Thursday, October 4, 2012

Prada Doesn’t Like Quinoa (Black and Blum Giveaway)

Sometimes nutrition information can seem like the airline’s “in the event that you crash” spiel. We’ve all heard it so many times it’s hard not to tune out. A study came out over the summer that seemed to be another yawn. They reported you’ll loose more weight if you food journal and if you don’t skip meals, yeah, yeah. And then there was a third conclusion. Those who ate out more frequently lost less weight and the strongest association was observed with lunch. “Women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost on average 5 fewer pounds.”

They had me at 5 pounds but if you need further convincing (some of you are tough), I’ll appeal to your inner cheapskate. While I have all sorts of ways to justify money spent on good food. I have trouble with this:

In case you can't make it out I had kale salad and coffee. Organic salad and organic coffee but still, $20.03? 

If you're with me on this lunch thing, the question now is what to bring. Vanessa Peronne, a Canadian RD has a feature on her blog (which is great and I’m very picky) called What’s in Your Lunch Bag. She sent me a series of questions to answer. And since I spilled my beans, I asked her a few questions in return.

Vanessa: Can you describe the Foodtrainers lunch-packing philosophy? How do you keep yourself and clients motivated about packing nourishing lunches?

Me: I feel that skinny starts Sunday. It’s hard to decide the morning of that you’re going to make lunch. I advise clients to make, a grain, a green and a protein for the week. You can go a long way with those three. It’s also key to double recipes. We always make extra chili, steamed or roasted veggies and I make lunch containers as I plate our dinners so no family members infringe on my lunch for the next day.

Me: I think there’s a strategy in packing lunch; many people sell themselves short with skimpy portions. What do you see as the biggest lunch-packing mistake?

Vanessa: The most common mistake I see with clients involves salad-building. The lettuce-tomato-cucumber mix lacks sustenance and will leave you cranky within the hour. I recommend these key salad-building steps 5-steps:
1) A leafy green base (spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, escarole)
2) At least 2 other vegetables  
3) A source of protein (hemp seeds, hard cooked eggs, chickpeas, tuna) 
4) One extra (avocado, nuts, fruit, dried fruit or cheese)
5) Homemade dressing made with a good, cold-pressed oil

Me: Oh my goodness, we have very similar construction methods. I call extras “salad accessories”. I also love walnut oil and sunflower oil.

Vanessa:  About the Hardware: What lunch bag or box are you using right now?

Me: This is crucial information for newbie lunch packers. A while ago, I posted about quinoa. One of my readers whipped up the quinoa salad (may have been breakfast quinoa but anyway). That day I received an email with a photo attached with the subject line “Prada doesn’t like quinoa”.  So one issue is spillage and that’s sad for a number of reasons but other issue is a matter of pride. No self-respecting adult should carry something that looks like this
The only “hardware” as you say that gets the Foodtrainers’ vote is Black and Blum.
I use both the Bento Box and Box Appetit.

Me: Other than salads, what are your lunch greatest hits?
Vanessa: Tis soupy season. This recipe for Pasta e Fagioli (bean soup) is a classic and family favourite. It's simple, inexpensive and filling to the max. For any G-free readers (or you Lauren), you can swap for gluten-free pasta or remove it altogether.

Me: Funny that you brought up soup (unprompted) because broth-based soups are an appetite suppressant, always a strategic lunch choice. And Black and Blum is just introduced this spectacular thermo pot which keeps food hot for 5 hours.


If losing five pounds doesn’t excite you this thermo pot (with magnetic spoon) certainly should.
Black and Blum is giving one lucky and stylish reader this thermo pot.
To be eligible, there are 3 things to do, yes 3:
  1. Comment and tell us your favorite lunch box/bag, spillage stories, fave lunches to pack and anything else lunchy.
  2. Like Black and Blum on Facebook
  3. Tweet Lose 5 Pounds without carrying an ugly lunchbag @Foodtrainers BlackANDBlum #giveaway
You have until Monday to enter.


48 comments:

  1. I pack mine and Nick's lunch every single day. It's easy, as long as I have all the components ready to just throw into the bag.
    I love soup and would love one of these travel cups! I used to have a thermos and a mickey and mini mouse lunchbox when I was young, which I often used for vegetable soup. My funny (and sad) story takes place about 20 years ago when I was riding my bike to school in the rain. I had my lunchbox in the right hand on the bike handle bars and it slipped out of my hands and went down the SEWER!!! I cried. It was so sad, and I haven't had a soup thermos since :(

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  2. Oh my goodness I could cry for that lunchbox story. you lost the box and the lunch. wow.

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  3. It was my first day, first class at University. I was nervous enough and hadn't thought the whole lunch-box thing through. Right before class, I noticed a spillage incident, all over the only notepad I had. I tried scribbling notes from the Anatomy and Physiology class at lightening speed, on moist paper. Let me tell you, it was a rough first day. On the flip side, I recopied everything as soon as I got home, which helped to remember the material, ha.

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  4. I always pack leftovers for lunch. Easiest and most delicious lunch ever.

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  5. I am with you sista but some people hate leftovers (not sure if they like the food to begin with or not)

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  6. see, the spillage worked for you! Some people though, once burned by a salad dressing leak or avocado in their laptop abandon lunch-packing forever.

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  7. when I pack my own lunch, I normally just store my lunch in a big plastic container & everything sort of mixes together in a not-so-appealing way...i'd always be nervous about whether or not my homemade dressing will leak out and make it's way into whatever purse/tote that i was carrying (because it only seems to leak out once I decide to use my nice, new bags), so i'm loving the bento box idea with it's own salad dressing compartment!

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  8. I hear you, dressing compartment is genius as are utensils B &B includes. It's not about wanting to pack lunch but the right tools too. We need to be able to have nice, new bags and healthy homemade lunches too. We can have it all.

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  9. I eat leftovers or whatever comes my way (yesterday was an unexpected hot ham & cheese from a local top-notch deli!). But I keep oatmeal, soup and tuna at the office, so I'm usually pretty ok with popping open a packet of tuna and eating it right out of the foil package. I'm pretty boring about it, but it makes me happy.

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  10. I use a bag my mum sewed for me years ago and have yet to spill. That's probably because I tend to only pack fairly dry foods (sandwiches, wraps, etc.)

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  11. I would guess just the act of bringing it for yourself feels good. I see food, when at office, as fuel so boring works for me too. 8/23...that's downright weird.

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  12. she sewed you a lunch bag? love that.

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  13. Love this topic! I get into lunch "kicks" - over the summer I consistently made myself and hubby 3-4 times a week a salad just like you described above (kale/cherry tomatoes/cukes/bell peppers/shrooms/avocado/sliced almonds and would include some protein). Right now I am in a funk and need to just whip up a big batch of red lentil soup or something equally comforting.

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  14. These are great tips. As an RD that sees lots of kids, I encourage parents not only to pack lunch for themselves but to take the time to pack a healthy/delicious lunch for their kids to bring to school. It saves money and it makes nutritional sense. As much as schools are trying to improve the quality of lunch offerings, the portions have diminished along with the taste. Kids tell me that they are often supplementing with chips and cookies. This also impacts their performance on the fields after school. Love the Bento Box.

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  15. no offense to salad but it's red lentil time, I think you need a thermo pot too.

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  16. Hi Elyssa! Where do you practice? I see so many adults who pack for their kids and no themselves. Either way it should be a family affair. And I 100% agree with food and performance for kids.

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  17. I always pack a lunch for an airplane ride because (1) they don't give you food anymore and (2) even when they do give you something, it's nothing good (and definitely not satisfying). My fave lunch to pack is my favorite sandwich: sliced hard-boiled egg, a bit of cream cheese, salt and pepper, lettuce and sliced red onions on toast. It is so delicious and satisfying that I don't even care if my airplane neighbors hate me for the smell :-)

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  18. I practice in Lower Westchester. Thanks for your great blog posts. Often I think that you have read my mind. Would love to chat with you personally some time.

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  19. I almost always pack a lunch. We have a weekly salad night for dinner (sounds a lot like the salad you've described here), and I simply make one or two extras and put them in the fridge for lunch. My biggest problem is the dressing. I always make my own but I have a problem with spillage. I have not been able to find a small container that won't leak dressing!

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  20. I love my blue builtNY lunch tote - it's made of neoprene, so is easy to wash and keeps spills in so they don't ruin my backpack!

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  21. Since I'm not a souper, I'm not interested in the giveaway ha but I ALWAYS pack lunch when I go work UNLESS it's some special occassion! After having one too many glass containers I invested in a fairly large lunch bag. People might complain I take up too much frdge space...IF They packed lunch themselves but they don't OR They pack a Lean Cuisine or some other frozen meal so they only need the freezer. I agree with your salad essentials! I wish walnut oil wasn't so expensive..it'd be more of a staple!

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  22. I love Le Pain but I do not love their prices. And my husband always complains he's still hungry when we leave. I guess he's just accustomed to the Cheesecake Factory portions?


    I love that bento box...I'm going to order myself one.

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  23. PS...love the title of this post. Too funny.

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  24. swear it was a direct quote, I cannot take credit

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  25. Love Le Pain too and normally ignore prices except in this case oh and a $4 iced tea makes me nuts. Bento boxes (and their water bottles too) are a must.

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  26. I think Vanessa highlighted a Built bag as well, may have to check them out.

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  27. so glad, you're "in the running"

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  28. I say if they judge your fridge real estate you can judge their frozen nastiness, fair? And not a souper? What's that about? Do you stew (chili etc)? I might be concerned if you say no.

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  29. I'm determined to have you try this. I also love mason jars for liquids.

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  30. eggs and onions on a plane? Might be a good combo but we will not be traveling together. Not a "full belly sis" sandwich I would expect, ha.

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  31. don't you think with food we all feel similarly/so much is universal? Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  32. I love the bento box :) Nice!

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  33. My kids use stainless steel Lunch Bots to pack their lunch. My husband uses a leak proof glass container. I am at home, so I have the luxury to eat out of a real ceramic plate! But I always cook enough food so they just have to open the fridge to find everything they need to create their own lunch... including organic kale salad :-)

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  34. a little secret natalie? I have been known to leave office, eat lunch at home and go back...love the real plate/nice ritual too. It's the little things. Not shocked at all that you have kale salad in your fridge, would expect nothing less.

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  35. It works well, I'm just trying out this thermo pot and it's pretty impressive too.

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  36. I use the Box appetit and it's great! :) I haven't got any spillage stories yet (until I got my Black and Blum I made sure my lunch box is stored in 2 plastic bags) and hopefully with this wonderful box I won't have any! :)

    My fave lunch to pack is a rich salad with chicken breast...

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  37. I'd say Box Apetit beats double plastic bags any day. And you may have a spillage free future, fingers crossed just snap it tightly.

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  38. Great post!
    I work in a hotel now that offers free lunch options. Other RDs I work with helped improve the menu quite a bit there and there are even vegan options served daily. I will say, it saves so much time not having to think about packing a lunch. But I love these tips for weekends. :)

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  39. Hotel? who knew. Uh oh. You're going from packing to lunches "out" hope you don't become part of the 5 pound club, you can conduct your own research study. I wish more hotels had good, healthy options while away. We are getting juices delivered for FNCE this weekend, will you be there?

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  40. Great article. I've Black and Blum lunch pots, I found it so useful that got another for my lovely boyfriend.

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  41. Love how unisex black/blum products are men too can bring their lunches with pride.

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  42. Love this lunch interview and love Vanessa's blog too! Since I work out of a home office, I only rarely go out to lunch. This black and Blum Hermes is so cool though, that I would happy pack it with some yummy soup and head out for a picnic lunch!

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  43. Oops...I meant thermos not Hermes. Sadly, I don't own Prada or Hermes.

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  44. I use lunch bots, there are great and a easy way for me to never forego lunch, a healthy one! Before this I used old plastic and it was the worst and the staining was gross :( .

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  45. I've gotten in the habit of only packing solid or dry food because I always end up with a mess.

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  46. I've been looking for ideal lunch box, but love the designs of the Black+Blum. I also like traditional Japanese bento boxes. I used to use Ziploc containers but the stains on all my cotton tote bags prove their limited utility. I like the idea of a cylinder shape, but also like my food to lie more horizontal than vertical. Current mishaps while navigating mealtimes at graduate school involve lugging siggis yogurt containers back and forth while figuring out an ideal way to keep cold food cold, hot food hot, and ways to reheat certain foods in one container while leaving other foods cold!


    Favorite lunches include quinoa salads w edamame, salami/machengo/mixed greens on baguette, sprouts/avocado/smoked gouda on whole wheat, and soba salads! I also cannot resist a good squash, split pea or corn soup.

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  47. Proto-col Slim-Fizz is a unique appetite suppressant which is containing the groundbreaking fibre Glucomannan, which is a natural soluble fibre derived from high quality fresh Konjac.

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