Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 42, Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Special feature

Lunch Power up!

Although the decade past can be blamed for various unnecessary, undue and unpleasant upheavals in social, political and economic terms, there have also been drastic improvements to certain private sector industries such as telecommunications, advertising, media and publications and banking and finance. Aside the obvious implications, this trend has worked to dismantle the dominance of the laid-back, 9-5 government office-going scene, and sprung to life what has now become the corporate executive culture of Bangladesh today.

Because the bulk of these industries' employees are fresh graduates or at best, in their early twenties and thirties, their professions have evolved into lifestyles in their own, amalgamating aspects of fashion, food, entertainment and culture. To this end, Star Lifestyle takes a sneak peek at one of the most pressing and practical problems that these young executives face- the midday meal trauma. Whether to invest heavily and disproportionately to their incomes and opt to eat out at different restaurants, or to bring a home-packed snack from home, or skip the whole process altogether has been a point of wide contention. Read through for our take on the 'to eat or not to eat' debate and stay tuned for our issue of entertainment for executives next week!

– LS desk

The perennial dilemma of what to bring for lunch is something that young executives around the country face all the time. Blending in at your new job, fitting in, making a good impression is already really tough, but when you bring a lunchbox full of 'bhaat and mangsho', you end up feeding your clothes and your desk along with yourself. At one point it's not about looking 'cool', the whole drama with food just gets downright embarrassing!

And going out for lunch, 30 days in a row, is just sheer torture on your wallet and yourself when you have to face that scorching heat and the stampede of people at that time of day.

When it comes to snacking, first up - let's stick to the literal meaning. We're focusing on how these little but equally healthy snacks should replace your big lunch meal. When at work, there's no reason to have a 3-course lunch to fill up your whole stomach. What you need is something that soothes your palate, something that helps you from not starving since that should never be an option.

Jam and butter sandwich with orange juice and packed cashew nuts. Zip lock bags will do pretty well to carry the sandwiches, while a plastic flask can be used for the juice, since cashews nuts are available in packets, they can be carried as they are.

Pancakes with maple syrup with chocolate milkshake and some butter cookies. A usual tiffin box can be carried to keep the pancakes cool in it, and a small container can hold the complementing maple syrup. It is always nice to drink chilled chocolate milkshake, so a thermos flask can be the best option to carry the drink. Butter cookies can be carried in the packed form.

Chicken sandwich with a juice of choice (apple usually complements the taste of protein) and wafers. When it comes to juice, plastic bottles are the best option to carry them around, and zip lock bags for sandwiches. Wafers are available in packets, so they can be carried as they are.

A bowl of fresh salad with Italian dressing and some fresh mango or papaya juice and a complementing fruit (The taste of oranges goes well with salads). The salad can be carried in a lunch box, the juice in a plastic bottle, and the fruit can be carried in another box or both the salad and the fruit can be carried in boxes with different compartments.

Cup noodles and some hot coffee including a granola bar. Hot coffee can be carried in a thermos flask to save the whole purpose of the coffee being hot. And as for the cup noodles and granola bar, both of them come as packaged products, so, it is easy to carry them without the hassle of carrying lunch boxes.

Being the second most important meal of the day, even if it's small, make sure there's something that you have eaten to keep away from the health issues you may face. You need something healthy and something light to munch on while being able to concentrate on your work.

Snacks, like sandwiches are almost perfect for keeping things healthy and light at the same time. There are, of course, countless things you can make your sandwiches with. If you're looking for something light and easy, things like peanut butter and jelly will do perfectly. And if you want something a little heavier, there's chicken and salad ingredients like tomatoes and lettuce. You can even make yourself a little homemade burger. You can put in different things in your sandwich for each day of the week to make sure you don't get tired of eating the same thing over and over again.

Sometimes even cooking noodles at home and taking it out in this damp and hot weather sounds like too much to handle. Cup noodles are your ultimate solution for times like this. All you need to do is add hot water and you have yourself some delicious ready-made noodles. It's healthy, easy to make and absolutely delicious. You can find cup noodles in any good supermarket like Agora, PQS and Nandan.

If your main objective is health, then you can always whip up some good salad with your choice of vegetables. Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and sometimes some fruits like apples and oranges can give your menu a different and tasty kick.

A bowl of porridge or rice pudding can work real well for your stomach when suffering from hunger at work. And then there are pancakes with some maple syrup that are bound to make you a happy worker!

And, as always, picking up something sweet on your way to work like a little pastry from King's confectionary is always another option to keep you energised and fit during working hours.

Of course, sometimes going out to eat at a nearby restaurant with your favourite colleagues sounds like fun. But lets face facts- it's not possible to do this every other day. If you spend half your salary on going out for lunch, well, that just doesn't sound right.

These tips on sandwiches and little snacks for you to bring and fulfill your appetite are perfect to keep you financially and physically stable and well. Buying some ingredients, such as vegetables and some spread-ons enough for one week will definitely go easy on you and your wallet.

When it comes to your health, hunger and office combined, it's best to think about every consequence you might face. You don't want to go through the trouble of carrying your whole kitchen in your bag and neither do you want to starve the whole afternoon. And of course, making a mess out of your food at the office can make your colleagues gawk at you with blank stares or giggling whispers.

Now, get cracking and do some grocery shopping to be prepared with the best snacks for the upcoming week of work!

A lot of people seem to face problems like which food to take and how to make sure nothing gets too repetitive and boring. Also, finding good things to carry your food in is another troubling situation. Carrying a little sandwich in a giant box is absolutely useless. So, here we have some suggestions for you to work with!

By Naziba Basher
Photo: Munem Wasif/ Star Archive
Photo Direction: Khaled Mahmud,
Head Office


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