Thursday, April 22, 2010

"what IS that!?"

lunchtime spectacle
does this packed lunch really look all that exotic or bizarre to you?

contents: smoked salmon + goat cheese wrap; cucumbers, radishes, + carrots with annie's light honey mustard dressing for dipping; 2 late july faux-reos*

zooming in on the wrap . . . there were capers in there, too!

i'm guessing that if you're reading this, you're not all that shocked by this lunch which took all of 5 minutes to throw together. but at work? i typically can't eat without at least 3 people:

asking, "what is that!?"

asking, "how do you have time to DO that?"

saying, "you're so healthy!"

come on, this lunch contains both chocolate AND cheese! i'm not eating a pile of alfalfa sprouts and kale. i don't really get annoyed by these comments because i like my coworkers and i've grown used to the (undue, in my opinion) attention. but i do wonder why it seems so foreign and hard to pack a (relatively) nutritious lunch.

part of the spectacle/wonder comes from the fact that we often have free lunch supplied to us. i personally would rather eat a non-free healthy lunch that is made up of things that i like than settle for FREE food that is neither satisfying nor all that appealing to me. but this is definitely not the majority sentiment.

finally, i think it's kind of funny (and even a little odd) that we spent a LOT of our time in primary care clinic counseling patients about nutrition (5, 3, 2, 1, almost none, baby!). . . after being served pizza or chick-fil-a for free for a noon meal. while i'm not about to go all jamie oliver-style on our residency program, i just think it's a little weird. then again, the budget is limited, and cheap food does not usually equal healthy food.

okay, off my soapbox! anyone else suffer from lunchtime gawkers? i have a feeling i am not alone in this . . .

you know who certainly would not be confused by my laptop lunchbox? these local ladies! i'm hosting a little gathering at our house this evening for the local blogger set and i'm pretty excited. i don't think we've ever had more than 3-4 people over for dinner at this apartment, so it will also be a bit of an adventure . . .

certainly pix to follow tomorrow! i know there will be plenty of food papparazzi present -- but unlike the article referenced, i will welcome these ladies (and their cameras) with open arms!

* i am sure i am not the first person to come up with this term, but i'm still pretty proud of it!


  1. It looks like a perfectly normal lunch too me, only a bit on the small side.

    Most people at my job either bring leftovers and heat in the microwave oven or go out to healthy-ish places to eat for lunch. Fastfood would really stand out in our lunch room!

    I can't believe your coworkers eat fastfood for lunch every day. That is just cray to me. Excuse me for saying this, but in that case there is no wonder so many americans are so fat!

  2. I feel the same way when lunches boxes are compared at my work. I actually do get annoyed and hate when all eyes are on me. But lately I've tried to be better b/c I'm starting to change my attitude and hope that maybe I'll inspire others to be healthy as well. I agree, it really isn't hard to find the time to pack a healthy lunch. And I always choose my yummy, fresh lunches over free junk. So yes, lunchtime gawkers are something I have to deal with too...

    I'd be gawking over your lunch too, but mostly b/c it looks sooooo delicious and creative! I'll have to try that smoked salmon and goat cheese combo out, sounds great!! :)

  3. i get some oogles at lunch and have even had a comment on "you do eat some weird stuff". i took it as a compliment considering the person it came from. HA! i.e. weird = arugula salad w/strawbs and curried lentil soup w/generous yogurt plop on top. have a great day sarah!

  4. i think your lunch looks like something i would eat. it looks great and simple! you should see the people where i work...all the majority do is pick up unhealthy fast food. ick.

  5. While most people don't look twice at my lunch (I mean, soup, cottage cheese and fruit aren't that exciting), people are constantly amazed that Albert and I (well, mostly Albert) cook dinner every night. People in this country have gotten so out of the habit of cooking, they don't realize how much less expensive and more healthy and fun cooking at home can be! I think it's sad. Your lunch looks wonderful!

  6. My office for the most part is quite healthy. There are a fair amount of Lean Cuisines that get nuked at lunch, but that's the worst of it. I do have one co-worker who has asked me multiple times if I'm a vegetarian because I "always eat so healthy", which is funny because every time she asks me I'm eating a turkey sandwich. I'm not sure when a turkey sandwich, salad, and orange became the paragon of healthiness, but it is easy and filling, and I enjoy it.

  7. Your lunch looks so delicious! I think it's the presentation - it looks like it was thoughtfully put together and the little colorful compartments make it bento-like.

    My lunch never draws any comments (it is very ordinary! and poorly plated) - but I do get comments about how 'healthy' I am because I always bring my lunch. But I wonder why anyone would choose to eat hospital caf food if they could have something much more delicious, healthy, and free?!

  8. Oh, people and their opinions. You know what they say about them. Your lunch doesn't look particularly exotic, although I am very impressed with the Bento presentation. My lunches are stuffed in my bag, and I'm lucky if it doesn't spill on the way to work. Thankfully, my coworkers (who eat out every day - I have no idea how they afford it on our salaries) have learned that Sarah here just eats weird vegetable matter for lunch. They leave it be.

  9. Anonymous9:16 AM

    I think your lunch looks fabulous! People comment all the time because I make and take lunch to work. Really it isn't that hard to toss a sandwich together, plus I feel so much better eating a balanced and non-grease infested lunch.

  10. Anonymous10:15 AM

    i totally suffer from lunchtime gawkers! i'd gawk at your lunch but only because it looks so yummy :)

  11. Anonymous10:24 AM

    I love the lunchbox. Where did you find it?

  12. I skipped out on a catered lunch at work yesterday because it was all BBQ. Not only was I not in the mood for pulled pork, fried chicien and hushpuppies for lunch, making at own lunch at home was a lot healthier. Don't get me wrong, I love BBQ! But I would rather have it for dinner than for lunch.
    Can't wait for tonight!!

  13. Yes, of course people always feel the need to comment on what I eat. But worse than the "You're so healthy" comments is the "You're eating a [insert unhealthy item here!" Why yes, yes I am. I want one of your little lunch boxes. I've seen a few kids with them here and they are super cute and perfect for portions.

  14. hi everyone! i love how it's the 'little things' posts that garner so much interest :) love hearing your stories and experiences with the lunch papparazzi . . .

    laptop lunches is where my bento is from - i love it! it's the older model that isn't sold on line anymore but it's still available in some stores. i also have a pouch from the company that i can slide an ice pack into to keep things cold and it works very well!

    i also like the fit & fresh boxes/ice packs too - they are BPA free and quite inexpensive. i once found them at ROSS :)

  15. Ugg, that was my daily life at my old job. I would think that more health professionals would eat like you though.

  16. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Your lunch looks quite good! And NORMAL.

    I remember bringing a green monster in a clear thermos with me for breakfast one day when I worked in an operating room. Needless to say, everyone was asking me if I was sure it wasn't expired (I'm sure...) or if it came from the orifice of some patient.

  17. I don't think it looks looks delicious! I get that, too! We have free lunch on Tuesday (provided by the cafeteria and it's usually "cheesy surprise" or chicken tenders and fried/tater tots) which I don't really like. But on Friday, we have lunch catered by an outside lunch place and there is usually a healthy option. I love this day of not having to make my lunch!!

  18. Hehe...I got my first "You're so healthy!" this year. I do eat a lot of legumes, fruits, and veggies. The best was when I was student teaching and then fellow teachers would always stare at my leftovers from dinner and often had questions about what I was eating...I was alternatively told I ate weird food or that my food looked soo much better than theirs.

  19. atilla10:23 PM

    i get it every day. I shove lettuce in a plastic bag, have a container of olives and feta, a baby food jar with salad dressing, and add tomato and a protein and at least 3-4 times per lunch session in the lounge of abulatory I get the comment " oh you eat so healthy" Beats fries and burgers if you ask me

  20. Truthfully, I would gawk at your lunch, too. Because it's so colorful and pretty and I WANT a bite! Haha!

    My friend once said to me, "You eat so fibrous!"

    Healthy sounds better than fibrous, doesn't it? lol. It makes me sound like...someone who goes to the bathroom a lot. ;p

  21. Anonymous8:32 AM

    OMG, yes. People always comment on my lunch and it's never anything really strange. I mostly eat leftovers. It's like a big deal that I don't eat chik-fila for every meal. I guess my co-workers find that odd!

    Another thing they do is always call me a vegetarian. Like even when I'm eating chicken. It drives me crazy. Just because I like vegetables and sometimes eat meals that don't contain meat, I'm not a vegetarian!

  22. First off, cutest lunch box/container ever.

    Second, I get the lunch box gawkers too...usually, it's you eat so healthy! (Sometimes, you eat so much! and are so thin!)...I usually just explain that, (a) eating healthy can be quick/easy/cheap...and (b) eating healthy means I get to eat A LOT more food. And some chocolate too.