And you all thought I went on vacation and just stopped posting, didn't you? No, I ended up having to go out of town for work and it was very last minute...or rather a phone call at 2:00 in the morning. I've now worked almost three weeks without a day off, school starts this week for the grand kids and they don't have any of their school supplies set out, so it was time to come home. The grand kids didn't mind this latest work schedule because I hauled them down to San Diego to stay at my sister's house. They got to swim every day and play with their cousin. It was a good way for them to end their summer vacation.
The state is always trying to save money and one of the ways they are doing so is by changing the food they feed us when we are working. Every morning there's hot food consisting of some sort of eggs, potatoes, and meat. There's also a wide variety of cold food including cereal, fruit, sweet rolls, and juices. However you eat at home can be replicated here. If you don't eat a good breakfast normally you usually eat a good one on the job. Dinner is the same: meat, vegetables, more vegetables, roll, salads, cookies, cake or pie, and juices.
Then there's lunch. This is where the changes occurred. I think it's for the better. They used to give us two huge sandwiches with at least 1/4 pound of meat in each sandwich. We'd usually pull out the meat and eat that then throw the bread out to the birds. We'd get one or two pieces of fruit, and usually a cookie or candy bar, also some trail mix or some other type of snack, and a juice box and some other drink. We'd sit down for lunch and by the time we were done eating it would be nap time...only there's no nap time on this job.
They just changed lunch to what they call "grazing" lunch. My lunch bag says 4 pounds of food and they no longer include juice or other drinks. Imagine 4 pounds of food just for lunch! It's really set up to be able to snack all day. I'll list what was in my lunch today: One roast beef sandwich with three slices of roast beef, a package of beef jerky, a can of tuna, two sweet-n-salty almond bars, a clifbar, a tiger's milk bar, two 3 oz. packs of tiny carrots, a package of mother's oatmeal cookies, a package of trail mix, a package of chip's ahoy cookies, four pieces of bubble gum, 4 packs of saltine crackers, an apple and orange, four drink mixes (like Gatorade) to mix with water, and probably some other things that I can't remember off the top of my head.
The idea of this lunch is that we are supposed to eat continuously during the day while we are working. Studies have shown that during the last four to six hours of a 12 hour work day most people really start to drag. By changing from a traditional lunch meal to grazing it has been found that people have a steady energy flow throughout the entire work schedule. I do believe that I had more energy to work this past week but I also think that by eating continuously I put on some weight.
Although a lot of food is served at breakfast it's not really heavy so it's just right for starting the day off. At the end of the day I usually pick and choose which food I eat at dinner. I'll pretty much go for whatever my body seems to crave...which always includes the steak. Since steak is such a rarity at home, getting it every other day while on the job is nice and really gives a good protein boost at the end of the day.
Little kids graze, Boy and Girl just want to eat all day as well. I don't know why adults think that it's better to sit down for three meals rather than graze. I understand at the beginning and end of the day to just sit down and eat. It's good for socializing. But during the day when you are trying to accomplish something, stopping to eat, and then wanting a nap after, is just not the way to go.
If you have to do some hard labor or you have any type of project that you are working on set up your bag of grazing food and keep it with you all day. Don't take a lunch break, just keep on going. You may be suprised that by not taking that noon break you may accomplish a whole lot more and you will have more energy to pull you through.