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What foods do you keep in your desk/fridge at work?

1585 Views 17 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  shellie
I’m entering my busy season. I will be working 30 hours per week, volunteering, full time school, gym, and social life. I’m rarely at home now. Usually I would just buy food on the way, but as a new vegan, it won’t be as easy. I need to bring food with me. Having to carry all this stuff is a hassle, so I need backup at work. People steal food from the work fridge, but no one touches the freezer and I have my own desk with a lock and key. I need ideas that are not dried fruit or nuts.

What I currently have:
Caffeine free tea bags
Soy milk in drinking boxes

Other Ideas:
PB in individual packages
Coconut/raw sugar in Tupperware
A box of cereal
Cook 2 meals and freeze them
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You could bring dried soya mince with you - that doesn't need a fridge at all :)...If you have access to a microwave you could make a meal with it :)
I always keep a jar of whole earth nut butter on my desk and a variety box of herbal teas. We don't have a freezer at work so I bring in a fresh lunch every day which is often left overs from previous nights dinner plus always a bag of birds eye veg which I microwave.
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I stay home with my kids, so I have a whole kitchen to work with. My husband however keeps prepackaged granola bars, and individual bags of trail mix at work.
Dried fruit, lara bars, sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, dry couscous, poptop canned chickpeas...

I work full time also, hit the gym five to six days a week for 1.5 hours, take yoga classes, go to a mental health support group, seminars etc. For three years until last May I was also in school but finally graduated. What helps me, because I do not like to eat a lot of processed food and very rarely eat out, is to take my day off and spend an hour or two preparing five or six meals for the work week lunches (and one dinner for Tuesdays since I am gone early morning til late evening that day). I put them in air tight tupperware containers. I make salads, soups (I also have a small thermos), casseroles, fresh fruit and dried fruits portioned, and sometimes make stuff like homemade energy bars (will make a dozen or two at a time and store them in the freezer and grab one each day before heading out when I choose to bring one to work). This week for example I made five portions of a soba noodle and vegetable dish and put it in five small tupperware containers. I snack on brazil nuts and fruits also. I just grab what I need each day then and head out. Sometimes on my day off I also make batches of homemade bread and/or cook up a big batch of dried beans to have on hand for dinner for the week. Anything that is going to take a long time, I do on Sundays. I might also make a huge batch of quinoa or millet and have that on hand for the week as it takes a good while to cook. Sandwiches are a little easier to make on the fly. I know some people at work who keep whole jars of peanut/nut butters at their desk, and one woman even keeps a loaf of bread there lol.

In my desk drawer, for emergencies in case I forget my lunch, I have dates, little single serve raisin boxes, dry oats, pumpkin seeds in a ziplock bag, packets of stevia and cinnamon, tea bags...I always keep a big bottle of water at my desk too.

Edit to add: I carry around a duffel bag with my lunch, purse, gym clothes, yoga gear, work stuff...does get to be a bit much sometimes as I practically live out of that bag lol. But it serves me well.
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Raisins, sunflower seeds, freeze-dried or sun-dried fruit (apples, strawberries, apricots), kale chips, seaweed, chia seeds (can just add to water for calories - boring but works!), flackers, gluten free pretzels, trail mix, jarred peaches, granola, bananas, apples, avocados, hummus, and lately i've been really obsessed with Raw Revolution bars! Check em out
I have a tin under my desk with emergency foods that I top up now and then - single servings of popcorn, sachets of miso soup, flavoured couscous, small can of beans or chickpeas that don't need a can opener, Pulsin and Nakd bars, chocolate soya milk, crackers, jar of peanut butter. If I forget to take my lunch or have a particularly physical day these usually keep me going. We have a microwave, kettle and limited cutlery at work so it has to be easy stuff.

Sometimes I've found if I bring something in a packet (litre of almond milk, biscuits, bread etc) and put it in the communal fridge it gets 'borrowed' but if I transfer it into tupperware or unmarked packaging no-one wants to touch it :D
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I keep a cupboard of food at my desk.

1. Agave
2. Cinnamon
3. Oatmeal
4. Kale Chips
5. Boxes of tea (three at the moment)
6. 5 Dr. McDougal's lunch things
7. Bunch of bananas, oranges, and apples.
Desk drawer:

Miso soup sachets

Cup a soup sachets

Raw bars (raw rev, pure, kez)

Fruit cups

Rice and corn thins


Nut butter sachets

Small cans of chickpeas and four bean mix with ring pull lids

Longer lasting fruit like apples, pears and oranges

Brown rice/quinoa/couscous cups

Porridge (oats) sachets


Leftovers frozen and labelled

Frozen vegetables
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Invest in a quality thermal lunchbag and thermal food containers. Then you can bring hot and cold foods of your choice and keep them at your desk to prevent thievery. I recommend thermos brand for the containers. Expensive, but nearly indestructible and they'll keep your food hot or cold ALL DAY. I also always see lunchbags at Ross and TJ Maxx type stores. They have some pretty stylish lunchbags for adults now too, not at all like what little kids carry;)

One more thing, a USB rice cooker. Tiny little things and you could store one with some rice and always have the option of a quick bowl of rice:)
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Do you have access to a microwave? One thing I haven't seen mentioned so far is potatoes, but they are something you could heat in the microwave and top with e.g. canned beans, hot sauce and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, and they would keep for a while uncooked.
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I do not "keep" things because it is not practical for me in my job...But I take different things in my bags every day...Some of them are:
Nuts, any kind
Medjool dates
Fruit you don't need too peel or peels easily. Apples, pears, bananas
Cherry tomatoes which I consume just like olives, no dressing
Rice cakes
In winter, always a thermos with tea or herbal tea.

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Sorry I wrote "in my bags"...seems I am loaded in my job! My bag of course,.

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In my drawer at work- Nakd bars, nuts and herbal tea bags. Im the fridge at work- soya yog, fresh fruit and whatever I've made for lunch (salads, pasta, lentils, curry, stir fry etc)
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I take leftovers from dinner the night before, but I also always keep Dr. McDougall soup/noodle cups in my desk. All you have to do is add water and the seasoning packet and microwave for a couple of minutes. They are nice to have when in a pinch. I usually pour them over a baked (or microwaved) potato. Fills me up and keeps me healthy in a rush. :)

Here's a link to amazon with the different flavors. They are all vegan.
I've dedicated the deep bottom drawer of my desk for my snacks! i work in a temperature sensitive lab so it doesn't get hot so i usually bring in one of the bunches of bananas from food shopping to keep in there, a big bag of grapes to pick at, maybe some apples floating around and a box of whatever flavor of individual granola bars im eating at the time incase i want some crunch. i also have a metal working/car garage shop as a side gig/ hobby i usually go to after work so im away from home a large majority of the day so its nice to have some choices. we have a few fridges at work that i usually keep my lunch in if need be and a microwave if im having something hot as well as a full service cafeteria with salad bar, but i tend not to go in there much.
grape (or cherry) tomatoes with some hummus or baba ganoush to dip them in.
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