nuts, seeds and dried fruits because they are hardy and don't require being kept cold. Of course he would need to take plenty of liquids to drink. Perhaps he could take two bags. One with an ice pack in it with fresh stuff that he would eat first. Then later he could have the dried stuff. You could get an insulated container to put cut up fruit or veggies in it. I got some for my daughte that come with little sporks in the lid.
Corn salad would work well for this. I don't have an actual recipe. When I make it I just toss in whatever I have like corn cut from the cob, celery, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc. I squeeze some lime juice over it for flavor but you could also add olive oil.
Have you tried the onion bread? That and some nut cheese makes a yummy sandwich. I wouldn't try putting lettuce or tomato on it for travel like that though. Fruit leather type things are another option. I made some using apples and berries and added some walnuts and coconut to the mix. Instead of making it into large sheets like fruit leather, I made little rounds like cookies. They're not my favorite thing but my husband likes them.
08-31-2006, 07:29 PM
My husband is an electrician. He works VERY hard and long hours as well.
He takes along several containers of liquids: 1. a green smoothie (Like Dr. Ann Wigmore's Energy Soup), 2. a thermos of juice, 3. a thermos of water, 4. a thermos with his favourite licorice tea bag in cold water. Very refreshing.
He also has in the van a large plastic container of cashews and dried fruits that he keeps filled to snack on.
Into a small picnic cooler (like those ones that hold a 6-pack of something) I will put 2 or 3 bananas, grapes, and a lot of crackers (he LOVES the onion bread ones, finds them very satisfying and filling) along with a container of pâté or some kind of "cheesy" spread or dip, usually some sliced tomatoes and avocados and sometimes olives too in a plastic sectioned container with a tight lid. Also some of RP's brownies or some of that chocolate pie since he is a chocolate fiend.
I provide a few napkins, a setting of (plastic?) cutlery and paring knife that he can keep especially for lunch, a nice spicy sea salt that he likes on the tomatoes and avocados, and some pepper. He also likes to have a couple extra tea bags along in a plastic ziploc. He doesn't take sweetener with his tea but you can figure something out for that. Stevia travels well.
That's a lot of food and generally holds him, sometimes up to 18 hours or more, but he does come home pretty hungry most nights. Other times he might even bring some things back uneaten. That mostly depends on how much time he allows himself to eat. He has a really high metabolism and doesn't pack any extra weight so he doesn't have any fat storage to draw from. So when he's empty, he's empty! He's not 100% perfect though - he has some caps on his teeth that give him trouble if he tries to eat things that are too hard, so he doesn't go much for apples or the harder nuts as they make his mouth sore.
With the picnic container packed full, the food rarely gets beat up, even when thrown into the back of his van and rolled around a bit.
Good luck to you. There are a lot of great options. Get one of those little coolers and a couple of good insulated themos mugs or so and he'll do well. You can slip in a frozen gel pack to keep things fresh when the weather is hot as they have a sort of domed lid.
08-31-2006, 08:22 PM
thank you for your great and thorough response!! That little lunchbox he's got is just that...it will hold about a 6 pack of soda (or beer as he used to do).
08-31-2006, 08:48 PM
I just wanted to show you exactly the kind of cooler I meant. My husband uses one like this.
I read over your posting again and had to chuckle over the comment about not hating anyone enough to give them the things you were discarding. Way to go! I'm so glad you have gotten rid of all those animal products! Think of all the cholesterol he is not going to have building up in his arteries now! Good girl! No building up a heart attack for the poor guy!
I guess that some of the things I mentioned do require a machine of some sort. The spreads and the brownies and pie do need a food processor. I hope you have at least a basic one. It will work until you can get something more powerful. Even the smoothie can be made in a regular cheaper blender as a lot of people on this list have said. You just have to be careful in order not to over-strain it. But if you absolutely don't have any machinery, you can still do most of this. You can shred things for spreads and mix it into tahini or almond butter if you like them. When I was on holiday last month I took along a little Magic Bullet-type blender and did a modified smoothie. They will grind nuts and seeds pretty well too. I do all my flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds for the onion bread with it. I made an awesome Sunflower Seed Pâté in that little machine. It took 1/2 c. sunflower seeds (grind well first), then add the juice of a lemon, some nama shoyu, some nutritional yeast and a little water. This was really great on the onion bread. Speaking of onion bread, do a search here and find how some people are using their ovens on the lowest setting to dehydrate if they don't have a dehydrator. I have a counter top oven that has a convection and dehydrating setting so that is a great supplement. I don't have a really great dehydrator yet but even one of those little round ones will do until a person can afford to get a fancy one. There are ways and means.
One thing about organic: You can go online and find lists of foods that are the most important to get organic, and the other ones that don't matter quite as much, since some are not attacked by so many pests and therefore don't have pesticides poured on them. While you are trying to set yourself up in this, take it a bit slowly, only spending on organics where it is really most important. If you try to go at this too hard at first, it will break you financially and get way too frustrating, trying to do it all with no equipment.
If you spend a little less on the organics, you could perhaps get a couple of pieces of essential equipment. I think that most people here will agree that a blender and a food processor are probably the most important. Some people use one more than the other. It depends on the food patterns you set up for yourself. If you want to do a lot of smoothies, then a blender is pretty important. If you want to do a lot of pâtés, then a food processor is what you need. You will of course want all of them eventually, but you might choose which ones to "make do" with in the cheaper models first and which ones you will want to save for and make a significant financial outlay. If you think you would like to try dehydrating some things, especially as you get used to eating raw and are in transition, then try to get a small one at first like I said. If you aren't into that, you can find advice from a lot of people who think they aren't necessary at all. I like it, but I can live without it.
Again, all the best. Keep us posted.
09-01-2006, 07:59 PM
A lot of stuff you read makes you think that you need to spend 1000 on equipment, but it isn't true, especially not at first.
Do you have a craig's list in your area? I always see a bunch of stuff on there, like Ronco Food Dehydrators for 10 bucks. Consumer reports and Cooks magazine both rated the Braun Powermax 2500 blender above the vitamix and other expensive ones and it is only 50 bucks. Food processors can be found cheap to. Garage sales and estate sales have a lot of this stuff, people buy them and never use them once. I try not to buy anything new because it contributes to the waste of our planet and we all have so much STUFF that if you look through someone elses you can find it. The only thing I have bought is a mandoline!
As far as lunches go it is hard to keep enough stuff for a 16 hour day. Even before I went raw when I did that I would have a shopping bag full of stuff. I use those pasta sause jars to keep things that I don't want crushed. I make fruit salad, bring bananas, avocados, and dehydrated "granola" every day. If he can plug into a ciggarette lighter in the truck they have mini plug in refridgerators for truckers now. They are tiny and would work perfect because they are hard, the size of a lunch box, and they keep things cold.
I have read that some fruits like berries, kiwi, and grapes are better to get organic but for thicker skinned items, coconuts, bananas, avocados it doesn't matter as much so pick and choose your veggies. I have also found CSA to be a cheaper option along with the farmer's market.
09-01-2006, 11:05 PM
Now if you want to keep it Simple and have a FULL Belly and he doesn't get tired of the same thing.......Try a bag of Sunflower seeds and Raisins. He can add Water to it and it can save your life, it has mine. I never leave home without Sunflower seeds in my Car.
And for the Cherrie on top of the cake, you can have a lovely Dinner waiting for him when he returns home..................
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