Packing a Manly Lunch

foods for a man lunch box

For a long time, my husband’s job was only a couple blocks from our apartment, so he would come home on his lunch break to fend for himself. But now, he’s got a new job that’s out of town and he can no longer swing home for food. On his first day, I packed him a lunch that I would have packed for me … but then he came home and reported that it wasn’t enough to tide over his manly appetite. So I put in a plea for ideas to fill man tummies from my wise sister in law and online, consulted Pinterest, wrote a few lists of my own and now have a pretty good grasp of what it takes to subside a big appetite during the workday.

Ideally you’d have enough leftovers from the previous day’s dinners to pack up as a lunch, but sometimes you just can’t do that. Here’s a list of foods that we like in our household that work great in lunches — for your man or for you!:

Main dish

meat, cheese and veggie
tuna salad
chicken salad
egg salad

-homemade pizzas (even the English muffin or bagel kind!)

-hot dogs or sausage

-pickledinks (or ham, cream cheese and pickles rolled up in a tortilla)


-big salads with black beans

-pasta salad

Sides and fillers

-Cuties or Halos

-other fruit – banana, grapes, apple

-crackers with peanut butter

-celery with peanut butter (and raisins if he likes ’em for ants on a log)

-carrots or broccoli with ranch

-hard-boiled eggs

-baked beans

-Hawaiian rolls

-chips with dip or salsa

-pudding cups


-fruit cups

-granola bars


-cashews or other nuts

-cheese sticks or cubes

-pretzel sticks

-cookies or bars

man lunch box close up

As a last resort, have some frozen burritos, hot pockets, canned soups, Ramen cups, prepackaged macaroni cups or tuna salad mixes on hand he can grab during times you’re running low on the good stuff.

Make it fun and get a new lunchbox, new storage containers with dividers, some small resealable cups for salsa, dressing, etc. It makes it more fun for you to pack and him to eat! (Not that the wife must always pack her husband’s lunch. Cal often packs his own, but sometimes I like to do it for him for fun.)

Oh, and always include a love note!


My Personality Style

For work, I got to take a personality assessment to evaluate what type of worker I am and what traits I have. The point is to use it to see how different personality types can work together, understand each other and get results for the good of the company.

I know there’s many different assessments out there, but the one we used have four personality types – dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness, standing for DISC. I tested as a C, with S a close second. This meant that I am analytical, reserved, precise, private and systematic. Secondly, even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble and tactful. The opposite of the other two types that were dominant, outgoing, lively, direct, forceful, firm and strongwilled.

It’s really not surprising, but then the report went on and things got eerie. It went on to describe my work style and what I do well with and what aggravates me. It said that I want a sense of security, want clearly defined expectations, work in a calm manner, avoid high pressure situations, am diplomatic, dislike conflict, but can get bogged down in the minor details and specifics. Accuracy is most important to me, which makes sense as an editor. That’s pretty much my job to be accurate and consistent, detail oriented. My stressors were listed as making decisions without time for analysis, dealing with chaos, being unprepared and taking risks.

Then one statement the report made hit me hard. It said: “You have a strong need for harmony in your relationships, so you tend to be considerate of others’ needs. You’re unlikely to display anger or impatience, so people are comfortable asking you for help. In fact, you’re often willing to put your own needs aside to give the support that’s needed.”

Dead on. All of it.

Who knew answering 20 or so questions would tell me exactly what I’m like. Even in ways that I kind of knew, but didn’t really acknowledge till it hit me in the face.

The thing that struck me was how similar all of those statements were when it came to my wedding. I made SO MANY lists, I overanalyzed every single minor detail, I triple checked everything, I made sure all details were outlined and planned for. And when things did get stressful and chaotic, I couldn’t handle it. Hence my meltdown in the apartment over ice cream. But I tried so hard to never show any of it. I wanted to appear calm and collected through it all. I wanted to handle every detail and not ask for help so I wouldn’t bother anyone else.

But, just like this report said, I need those other personality styles in my life to give me balance and help me out. I couldn’t have made it in the end without my husband, friends or family. I do tend to surround myself with people who are far more outgoing than I am. Probably because I like balance. Also, I’m a Libra. I live on trying to be balanced and fair.

Put two shy people in a room alone and neither will say much. I need to lean on those different than myself to bring out those less dominant traits in myself. That’s one thing I love most about my husband. He says without hesitation the things that I’m thinking, but am too nervous or shy to say aloud for fear of judgment. And I like that. I wish I were more like that. I can be passive-aggressive, because it’s easier than being direct and to the point, which I think made me a bad manager at my old job. But in the new enlightened and aware me, I should try more to push myself to say what I’m thinking, because it’s OK to give my opinion and share what I’m feeling. And if someone doesn’t like it, oh well. That’s the part I struggle with. I want to be liked. But I know that if someone doesn’t like me for some silly reason, then it’s their loss. It’s something I have to remind myself. To “Lean In” more. Speaking of, have any of you read “Lean In?” If not, do it. Best book for women in the workplace, or anywhere.

I’m not saying I need to change my personality, because I know we’re all unique and should embrace it. But I do think it’s healthy to be aware of your traits and sometimes push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone to challenge yourself, because it’s a great way to grow as a human being.

That’s part of what this blog is for me. A public space to air my thoughts and feelings. Don’t like it? Stop reading! I’ve found the strength finally to take that attitude here, so let’s see if I can do it in other aspects of my life too. Phew!