<data:blog.pageTitle/> --> Gluten Free A-Z : Planning ahead! Lunch in a Jar

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Planning ahead! Lunch in a Jar

Are you wondering why I would pack my lunch in a glass Mason Jar?  There are actually two reasons. One has to do with planning ahead  and convenience and  the other has to do with my weight loss plan !

Glass mason jars keep the food really fresh, and since I choose to plan ahead and pack 5 lunches on Sunday night, I really need each lunch to stay fresh for the week. The  jars don't take up much room in the refrigerator, and  I love being able to see all the layered ingredients at a glance. No matter how busy I get each day, my lunch is planned, it's healthy,  and ITS READY whenever I am.

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 The second reason that I pack my lunch in a jar is because I measure out everything that goes into the jar, and then I count up the Weight Watchers points. I aim for a total count of 5 Points Plus for each jar ( maybe 6 tops) . This helps me to plan what and how much I am going to eat in advance. So when I get  busy, hungry, stressed, or tired, I still get to eat a perfectly healthy weight conscious lunch.

I take the jar with me wherever I go, so I can stick to my weight loss plan.! If you are not on Weight Watchers or trying to lose weight, you may be having difficulty following my logic. But for the weight conscious and health conscious,  this method really makes sense.

How many times do you find yourself grabbing the first thing that is available when you are hungry and tired. It might be crackers, a cookie, some chips, etc. That used to be me. I never feel like washing and making salad at 12:30.. Now I grab my lunch jar and eat healthy preprepared meal.

 Here's my logic:( I make 5 jars in advance-what a time saver)  
  • I eat what's in my jar and only what's in my jar. ( therefore I don't overeat)
  • The flavors mingle as they sit in the jar because I usually add a flavored vinegarette and it tastes delicious.
  • I plan in advance when I'm not tired, hungry, and stressed; I always have a healthy meal ready for me
  • You could do this for an after work snack
  • You could do this for a quick dinner
  • You could have a jar ready for your kids on a busy stressed night
  • It makes me plan in advance..I make sure that I have the healthy food I choose to eat.
  •  Everything stays fresh, so I can make them in advance
  • This saves me time! 
  • I wash all my greens and salad ingredients only once in the beginning of the week and distribute to the jars.
  •  It's easy to do ... 
  • The jars are appealing to look at
  • I make a variety of salads using chick peas, black beans, or  veggie burgers, quinoa, brown rice, cooked sweet potato, raw veggies or cooked veggies, jicama, fresh uncooked corn off the cob, etc. etc. I like to do one layer of each rather than mix them into a regular salad.

Here's my vegan salad in a jar lunch for today
  1. layer of dark green romaine, ripped into bite size
  2. layer of sliced cooked beets 
  3. layer of quinoa ( 1/4 cup) ( 2 points plus) 
  4. layer of veggie burger, cut up ( could use cooked beans) ( 2 points plus) 
  5. layer of cucumbers
  6. layer of red cabbage
  7. Cherry tomatoes
  8. layer of shredded carrots 
  9. orange champagne vinegar on top ( from Trader Joe's) ( 1 Point Plus.) 
Will be shared on some of the following blog carnivals: Blog Carnivals

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  1. Eating from a jar is just so much more fun too! ;-) I love how healthy and colorful your salad is--thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

    1. You are so right. In addition to being a great strategy for eating healthier, there is something fun about it too.

  2. This is wonderful. Although we are not gluten free, we are on WW and this looks like a great idea for our lunches during the week. I'd never thought of making them ahead and letting the vinagrette soak into the veggies. Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  3. I'm not on WW, but it makes sense to me to have something readily available. When I don't plan/portion my lunch...well, you are right. I end up grabbing whatever junk I can find!
    Thanks for sharing this week, Judee!

  4. Interesting concept. I had to pin it to my gluten free tab on Pinterest. I like the idea that if it is something that you want to microwave, you don't have to worry about the plastic fumes, either. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday's Table. Deb @ Kneaded Creations

    1. Thanks for pinning it! I never microwave it because I make a fresh salad lunch, but you are so right .

  5. That looks delicious--I could eat it right now. By the way, I learned that it is easier to eat out of a wide mouth jar.

    Thanks for sharing,

  6. I too need to prep healthy things for me to eat. Even though I don't work outside the home, I find myself grabbing quick and unhealthy, rather than healthy. Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

  7. This looks like a brilliant idea to me! Thanks so much for sharing it, and good luck with your WW goals!
    Tina from mommynificent.com

  8. I just started using mason jars for snacks and lunch. I made a farro salad to take with me because I am so food sensitive and I can still eat well.

  9. I follow the Paleo plan and I started packing salad in a jar regularly. It really is the best way to control what you have for lunch and once the lettuce has all been washed, dried and put into the jars, all the "hard" work is over! Since starting Paleo I also have salad for a snack so knowing I can grab a jar makes my life easier!

    1. That is what I tried to say, but you said it better. thanks

  10. What a great idea, Judee! And the jar looks so pretty and appetizing too!

  11. I love you Lunch In A Jar, a great idea, it looks yummy! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  12. Nice post and Thanks for this useful information...

  13. What a great idea and it also is eye appealing. Thank you for sharing it on our BBQ Block Party.

  14. Impressive how well you plan ahead. Looks super healthy. Thanks for sharing this idea with us on foodie friday.

  15. Great idea and easy to make a bunch - thanks for sharing!

  16. Love the addition of the veggie burger on top! Thanks so much for sharing it on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it : )

  17. Fantastic idea! I use a planetbox container when I go out and about it is SO helpful to pack ahead! :)

  18. I think this a great idea! Sometimes I skip lunch sometimes because I just don't want to cook me something, and mac and cheese with the kids just isn't for me. Thanks for sharing this on Foodie Friday

  19. I love this idea, since we do the best we can to avoid GMOs I have thought about what we are going to when we go on vacation. Well, now I know, and they will fit great in the cooler, thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays, come back again.

  20. This is so eye appealing, my husband is a real snacker and this just might work. I like the ideas that others have shared as well. I am new to your blog and I am very happy with so many of your recipes. It looks like I am going to have to a dehydrator...loved the watermelon candy.


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