Packing Lunch To Go: A Few of My Favorite Things

Since fully committing to an anti-inflammatory way of eating two years ago, I pack my lunch to take to work almost every day.  As part of my goal of inflammation-free living, I like to pack my food in glass mason jars, which can go from refrigerator to microwave and are safer for reheating food in than plastic containers, which can leach phthalates and plasticizers into your food as they heat up.  These reusable, washable, plastic mason jar lids have been great, too. They don’t rust the way metal canning rings can when re-used, and they form a reliable, leak-proof seal.  I’ve found pint-sized mason jars to be a convenient way to pack everything from snacks to soups, to leftovers from last night’s dinner, to salad (I pack dressing in a separate 8-oz. jar).

Cooking up a batch of this soup on Sunday means a week's worth of ready-to-go lunches for work.

Cooking up a batch of soup on Sunday means a week’s worth of ready-to-go lunches for work.

For a long time, I used a simple, washable, canvas tote bag (free swag from a conference I had attended years ago) to carry my lunch. This was a decent option, but I grew to dislike the way the mason jars tipped over in the unstructured sack, bulging out and clanking against one another as I walked along.  Sometimes I would remember to pack a cloth napkin to minimize the clanking and rattling, but let’s just say I’m not at my best in the morning, so I needed a more foolproof solution.  Surely, I thought, someone on Etsy has already identified and solved this problem…

Mason jar tote from A Tiny Forest on Etsy.

Mason jar tote from A Tiny Forest on Etsy.

And someone had! A Tiny Forest offers pdf sewing patterns for mason jar-friendly lunch totes, or, if you’d rather buy something ready-made, a variety of  bags to accommodate a range of jar sizes.  I bought this cute lunch tote, which features two sewn-in cloth sleeves for pint-sized mason jars, and a cloth napkin made from the same fabric as the tote’s lining. There’s enough space to slip in flatware, extra snacks, and a water bottle (or my insulated coffee mug).  I’ve been using the lunch tote for about a month now, and it is just as functional as it is pretty.  By making it easier to bring my lunch to work every day, I also make it easier to stay on track with my healthful eating goals.

What do you do to make it easier for yourself to stay on track?




This entry was posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Entrees, Environmental Factors, Gluten-free, Product Reviews, Snacks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Packing Lunch To Go: A Few of My Favorite Things

  1. Beth says:

    I make these, bought the pattern online at Etsy but from Jars to Go. I’ve made several since then. From her original pattern I added pockets for silverware and my phone.

    I have those same lids, but I can’t say they are truly leak proof. My most loved bag is green with smoothie stains. But they leak a lot less with the Jars to Go bag since the internal sleeves keep the jars upright.

    • Yankeepants says:

      Lol, Beth, looks like the same shop, but perhaps via a name change? A Tiny Forest calls her totes “Jars to Go” in the description. Thanks for the warning about the lids — haven’t had a problem yet, but I’d also like to avoid any possibility. Adding extra pockets is a great idea!

  2. Kecia says:

    I love the Mason Jar idea, M!! We too make lots of food on the weekends so we have lots of food for leftovers that we take for lunch during the week. I may have to share the bag idea with my mother-in-law and see if she can’t concoct something for me…it can be truly awesome having a retired home ec teacher as a mother-in-law for fun/new projects and ideas…especially since I have zero sewing skills 😉

  3. Kim says:

    What a sweet post! How am I just now finding it? Thanks so much, and I’m delighted that you are enjoying your bag!

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