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Meal-Planning around Commute & Work


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Hi all,

I started a Whole30 log here where I mentioned this issue in the midst of, well, many other issues and ramblings, but I am curious about others' thoughts on how to structure and prepare my meals around a somewhat challenging work and commute schedule. Perhaps some responses and considerations might prove helpful to others as well, hence why I chose to start a new thread here. For a bit of background info, I work part-time at an after school program, and commute into the city via public transportation. My total daily commute takes about 2 hours.

The general structure of my weekday is as follows:

6:30am-7:00am: Wake up, go to gym (once or twice a week)

11:15am-1:00pm: Commute to work (Bus -> Subway -> Train)

1:00pm-2:20pm: Arrive at work, prep time (can have lunch during this time)

3:45pm-4:00pm: Snack time with kids, many teachers have their own snacks at this time

6:00pm-8:00pm: Commute home

9:30pm: Bedtime

In the past, I've tried a few things. I usually have breakfast between 8 and 9am, and lunch at around 1:30. I typically do not have a 4pm snack, but occasionally have some raw veggies or a hard-boiled egg, or half an avocado. If I do have this snack, I sometimes never get hungry for dinner! When I get home from work, I usually don't want to cook, so I either heat up some leftovers or wind up snacking on nuts and coconut flakes which is not what I want to do. I've also tried bringing dinner with me to work, but eating dinner at the cold, sketchy bus terminal is a bit depressing.

To make things a little more complicated, two or three times a week I get up at 5am to be at work at a coffee shop at 6am. In these instances, I've typically force-fed myself breakfast first thing after waking up, to stave off cravings during work (muffins and bagels galore!). But since it's pretty hard work, rushing around on one's feet for hours on end, I typically find myself hungry around 9 or 10am and reach for a banana. Perhaps instead of eating right after waking up, I should bring a few hard-boiled eggs and veggies to work with me, and eat them when there's a lull in customers? I know, it's not a great idea to eat while under stress like that... hm. Sounds like a Catch-22, huh?

If you guys have any advice, let me know! What would you do? And, if you have any related questions around meal-planning/daily structure, feel free to post your own for more experienced whole9ers to field. Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm new to Whole30 and am fortunate to have a pretty low-stress 9-5 desk job that I walk to. But for at-work planning I do a lot of hard boiled eggs, bring coconut milk/berry/spinach smoothies in a to-go container, and a big salad that I may or may not finish in one sitting. Definitely the hardest thing is building and fitting in the meal prep around your life!

Keep fighting the good fight!

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Folks, popping back in to say that things have been going fairly well. My weekday coffee shop shift was dropped, so I only need to worry about Sundays there. I have breakfast within an hour of waking up, which holds me over until lunch (brought to work). I've found that I don't get hungry by "snacktime" with the kids, but if I do, a handful of coconut flakes does the trick. I also bring dinner with me, which I eat somewhere on my commute home when it seems appropriate, or when I get home. It's nice to not have to make it myself once I get home at 8pm.

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