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My Lunch Time Routine

by Meghann on June 11, 2009

A few weeks ago I posted about my morning routine and how I manage to fit in a work out, shower and breakfast all before work. At the beginning of this week Rachel requested I post about my lunch time routine and how I manage to eat at home during my lunch hour. I was happy to oblige. 🙂

I guess you can say my lunch starts at 10:15ish when I usually break out my mid-morning snack.


Today I had 2 pieces each of Dried Mango and Pineapple.

By the time its 10:15 is when it has usually been about 3 hours since I ate breakfast. My stomach starts to say ‘feed me’ so I give it a little something to stop it from roaring at me by 11:00. The snack helps me from gnawing my arm off before I head home for lunch around noon.

As far as my actual lunch hour goes…

12:00 p.m. – Leave the office and head home

12:10 p.m. – Arrive at home and am happily greeted at the door by Abbie’s jumps and kisses. I immediately take her out for a quick 5 minute walk or until she does her business. I have her on a tight schedule so she’s usually pretty good about making it quick.

12:15 p.m. – Start making lunch

I think this is the part that Rachel was most curious. How do I prep a healthy lunch in the short allotted time I actually have in the kitchen? Well really it all depends on what I plan to make and when I planned to make it.

My Lunch today was pretty simple to throw together thanks to these simple tips I try to go by.

  • Plan the meals out the night before and do as much prep work as you can before you go to bed. I.E. Last night I went ahead and shredded the rest of the Red Cabbage I had used in last night’s meal because I knew I wanted to incorporate it in today’s lunch. I also already had the tempeh portioned out and the watermelon and cantaloupe cubed.


  • Keep it simple! You will notice my lunch meals are usually pretty basic with different variations of Salads and Sandwiches. Sometimes I will get fancy and pull out the George Forman, turn the broiler on or bring out the toaster, but that’s about it. Today I decided to get fancy and did indeed pull our the George Forman, but I believe the idea of a wrap itself is pretty basic.


  • Utilize left overs!! I LOVE being creative with leftovers in my lunch. All you have to do is reheat and they are so easy to turn into something fun and different by simply adding them to a salad, combining them with other left overs, adding to the top of a Flat Out Pizza, etc. I managed to turn last night’s Red Cabbage & Tempeh leftovers into a new and fun wrap. Totally different then what I had the night before, but using the same great elements.

12:25 p.m. – Lunch is finished and ready to eat. I turn the TV to my favorite local news station and sit in front of my TV ready to chow down.


Yes, I eat in front of the TV, but check out my cool coffee table set up. How could you resist this?


Umm… sorry I did not feel like cleaning the table for the picture. I live alone and never have guests. Please don’t judge me. Abbie doesn’t mind it. 🙂

So the 10 minute prep left me with this great lunch.


The wrap was thrown quickly thrown together while the George Forman was heating up.


I simply filled a Flat Out Wrap with shredded Red Cabbage, Tempeh, Tomato, Pineapple, Spinach and Annie’s BBQ Sauce. I folded it and stuck it in the George Forman until it looked done.


While the wrap was heating up I poured myself a glass of water and pulled out the Watermelon/ Cantaloupe combo out of the fridge.


It was already cubed and ready to eat.

I also portioned out a serving size of Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Pretzels.


Once the wrap was done I plated everything and plopped down.

12:35 p.m. – I finish eating and feel I have had my fill of the news. I bring the dishes to the sink and and put everything back in the fridge that needs to be cold and make sure the George Forman is turned off.

12:40 p.m. – Give Abbie a treat and head back to work.

12:52 p.m. – Arrive back at my desk and quickly blog my post. 🙂

I hope this post gave a little insight into my lunch hour. Some days it varies depending on what I want to eat and how much prep is involved, but I usually make
it back to my desk in less then an hour if you can believe it. 🙂

What does your lunch routine look like?

1 peanutbuttrplz June 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm

hey- I’m new to the blogging community but it sounds like you have your routine down! and the wrap looks amazing.

I also saw that you recently completed a marathon. congratulations! I want to start running but I’m a little nervous because I am far from athletic. Your story and experience are definitely an inspiration though!

2 elissa June 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I wish that I could head home for lunch. We only have 30mins so not nearly enough time, especially since I live about 15 mins. away!
My lunch usually consisits of some type of salad or sandwich and fruit that I throw in my lunch bag the night before. If there are leftovers from dinner then I will have that but usually the fiance finishes everything!

Thanks for the lunch breakdown….!

3 Kelly June 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Love the lunch time schedule you posted! Very interesting!

As a mother of 4, I need my lunch time to be productive…so I bring my running gear to the office, change and head out for a 3 mile run, sometimes my hubby meets me here and we run together…that’s always fun! When I return to the office, I clean up and change and than eat my lunch at my desk, while catching up on my blogs :-)…..

4 Courtney June 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm


Thanks so much for posting this, I have been super curious myself how you bust out all that you do in ONE hour. I think I’m a la-dee-dah-er. ;]

I found a George Foreman in the back of the cupboard I didn’t even know was back there – can’t wait to try it out 🙂 What kind of wraps or tortilla things do you use?

5 Island Girl Eats June 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm

That’s a crazy lunch hour! But it sounds like you have it down to a very fine art!

6 jentrinque June 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Phew, you do make it quick and efficient, don’t you? Good thing you like to plan ahead. I love that you get to see Abbie in the middle of the day!

7 Amanda June 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Very impressive! Your lunches always look really great 🙂

Over lunch I usually take all or part of our allotted hour to get outside!! I try to walk around for at least 30 mins and set little errands for myself – whether is going to the ATM, making an appointment, or stopping by Trader Joe’s (which is one block from my office!!) I work in Philly and there are some nice parks to walk around, too … I am trying to be good about limiting my shopping habits!

Then I’ll come back and eat lunch at my desk!

And once a week or so I usually meet a friend and either go out for lunch or pack something to eat at the park.

8 brandi June 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

looks like a great routine! I wish I could go home to eat lunch, but we live 30 minutes from where we work, so that never happens.


9 Rachel June 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Sweetness! That’s exactly the info I was curious about! Thanks so much for posting it 🙂

10 Melissa @ For the Love of Health June 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm

love the routine! It’s great you can go home for lunch!

my routine varies a little BUT I usually spend my lunch eating at my desk while working haha If it’s not too busy, I catch up on blog reading and commenting…so not cool…I like to make my lunches the night before so I don’t have to purchase anything..

11 Kori (All Things B.) June 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I’ve got my home lunch routine down to a science too. I like to have more prep done in advance so I can spend more time just doing nothing! I read you in my google reader, so I just noticed your new pic on the left! You look AWESOME! Just thought I’d throw that out there!

Hope you don’t mind the shameless plug, but I’m having an Amazing Grass Giveaway! Stop on by and enter for a chance to win a full sized Wheat Grass Powder and Green SuperFood! This stuff really lives up to it’s name, so if any of you haven’t tried it- now’s your chance!

12 Thursday's Child June 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm

So that’s how you manage to eat all those colorful healthy meals in under an hour! I usually eat leisurely while catching up on my blogs and stuff.

Love that coffee table – my SIL has a similar one, and they are just the coolest things ever!

13 Amanda's Eats June 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Lucky you with your hour lunch lol I only get 30 minutes, which is just enough time to run out for food and scarf it down at my desk. Packing lunches just never works out in my favor but I’m going to start trying it again soon to save some money!

And your coffee table is awesome!

14 Stephanie June 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Very interesting – I used to have a job where I went home for lunch, but now I have a full kitchen available so I just bring stuff here.

Nice to see that someone eats their lunch as fast as I do! I started doing things (like drinking tea) to make me slow down…

15 Susan June 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

My job has me running around town (and sometimes out of town) all day, so lunch always has to be packed and ready to eat without preparation. Some days I luck out and get to eat at the office, which is always nice 🙂 Otherwise it’s just stuff like sandwiches, cheese, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc that won’t spoil since I can’t put it in a fridge. Often times it gets eaten in my company car! I refuse to buy my lunches though, I much rather take the time to bring something from home.

By the way, I LOVE that coffee table!!

16 trish (girlatgym) June 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

I am luck to work at home so my kitchen is just a short walk down the hall. No driving required! It is so nice. I am able to eat a better variety and really cook up something healthy. It can be cooking while I am working.

17 Mica June 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Thanks for the schedule recap. You pack a lot into that hour!

18 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) June 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm

How great that you are able to get away from work on your lunch hour, spend time with your doggie and make a nice healthy meal 🙂 I usually eat at my desk at work because I use my lunch hours for exercise, but latey I’ve been branching out into our staff lounge because I find I enjoy myself more and am more satisfied by my meal when I have less distractions. Great post!

19 Jess June 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I wolf down a sandwich or leftovers between experiments! The life of a scientist!! Today I am not sure I even chewed my lasagna!

20 Quinn June 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I used to live w/in a five minute walk of my office, and never realized how wonderful it was to go home and eat lunch. It was so nice to have that break! Unfortunately most of my days are spent eating at my desk either because I work through lunch or head downstairs to my office gym.

21 Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

The wrap looks delicious and colorful!

22 runnerskitchen June 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I’ve been lazy and buying lunch at my company’s cafeteria everyday for the last few monthes. Luckily, it’s fairly cheap AND they have a really nice salad bar. It’s a great way to ensure I eat my veggies!

23 dishin June 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Normally I eat my desk while reading blogs! I’m sure some of you can relate. 🙂

24 Yasmin June 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Your lunch looks very similar to mine except for the pineapples. I would love to add that to my wraps but I’m afraid they would be too soggy by lunchtime.

25 Jess June 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm

That coffee table is sweetness. I am lucky that I have a tiny tv, so I pull it out of it’s cabinet and turn it to face my little dinning room so I can eat and watch tv too. (That’s for bfast and dinner). Sadly I live too far away to drive home and back in my 1/2hr break. I am trying to find a place downtown (which is where I work) though so I could go home and let the puppster out during lunch too, I think we would both enjoy that!

26 Case June 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Looks like you have it down to a science =)

I have officially influenced the BF to become addicted to TJs PB pretzels, aren’t they irresistible?! They make a few appearances on the blog I just started with me friend Ania. If you ever have some downtime check it out!!

27 Danielle June 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I am so jealous that you get to go home for lunch. I so wish I could.
I too eat at the coffee table, my kitchen is so tiny I don’t even have a kitchen table, yikes! I wish I had a sweet coffee table like that I usually park my butt on the floor.

28 Allison June 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I’m TOTALLY jealous of your coffee table! And as usual – love Abbie 😀

29 Leah June 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm

At lunch I normally check my email and hang out with my coworkers and chat!

30 Pearl June 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm

your lonchie is so creative!

31 CJ June 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I too am jealous that you get to go home.

There’s a Pret by my office that does soup/salads/sandwiches so it’s always grabbing something from there and eating at my desk. Not healthy!


32 Rebeca June 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

This is so cool… I wish I could do the same.

Your new hair is gorgeous… It totally fits your face and personality… I love it!

33 Liz @ intheskinny June 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I love the coffee table! Where did you get it?

34 katecooks June 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm

how nice that you can go home to eat! i almost always eat at my desk (that means im not spending money and calories at a restaurant!!!) but i like to try to get outside too for a walk or to run some errands. sometimes its nice tho to just use the hour to catch up with blogs, emails, stuff like that!

35 luckytastebuds June 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm

ahhh this is suuuch a wonderful post!! I love finding out more about you and being welcomed in to your home. THANK YOU for sharing and showing that a simple FAST lunch at home can be done!!! (And that it’s really ok to watch TV while you eat. 😛 heheheh I do it too!)

I really do love foreman grills with wraps…match made in heaven!! Plus, your wrap really does look fantastic!! Do you “treat” your tempeh before you wrap it, or do you just whip it straight out of the package?? Just looking at it freaks me out sometimes…the tempeh that is. I’ve had it in my fridge for a month and don’t know what to do with it. hahahah 🙂 Hope you had a great Thursday!!!

36 ksgoodeats June 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I love that you used pineapple in the wrap! Thanks for filling us in on the lunch schedule – that’s cool that you get to run home!!

37 Derek June 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm

When I’m over there next, don’t be surprised if you wake up to find that I’ve left and made off with your coffee table. 😉

38 Emily June 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm

(I’m not sure if you’ve gotten this before, but) fyi I tagged you for a blogger chain thingy.

39 Sarah June 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Utilize leftovers?! Not you! 😉

40 Matt June 11, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Nice routine!

Mine has been nice and relaxed lately since it is summer. I get to make awesome lunches everyday!

41 toliveortodiet33 June 11, 2009 at 7:58 pm

When you were losing weight, did you write down calories? Ps, loving the stacked bob!

42 Amanda E. June 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Hey. I don’t usually comment but I just wanted to step out of the shadows to tell you your hair looks awesome!!!

43 N.D. June 11, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I thought the dried fruit was a calzone at first glance!

My lunchtime routine is to look for what leftovers I have, heat it up and eat it usually standing up, unless I can have some peace and eat it when the baby is napping!

44 Jerilynne June 11, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Love the coffee table Meghann! I have one just like it and I use it every single day – in fact I just moved into an apartment by myself a few months ago and (I probably shouldn’t admit this but) I have actually never even used my kitchen table because of my coffee table!

45 prinny June 12, 2009 at 2:54 am

It’s really nice that you live close enough to go home during your lunch hour. Makes having a dog so much easier!

Your coffeetable is awesome – where did you get it?

46 Courtney June 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I also try really hard to prep my lunches the night before. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being able to go home for lunch (since my lunch “hour” is really more like 20 minutes!) but I definitely enjoy being able to just grab my lunch and GO in the morning!
I’ve seen those coffee tables and they are SO COOL! My husband and I almost got one…maybe soon. 🙂

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