When you start on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.), that once oh so simple task of packing lunch will kick up a notch, or 10 …. not only are you learning how to make food without sugar, flour, yeast, or pasteurized dairy but you’re also learning how to crack coconuts for yck, practicing 80/20, and food combining.
I’ve been packing B.E.D.-friendly lunches since 2010. What used to take forever and give me a near panic attack just thinking about task, is now easier. There is a learning curve! When I first started, my oldest was in elementary and youngest in preschool. My husband, whom I met a year into stage 1, is an independent contractor usually out building most days; he is very active and hungry. I myself travel out of the home a couple days a week for work and I pack a small cooler of homemade food to bring on these long work days.
Are you wondering how I pack enough food to get through our work/school days? In the beginning, I was a fish floundering in murky water above my head with not a boat in sight. Eventually though, I found my swimming arms and got to a comfortable place where I could pack lunch, snacks, and drinks for my family in under an hour.
Nowadays my kids are old enough to pack their own lunch. As does my husband. Yet, I still do the BIG job of grocery shopping, keeping kitchen stocked and organized so that everyone can more easily grab ‘n go. I also put a lunchbox list on our fridge for them to peek at in a pinch 😉
5 Tips for Packing a B.E.D. Lunchbox
#1) Invest in a lunchbox like this one. My favorite is a Bento because you can compartmentalize the protein, starch, veggie, and sweet. This really helps when you start the 80/20 principle. Those little boxes can help you to see how the food you’re packing balances out and that you’re not forgetting anything. Sometimes a cooler is the best way to go. I do this often because when I’m out of the house for long periods of time and travel in rural areas where there aren’t stores or restaurants. Just trees, cows, and dirt roads so if I don’t bring food, I end up starving. I’ll eat breakfast at home and bring snacks, canister of tea, lunch, and something sweet in my cooler. I throw in an ice pack, set of utensils, and a napkin and I am good to go.
#2) Stock kitchen with food allowed on B.E.D. Take this stage 1 grocery list (or stage 2 list) and go wild. I print a bunch of these at once and each week will check off what we need. They help to make shopping easier and menu planning flow like melted butter…cultured butter of course 🙂 The hardest, but most important thing is to keep the fridge/freezer stocked with food you like and food that you’ll eat. If you have family members who aren’t on the diet, then stock their food separately. Also, label all those containers and shelves with permanent markers. I keep colored markers and sticky labels in my kitchen drawer; a super-fine sharpie will become your best friend.
#3) Organize kitchen and keep it organized. If you want to run a smooth sailing ship in the midst of a busy week, this is absolute. Put all the most often grabbed for stuff in easy-to-reach spots. Make this part of life easy. We deep clean the kitchen once a week and during the week the kids are in charge of keeping the container drawer organized and my husband keeps the fridge in order. I label things if they’re not recognizable or if there is an allergen present … my youngest can’t eat quinoa due to an allergy, so when I make treats he can’t eat I label them.
#4) Stick this “lunchbox list“ on the fridge. That way when you’re packing lunch at 10pm for the next day or just minutes before the kids need to get on the bus, you (they) can do it fast. Look at the list and see what you have on hand, you will use less brain power too. That’s the trick…don’t get so mental about all this. I know it’s hard not to when you are learning something new, but in the big picture it’s just lunch.
#5) Put this food combining chart next to the above lunchbox list to be reminded of what combines with what.
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May all bellies be happy!