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  1. #1
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    LUNCH CHALLENGE: Jersey pockets-no fridge-no nuke

    Here's a challenge to get out the best ideas you've had for the commute-to-train season that is fast approaching. Winter is losing its battle with the approaching Spring, and soon each morning will start off with taking the long way to work, turning 5 miles into 30 miles. I am already all set on breakfast/recovery meals. What I need now is a healthy lunch at 11 and late lunch at 3 pm.
    Here are the rules:
    1. Must be able to carry it in 2 jersey pockets, since the third already has breakfast in it. No racks, no exceptions.
    2. There is no fridge at the office. The office is air conditioned.
    3. No microwave at the office.


    So what healthy lunches can you come up with that meet the above? Stocking items in a filing cabinet is allowed, since there is always one day a week when I must drive to replace clothes or catch a meeting or some such. But no racks, fridge or nuke.
    Last edited by Spreggy; 03-04-09 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    In that case, I'd go out to eat. I suppose you could pack some dried fruits and nuts in your jersey pockets, but for lunch every day? No thanks. Is a backpack off limits too?

  3. #3
    Light-Weight by Design Pi}{ie's Avatar
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    Bean burrito your body heat will keep it warm, and itll give you some extra gas for the ride home
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  4. #4
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreggy View Post
    1. Must be able to carry it in 2 jersey pockets, since the third already has breakfast in it. No racks, no exceptions.
    2. There is no fridge at the office. The office is air conditioned.
    3. No microwave at the office.
    .
    Ahhhhh, the Kobayashi Maru of the cycling lunch world. The only way to beat the Kobayashi Maru is to cheat.....I do, I carry my lunch in one of these every day as I ride up into the mountains on my bike to work.

  5. #5
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Ramen Noodles. Hoping you have a cup at work, and hot water out of the tap works just fine.

  6. #6
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    Ew
    You would almost be better off not eating. Ramen noodles are disgusting with minimal nutritional value.

  7. #7
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Unknown DataJunkie. When I was broke and starving, that stuff kept me alive.

  8. #8
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
    Ramen Noodles. Hoping you have a cup at work, and hot water out of the tap works just fine.
    Good point: we do have a water cooler with a boiling water tap. Instant soups and such are fair game, provided they meet the other rules. Gotta be healthy though, unlike Ramen.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
    Unknown DataJunkie. When I was broke and starving, that stuff kept me alive.
    Same here. Hence the reason I can't stand them.
    We would purchase cheap hot dogs and throw them in for meat. Yuck.

  10. #10
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    Anything that can be vacuum packed can be reheated in hot water, stuffed peppers, tamales, chicken tikka masala, fried rice.

    For a cold lunch, veggie wrap.
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  11. #11
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Ew
    You would almost be better off not eating. Ramen noodles are disgusting with minimal nutritional value.

    Hey, sodium is an essential nutrient, and ramen has a phenomenal amount of sodium, so it must be healthy, right?

  12. #12
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Flavored tuna in single-serve packets.

  13. #13
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    Um, you guys are too complicated. PBJ is your answer, all day long.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  14. #14
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    first thing that came to my mind was PB&J, you can't go wrong, throw some fruit in the other pocket and your golden

  15. #15
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Pita Pockets - stuff one with lots of veggies and a little bit of oil based dressing and you're good. Stuff another with leftovers from dinner - quinoa and cous-cous are both really good cold, so a left over veggie stirfry mixed in with either of those grains would be another option.

    Experiment and see how large a tupperware or glad-ware container you can fit in your jersey - pasta salad, tofu etc become options if you can carry them in a hard sided container. Would a thermos fit in your pocket? If so - soup, stew etc.

    There is an organic company (can't remember the name off hand) that makes a reasonably healthy mac and cheese - you could probably make that with the hot tap on your water cooler at work. There are also some 'reasonably' healthy instant soups etc.

  16. #16
    too old for bike shorts? cyclehen's Avatar
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    +1 for PBJ! With All-Fruit on a really hearty bread -- I love Healthnut
    A not-too-ripe banana in the other pocket.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    This seems like a trick question.
    You need to plan two meals, adequate for fueling 30 mile days.
    Yet fit in a pocket. No cooling or heating available.
    There are plenty of solutions with no nutrition.
    IMHO, if you want to eat healthy in this scenario, you're screwed.

    I'd concentrate on getting microwave / dorm type fridge in your work environment. Then stock up on "real" food from the grocer. No daily carrying. Much less headache. Much healthier.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
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  18. #18
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Wow, there are a lot of great ideas here. Let me run down a little more detail.

    Last year was a banana or two in pocket, and in the filing cabinet I had protein powder & fruit juice (apple/berry stuff that keeps warm) for shakes, oatmeal packets, a cereal bowl and spoon, and PB&J fixin's. If I were stranded on an island with only PB&J and some reading material, I'd be good to go for years. But it occurred to me that it might not be a healthy choice to suck down two PBJs a day.

    So I'm looking for room temp storage ideas that are healthy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    If it were me and I don't like to starve for lunch it would be some good MRE's hot meals in 10 min. Video
    Military Surplus has them cheap Pound Cake good!
    Last edited by JTGraphics; 03-04-09 at 10:29 PM.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTGraphics View Post
    If it were me and I don't like to starve for lunch it would be some good MRE's hot meals in 10 min. Video
    Military Surplus has them cheap Pound Cake good!
    ..no such thing.

    they keep you alive. that is all.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  21. #21
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Then you haven't had any lately some are not bad and if nothing else buy the MRE Chemical Heaters and use them for other things
    Last edited by JTGraphics; 03-04-09 at 10:37 PM.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
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  22. #22
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreggy View Post
    But it occurred to me that it might not be a healthy choice to suck down two PBJs a day.

    So I'm looking for room temp storage ideas that are healthy.
    Two PBJs are unhealthy? Compared to what? True, PBJs are high-calorie and high-fat, but they're way better than most prepared foods, and at least they have a good supply of protein and carbs. Especially if you're doing 30 miles a day or more, two sandwiches, at about 450 calories each, aren't much to worry about. (I could get by just fine with one, but I don't ride as much as you do on my commute.)
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  23. #23
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Is there a reason you can't get co-workers to help with purchase of microwave and small dorm size fridge?
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTGraphics View Post
    Then you haven't had any lately some are not bad and if nothing else buy the MRE Chemical Heaters and use them for other things

    "Not Bad" is not that same as "good"
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  25. #25
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Here are my suggestions.

    1. Sandwiches are good. if you like to use different kinds of bread, do so. Potato bread, multi grain bread, whatever. White bread isn't very healthy. Eating 100% wheat bread every day isn't great either because you need some diversity in your diet.
    2. If you're gonna eat the food cold, using a tortilla (i.e. flat bread) might be to your liking. Tortillas also take up less space. If you are near a Trader Joe's, they have multi grain tortillas and also spinach tortillas for different taste and a bit of nutrition. Some things that I like to put inside tortillas: white bean dip, or black bean dip, or hummus (i.e. chickpea dip), or sunflower seed butter, or peanut butter. With the hummus or bean dips, bell pepper slices, cherry tomatoes, and spinach are all good additions.
    White-flour tortillas are tasty as a sort of dessert if you put jam inside them.
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