food

Lunch Diaries: 'In one week, I wanted to change my approach to work-day lunches. This is what happened.'

Australian raspberries & blackberries
Thanks to our brand partner, Australian raspberries & blackberries

It's 2021, and while I'm not usually one for setting goals, this year I thought I'd try something new.

I call them lifestyle substitutions.     

You know; walking instead of getting an Uber, reading a book instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.

And, curbing what is arguably my worst habit: swapping rushed store-bought lunches for fresh homemade meals and snacks.

I wish I could say this is a ridiculous and rare routine, but I don't think I'm in the minority here.

I did a quick survey of my colleagues' lunches this week (some of whom are working from home, and some from the office), and they consisted of supermarket roast chickens, soggy takeaway salads or, in the case of the sales team, overpriced pizza from the restaurant next door. 

So, I thought I'd try an experiment. 

A week of creating exciting work lunches and snacks using my favourite fruits, raspberries and blackberries, to see how much better I would feel, and how much time/stress/money I'd save.

Berries feel deliciously indulgent and we seem to save them for special occasions. But why? I think it’s time we challenged that notion and brought some of their juicy, delicious, healthy goodness into more mid-week meals.

I mean, why not. They just bring So. Much. Joy.

The summer fruit salad

In my opinion, the humble fruit salad just doesn't get the hype it truly deserves.

It is such a happy, summer-y snack, and that's exactly why I decided to bring it back to work.

Delish! Image: Supplied. 

 My summer-y fruit salad was made up of:

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  • Half a punnet of raspberries 
  • Half a punnet of blackberries 
  • Half a calypso mango 
  • Half a punnet of blueberries 

Reflection: This was significantly cheaper than the fruit salad I'd buy from the cafe up the road, and was quick to put together. I could also put in exactly what I wanted - a luxury you don't get with store-bought lunches. 

Raspberries, blackberries and cream cheese on a bagel

It really doesn't get much better than this.

Adding raspberries and blackberries and cream cheese to a bagel is not only super simple to whip up, it's also really nourishing. 

Image: Supplied. 

What I used for this recipe:

  • A few blackberries
  • A few raspberries
  • One bagel (halved)
  • Cream cheese
  • A drizzle of honey

Reflection: The best thing about this snack is that it's significantly healthier than my usual work-day choice of a chocolate bar and bag of chips from the 7/11 next door.

Rocket and berry salad

This twist on your usual rocket salad is so delish, and so simple to make. 

Just chuck a handful of rocket in a small tupperware container with some nuts, raspberries and crumbly feta cheese and voila!

You have a refreshing meal to get you through the day.

In my salad I used:

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  • 1-2 handfuls of rocket
  • A few blackberries
  • Feta cheese
  • Walnuts

Mine wasn't quite as pretty to picture as this one, but just as tasty!

Reflection: When I added it up, this salad was less than half the price of the overpriced sandwich I'd usually go for. And so much more delicious. 

Trail mix (with a twist)

This snack sits on my desk all day to pick at, and it has been a game-changer for my insatiable workday appetite.

All you need is a few fresh berries (these make such a difference!) and a trail mix of your choice.

Of course, you could make your own, but I just went with the grocery store home brand hiker's trail mix.

So yummy. Image: Supplied. 

 You need:

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  • 400g Hiker's trail mix 
  • A few raspberries and blackberries 

Reflection: This satisfying snack was about the same price as those nut muesli bars you might buy when you're craving something satisfying - except it's significantly more filling and better quality. It also kept me occupied for far longer. 

So, go forth and enjoy your berry-filled workday. 

My life is changed.

For more great ideas with fresh Australian raspberries and blackberries, head on over to Fresh Aussie Berries' Facebook or Fresh Aussie Berries' Instagram and have a drool at their creations.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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Australian raspberries & blackberries
Bursting with flavour and goodness, Australian raspberries and blackberries take lunch to the next level. From salads, atop a creamy bagel or to liven up snacks. Kick your workday up a notch and add some oomph with Australian raspberries and blackberries.