Why I take my lunch to work

It’s been a long week. I don’t talk much about my day job here, but I run a nonprofit, the Community Resource Center, in Nashville. We basically give really good stuff to other nonprofits for their clients. And the closer it gets to Christmas, the more stuff they need. This, unfortunately, has coincided with my son’s inability to keep out of the refrigerator for at least two minutes. So, about mid-week, the cupboard was bare. Or rather the refrigerator was empty (well, except for my wine!). Which forced me to buy lunch.

Normally, I take my lunch to work. This is partly due to the fact that I make really good lunches and partly because there aren’t a lot of places to eat around a warehouse district. I make turkey and arugula mayonnaise sandwiches. I make Chinese chicken salad. I make what Noah calls “green noodles” – thin spaghetti with pesto, toasted pine nuts and grated Asiago cheese.

But this week, I ended up eating a lot of fast food and I remembered why it is that I hate it so much. It’s not good. Not at all. Oh, you think it’s good while you’re eating it because it’s full of fat and who doesn’t like fat? But about an hour later you start to realize you just ate a bunch of processed junk that is rambling around in your body and won’t leave. For days.

So here’s my wall of shame. Wednesday it was KFC. I used to love KFC when I lived at home and my mother had never gotten within 100 yards of frying chicken. I did love it Wednesday at about 1:30 p.m. I regretted it bitterly about 5 p.m. No supper for me that night. The chicken had come home to roost.

Thursday: Junior Whopper and fries from Burger King. I actually have a story about Whoppers. When I was about ten, my mother became very agitated with excitement one day and announced that we were driving to Skokie, about 20 miles away, to visit this new and exotic restaurant called Burger King. Mom did love her burgers. Not to cook them, of course. Just to eat them. So I’ve always held the Whopper in high esteem as an essential food memory. I don’t know why, especially after I eat one. And Burger King fries? Not so much. If you’re going to visit fry-town, journey to Steak and Shake or Five Guys.

So, today, just to how much fat I could pack away, it was Krystal’s chili. I actually believed for a second that it would be healthier than a slider. For a moment.

I present this sad tableau to you because I haven’t had time to cook all week and I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last two days. I’ve been giving away shampoo and detergent and soap to nonprofit agencies who can’t afford to buy necessities like these for their clients. I’ve been driving a U-Haul to a major retailer to pick up the coolest donation ever that will make everyone’s Christmas brighter in my world of poor people who constantly do without a little sparkle in their lives. I’ve been unloading chairs for schools whose children have nowhere to sit. And I’ve been writing grants to get more moola to get more stuff.

This weekend, it’s back to homemade. It’s back to quality. I’m sleeping in tomorrow. And then I’m cooking.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Why I take my lunch to work

  1. Mary Ann

    Ugh. I hear your pain, especially about the chicken. So tempting. Pack yourself a peanut butter sandwich and an apple. Then eat it at 10:00 am. At least then you will not be hungry at noon. M.A.

  2. the south in my mouth

    But then I will be tempted to eat the Cheez Waffies I have stashed in my office at 2 p.m. It’s a no-win situation.

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