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byol (bring-your-own-lunch) 101

photo by Jonathan Borba 

Author: Simone Quenneville 

It’s starting to get to that time of day. Your stomach is rumbling, you're losing concentration, all you can think about now is lunch. What do you have planned? bare market blogger Simone Quenneville takes you through some of the pro's of bringing your own lunch. 

Do you struggle to find the time to prioritize a nutritious meal prep? A whopping 60% of people choose to buy lunch at a nearby sandwich or take out spot.

However, for those of you who do BYOL (bring-your-own-lunch), way to go! That’s one of the best food decisions you could have made. Let’s consider a few cons of the non-BYOL approach for a second:

for the planet: Take out containers, utensils and cups may not be recyclable and add to the growing single-use plastic waste issue.

for your wallet: The cost is way more than you need to be spending on a daily basis and two to three times the amount you would have spent if you brought your own.

for your body: Packing in the excess calories, fat, salt, sugar and other unknown ingredients is not doing your body a favour and can make you feel sluggish in the afternoon hours of the workday. Not to mention, you are giving your mental health a kind service in removing any added stresses associated with the bought-lunch experience.

how to get into the habit of byol

photo by Ella Olsson 

tip #1 plan ahead 

All it requires is a small commitment of time once a week to map out what you’d like to pack for lunch. Pick a day and stick with it! Bonus: you’ll only buy the groceries you need to make those lunches = less food wasted!

tip #2 love your leftovers 

Got a little carried away with the pasta you made last night? Pack it up for lunch the next day! I love to cook up extra grains the night before, cut up some veggies, toss it in a dressing and TADA a yummy salad for tomorrow’s lunch! My current favourite combination: quinoa + roasted broccoli and cauliflower + pesto. Delish!

tip #3 pack wisely

Go the extra mile for the planet and carry your lunch in a reusable bag that contains the lunch goodies in reusable zipper pouches, stainless steel containers, or beeswax food wrap. Mason jars go a long way for snacks, salads, dressings too! Make sure you have enough to get you through the week.

The earlier your start to BYOL, the more likely you’ll get into the habit and benefit in the long run. Ultimately, you’ll be spending less time on your lunch break standing in line waiting for food and instead out and about on a walk or socializing with coworkers – networking at its best!

The  hope is that some of these tips come in handy so that you can start looking forward to tomorrow’s homemade, healthy lunch.

You can read more about harvesting the full potential of your groceries with Simone’s article, Reducing Food Waste: Discovering the Potential of Your Groceries.

1 comment

  • I love this article. I make quinoa salads in mason jars. Its nicely layered so the greens stay crispy on top. I can make two or three jars at once and it takes less than 20mins. The trick is to have all your ingredients ready. A little bit of effort on a weekend goes a long way during the week


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