World Mental Health Day 2021

October 10 was recognized as World Mental Health Day but it’s fair to say mental health is something we should be talking about every day, not just on October 10. The real focus of World Mental Health Day is not only to recognize the prevalence of mental health and really put a face to it, but also to focus on the gaps in health services that people with mental health concerns have and the stigma still associated with mental illness.

Mental illness shows itself in so many ways during so many stages of life:

  • In grandparents who have been isolated for so long and whose minds have started to wander.
  • In parents who are experiencing something beyond the ‘baby blues’ or preparing for their children to head off to college or who are just trying to keep an unstable marriage alive for their children’s sake.
  • In adults who are dealing with the constant pressure of living up to expectations, so often their own.
  • In children who struggle to come to terms with the constantly changing world around them and where or how they fit in.

For those of us not amongst the almost one billion people who have a mental disorder, we’re affected because the people we love are personally affected.

I know it seems cliché these days but you never really know what someone else might be going through. That smile they give you in the hallway might be hiding suicidal thoughts. That purposefully avoided eye contact might be someone pleading to simply hear a ‘hello’. That overdose in the school restroom is a literal cry for help.

As you think about your own mental health today and the mental health of the people that matter most in your world, consider the strangers as well. And remember that you don’t know what journey they have faced, you don’t know what path they’re following, and you don’t know what makes them tick. Be kind to them. Give them some grace. And let them know you care. While you’re at it, do the same for yourself.

For some great resources on depression, suicide, and mental health in general, head to


About the Author

Beth B.

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager


Lunchbox Hack – Vegetables

PMG believes that those who eat better work better. But we don’t just want you to work better; we want you to feel better too! This blog aims to help you feed yourself with better fuel and we have tips, tricks, and recipes to make that possible. If you missed our last lunchbox hack, there’s still plenty of summer left to get grilling, so check it out now.

Eating vegetables is always an important part of any diet because of the contributions they make to your health in terms of vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, fiber, and heart-healthy “good” fats. Proper vegetable intake is even more important during the hot summer months because they help keep you hydrated too. That makes this a great time of year to recommit to getting more vegetables into your daily lunchbox.


There’s lots of great ways to work more veggies into your daily lunch and kids can benefit too! One of the easiest things to do is to think about how you can replace an item with a vegetable rather than just simply adding them. For example, think about your favorite, old reliable sandwich. Now swap out the bread for something green and call it a lettuce wrap. Voila! Instant vegetable increase!


Start with a bag of frozen vegetables. They’re cheap, easy to cook in the microwave, and they can double as an ice pack in your cooler!

You might be saying, “Wait! Great idea, but I work outside. How does this help me?” The answer to that is easy. If you work on sites or in situations where a microwave isn’t handy, wrap your frozen (but thawing) veggies in tinfoil before lunch time, and let them sit in the sun while on top of your cooler or on your dash. Depending on temperatures and cloud cover, an hour should normally be enough.


One of the easiest ways to eat more vegetables is to not eat them at all. Drink them instead!

A tasty smoothie can make a lot of vegetables go down easy while also being easy to prep. Try this Kale Pineapple Smoothie recipe next time you have the blender out. Then just make sure to leave enough to pack for work the next day!

If you found some of these ideas to be helpful, check out our earlier Lunchbox Hacks on our blog page for more to chew on.

Have some delicious tips, tricks, or recipes of your own you’d like to share? Send them to our Writing Team and we might feature them in future posts. Either way, we hope you work safely and eat healthy today!


About the Author

Josh E

Josh Erickson, ReTool Public Relations & Engagement Specialist

World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) takes place on June 14th and is celebrated around the world to raise awareness for the need for safe blood and blood products.

I’ve been donating blood since my senior year in high school (way too long ago) – and even though I donate every 56 days, it still feels like such a rewarding experience each time, because I know what a difference those few minutes can make to someone in need of blood.

In honor of WBDD, I wanted to share some common concerns and facts in hopes of convincing you to think twice next time you drive by a blood donation bus or see there is a blood drive near you!

Concern #1: I don’t like needles

I’m not sure anyone LOVES needles but your fear or hatred of needles can be overcome for a few short minutes, I promise. Prepare yourself in advance for your first donation by reading up on the donation process. While you’re donating, you are always reminded to look away in case you don’t like needles. You also get a chance to just kick back and relax for 10 minutes or less. Don’t forget, the snacks afterwards are a little bonus too. Best of all is the pride you’ll have for being able to donate!

Did you know that 1 pint of blood can help save as many as 3 lives?

Concern #2: I’m not sure I’m eligible 

If you’re in good health, over the age of 17 (or 16 with parental consent), and weigh at least 110 pounds, you’re probably eligible. Less than 38% of Americans are able to donate and unfortunately, less than 10% actually roll up their sleeves and follow-through.

Did you know that every 2 seconds, someone in the US needs blood and/or platelets?

Concern #3: Is it safe to donate?

Absolutely! Each donation requires the use of sterile needles and the technician discards them after one use. You’ll also complete a mini-physical prior to donating to make sure you’re healthy enough to donate that day.

Did you know that a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood?

Concern #4: I’m afraid I’ll faint.

In all the years I’ve been donating or have hosted blood drives, I’ve never seen anyone faint, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Most donors feel fine after donating, especially if they’ve drank plenty of fluids and eaten plenty of food prior to their donation. Plus, you’ll have experts around during the entire donation process who are paying close attention and constantly asking you how you’re feeling; they want to make sure this is a positive experience for you.

Did you know you have about 10 pints of blood in your body? The loss of 1 pint during blood donation can be replenished is a pretty short amount of time.

Concern #5: I don’t have the right kind of blood

At times, there may be more of a demand for one particular type of blood, but there’s always a need and a purpose for every type.

Did you know that Sickle Cell Disease affects more than 80,000 people in the US? Sickle Cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.

As you’re deciding what to do over your next lunch break or what to do with that hour you have to spare between your kids’ soccer game and dance class, consider finding a donation site near you and saving someone’s life.

For more quick facts, check out:


About the Author

Beth B.

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager


How It’s Made – Sunscreen

There is an old saying that here in Minnesota, we have 11 seasons rather than the typical four. Those are:

  1. Winter
  2. Fool’s Spring
  3. Second Winter
  4. Spring of Deception
  5. Third Winter
  6. Mud Season
  7. Actual Spring
  8. Summer
  9. False Fall
  10. Second Summer
  11. Actual Fall

If you asked me, I’d say that right now, Minnesota has emerged from the Third Winter as well as Mud Season, is currently in Actual Spring, and getting closer to Summer with every day. With summer comes outdoor activities, mosquitos and sunshine so store shelves are full of bug spray and sunscreen which is how we got to wondering how sunscreen is made? We’ve got the answer for this month’s How It’s Made article!

How Is Sunscreen Made?

First and foremost, let’s outline just what sunscreen does. The sun emits three types of light: infrared, visible, and ultraviolet. Of the three, ultraviolet is the worst for humans. There are two types of ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB). Depending upon which one, they will either penetrate the skin to cause damage to our cells and immune system, damage our eyes’ corneas and lenses, and/or cause skin cancer. Therefore, sunscreen does two things. It will either block these ultraviolet rays or  absorb the rays before they can penetrate our skin. To do this, sunscreen contains one or more of the following ingredients:

  1. Titanium Dioxide
  2. Avobenzone
  3. Zinc Oxide
  4. Octisalate
  5. Oxybenzone
  6. Homosalate

These ingredients are considered sunscreen actives which are combined with many other ingredients including liquids (purified water), functional ingredients (synthetics, emulsifiers, and preservatives), and skin-nourishing ingredients (Vitamin E). You can see the general percentages of each in this graph!

Sunscreen Ingredient Percentages

So, what happens next? What do we do with all these ingredients? Read on below to find out!

Four Steps to Making Sunscreen

Step 1: Water is purified through the use of reverse osmosis.

Step 2: Mix Purified water with all other ingredients.

  • The other ingredients will come in solid, powder, or flake form.
  • Ingredients are mixed in large vats or kettles. Mixing follows a recipe which outlines the exact measurements of each ingredient as well as the time, speed, and temperatures needed for mixing operations.

Step 3: Mixed ingredients are moved through stainless steel piping to stainless steel tanks and into a sterile room.

  • These tanks can have capacities of as much as 1,000 gallons.

Step 4: From these stainless steel tanks, the product then moves through more stainless steel piping to pressurized filling machines.

  • A conveyor brings the mottles into a sterile room and also to these machines.
  • The amount dispensed depends upon the bottle size and is controlled by machine programs.
  • Nozzles on the machinery extend and retract over and over into the bottles for filling operations.
  • Filled bottles are capped and packaged automatically by the equipment.
  • Once boxed, then palletized, and wrapped, it’s ready to ship!

Now, this summary of sunscreen manufacturing is simplified. However, buying sunscreen can be anything but simple. If you’re like me, and many others standing in sunscreen aisles, you don’t know what to buy! Check out this helpful article from the American Academy of Dermatology outlining answers for all the common Sunscreen FAQs including which sunscreens to use and when to use them. Additionally, here’s a great article explaining SPF -Sun Protection Factor!

And remember, regardless of how many real “seasons” your state may have, it’s important to wear sunscreen year-round!

Happy (and SAFE) Sunning!


About the Author

Kim M







Kim Mooney – Technical Manager & Coach

Lunchbox Hack – Edition 10

After decades spent in fields,  shops, and at jobsites, I know that food options can be limited for those trying to fuel themselves through yet another long shift. From workplace to drive-thru to gas station fare, the reality is that S4L (Sandwich, Soup, Salad, Snack, and Leftovers) can get expensive. Not to mention, unhealthy and boring. But don’t worry, PMG isn’t just about the work, we’re here for you in regards to food too.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with America’s manufacturing workforce, check out our webinar on the importance of healthy habits for those working in manufacturing to learn more. Otherwise, read on for barbequing tips & tricks for the unofficial start of grilling season this Memorial Day!


When it comes to steak it’s all about patience. Allow your meat to sit at room temperature at least 20 minutes prior to putting it on the grill. Let steaks rest after cooking as well. The juices will redistribute during this time creating a much juicier experience from bite to bite. The residual heat of the meat will also keep the steak cooking so don’t be afraid to remove it slightly earlier than expected. Additionally, while burgers don’t require the same rest time as steaks, a simple dimple in your patty will help keep them flat while grilling!

Grilling Season Steak


The simplest trick starts with a clean grill. This helps avoid that over-charred taste AND limits the chances of grease fires that can quickly ruin your meal or your grill. Another helpful item for any grill guru is a hamburger press. Whether plastic or metal, a good press can make forming the perfect patty much faster and easier while also producing burgers that cook more evenly.


We all have a favorite standby method or recipe for grilling meat but how many have a dessert recipe they can grill too? In case you don’t, checkout this great recipe for grilled peaches next time you want to impress the neighbors during grilling season. Garnish to taste but, please know, the subtle combination of savory and sweet is more than enough for this fruit to fly solo after your main course too!

If you liked this recipe check out our earlier hacks on our blog page now. If you have a recipe, tip, or trick of your own you’d like to share, we’d love to spread the word for you. Send them to and keep an eye out for future Lunchbox Hacks! Either way, we hope you all work safe and eat well today!


About the Author

Josh E

Josh Erickson – ReTool Public Relations & Engagement Specialist

Love Yourself

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

To my children, Valentine’s Day means decorating boxes for school, filing out Valentine’s Day cards for each of their classmates, and eating lots of yummy candy.

For my husband, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for giving and receiving sarcastic cards about being ‘the peanut butter to my jelly’, exchanging gifts neither of us really need, and spending too much on a nice dinner that we’ll regret later because who really needs a five-course meal?

While we show everyone else how much we love them on Valentine’s Day, what about treating ourselves to a little love? What about giving ourselves the time to do something that will benefit us even after Valentine’s Day has come and gone?

Here are a few things you can do to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day and it doesn’t need to cost you a dime.


You spend so much time smiling at others but what about just smiling at yourself? That one smile in the mirror from YOU could make you happy all day long (and might even garner a laugh)!

Make a list

Take some time to praise yourself for the good things you do. You went out of your way to help a coworker yesterday; gave the homeless person on the corner that second sandwich you didn’t really need; donated blood. You do good things all the time – pay attention!

Say no

I know this one is easier said than done for some people (including myself), but don’t let someone else determine your next move. If you aren’t heading in the direction of your dreams, say no and steer yourself in the right direction.

Challenge yourself to something new

You are constantly learning and growing and it’s never too late to try something new. Did you take piano lessons as a child and always wish you would have stuck with it? Maybe now is the time to find a piano teacher. Want to learn Swedish? Ge det ett fÖrsÖk! If Google serves me right, that means ‘give it a try’!

Forgive yourself

I read a book recently that reminded me that, more often than not, forgiveness if for me, not for the person I’m forgiving. I’m freeing myself from whatever has trapped me and allowed me to stop growing. The same can be said for forgiving yourself. No one is perfect. Allow yourself some grace and learn from your experience. Take a cue from Elsa and ‘let it go’ (please tell me I’m not the only one singing right now).

Do what makes you happy

For some, this could be popping popcorn and binging Harry Potter all weekend. For others, taking your beloved Fido to his favorite dog park. If you’re typically a home body, but you know that being happy means getting out and doing something different, go explore a nearby State Park. There are so many options no matter where you are.

Find your inner sparkle

I’m pretty sure Dr. Seuss said it better than anyone else when he said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Embrace the ‘youer’ that you are – you’re worth it!

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

Want more Valentine’s Day reading? Check out our post on Love & Appreciation at Work.


About the Author

Picture of HR Manager, Beth Bangtson

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager

Lunchbox Hack – Edition 7

We’re on a mission to improve break time for the American workforce one lunchbox at a time. From the shop to the warehouse to the field, production is powered by people who are fueled by food. And we’re sure most of us would appreciate something better in our brown bags. If you missed last month’s Lunchbox Hack, check it out on our blog page now. But, if you liked what you learned (or you’re just tired of the same old same old), read on to harvest the fruits of our (admittedly delicious) labor.

This blog normally features tips, tricks, and recipes to perk up mealtime during your workday. However, this month’s Lunchbox Hack will focus on a seasonal treat straight from my family’s own kitchen, in honor of the holiday spirit (and the fact that dessert is a legitimate part of even pre-packed lunches). The good news is it’s not just for you! This tasty gift will keep on giving all season long as you share with family, friends, and co-workers alike! Without further ado, I present to you my personal all-time favorite cookie: The Chocolate Crinkle.


New readers may not know, but those who have read my blogs before are well aware, that I’m a lifelong native of the North Country (aka Minnesota). Not coincidentally, so is the Chocolate Crinkle! This staple of the Christmas cookie platter was invented in St. Paul during the early 20th century by Helen Fredell. Mrs. Fredell’s creation was met with so much buzz by the baking community that Betty Crocker herself begged Helen for the recipe when served them at the Fredell home. Betty then famously recounted the scene (and included the recipe, introducing it to the rest of America) in her confectionary classic Cookie Carnival. The acclaim that followed in the almost-century since is simply delicious destiny.


The method for making Chocolate Crinkles is simple but notoriously finicky. The secret to success starts with COLD dough, which does a great job highlighting. However, if your baking skills are basic at best, feel free to also review this link to the  Original Betty Crocker recipe too for additional helpful hints. Then get in the kitchen and start cracking on your crinkles!


This pro-tip comes straight from Minnesota’s resident Chocolate Crinkle maven (my mom, Margaret)! Crinkles are essentially the cookie version of a brownie. As such, they are one of the few cookies that actually improves as they age. This happens because, while the outside gets crunchier with time, the inside stays gooey and moist creating a tasty texture contrast. Over time however, the powdered sugar tends to fall off. To avoid this, Mama Margaret recommends patting your dough balls repeatedly while rolling them in sugar to ensure your toppings don’t end up on the bottom of the tray.


Did I mention cold dough is critical? Because it is. Thus, the best thing you can do to make sure your cookies turn out is leave your dough in the fridge as long as possible. My mom’s rule of thumb is to go at least twice as long as whatever your particular recipe recommends. If you do this there’s a good chance your Christmas Crinkles will even make Kris Kringle himself come back for seconds!


About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

Tips for Winter Driving

Winter and winter driving. We all have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with it. The movies make it look like a magical time while our experiences often say otherwise: roads with no lanes, snow-covered stop signs, black ice, a dead car battery, or accidents. It’s even worse if you’re a first-timer to wintry weather and driving conditions. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of must-dos for winter weather and winter driving.

Pack a Roadside Emergency Kit

Include the following items:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares, reflective material, or reflectors
  • Kitty litter/salt/sand for traction or ice melt
  • A flash light (and extra batteries)
  • A small snow shovel
  • A first-aid kit

Pack a Personal Emergency Kit

In this kit, you should have:

  • Extra medication
  • Food and snacks such as mixed nuts, crackers, or granola bars
  • A warm blanket
  • Bottle of water
  • A portable phone charger
  • Hat and gloves
  • Hand warmers

Pack an Ice Scraper

  • Snow Pro Tip: scrapers with long handles, a blade, and a brush are most useful!

Get Your Car Tuned-Up

Whether you do this yourself, or you take it to a mechanic, perform the following checks on your vehicle:

  • Tire Tread
    • The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32” depth of tread at the most. If you’re at this or even close to it, consider replacing your tires.
  • Tire Pressure
    • Maintain your tire pressure at the manufacturer recommended PSI.
  • Vehicle Fluids: Oil, Antifreeze/Coolant, Windshield Wiper Fluid
    • Refill these if they are low and/or perform a fluid change, if needed.
  • Battery
    • Inspect your battery. Is there wear and tear or corrosion? Did you have troubles with it last year? It might be time to clean it or get a new one.
  • Wipers & Wiper Blades
    • Check that the wiper blades are in good condition and work well to clear your window. If not, replace them. Snow and ice are harder to clear than rain.
  • Brakes, Heater, Defroster, Belts, Hoses, Lights
    • A general check of these to ensure they are in good condition and working as they should will go a long way to keeping you free of freezing on the side of the road, wondering what in the world is wrong.

Consider Roadside Assistance

  • Check to see if you already have this through your insurance or secure it through AAA (Triple A). Then put the phone number in your phone to ensure you have easy access to it, if you need it!

Once you’ve done all that and winter hits, keep the following items in mind:

  • Plan ahead. Give yourself more time when traveling somewhere. Rushing is hazardous to yourself as well as the others on the road.
  • Check the weather before you go. Being aware of what you could encounter helps you plan before it happens.
  •  Don’t let your tank go dry. Try to keep at least ½ a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times.
  • Don’t use cruise control.

With all that said, below are helpful links for even more tips & tricks on winter driving:


About the Author

Picture of Kim Mooney

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

What Are You Thankful for This Year?

What are you thankful for this year?

That’s what we asked PMG employees, in honor of Thanksgiving. We wanted to understand what they are most thankful for even after all that happened in 2020. You might notice some themes here. I’m thankful I get to share them with you.

I’m thankful for…

  • “Good family, good friends, good health, and a great employer!”
  • “Now more than ever, I am SO thankful for my job. If I was still working in the restaurant business, my life would be a lot different. My employment would never feel steady.”
  • “Really good teachers who have figured out how to engage my kids, have given them individual attention, and have gotten them excited about school through distance learning.”
  • “Streaming services that give me any movie, show, or clip at my fingertips, on demand.”
  • “The health of our family and being able to go on two vacations as a family!”
  • “Having a job.”
  • “The brave people who fight at the battle lines: whether that be our military who defend our country each and every day of every year, or the doctors, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and EMT’s who maybe didn’t sign up for a global pandemic but have continued to put their own lives on the line to adhere to the promises they made when they entered their professions.”
  • “I know that it’s crazy to say, and may even disrespectful to those who have lost family members because of this virus, but I am thankful for COVID. COVID forced me home, forced me to work remote. It allowed me the chance to visit my grandparents for a full week – good, hardworking people who got to see what I do for a living. I cherish this week I spent with them because a week after I came back home, my grandpa was admitted to the hospital, and sadly, passed away last week. My grandparents worked hard so they could provide good values and virtues for their children and grandchildren and I am forever lucky to have them as my grandparents.”
  • “All the big things; my health, my family, my friends, my coworkers and career, etc. like everyone. But I just want to say I’m also very thankful for clever Internet memes. Closet-heroes of COVID.”
  • “All my friends and family are healthy during this time.”
  • “Weekends! A time to decompress and spend some quality time with friends and family.”
  • “The people in my life who have really shown to be a resource in trying times, who are empathetic and sympathetic, who build me & encourage me, and remind me of just how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life.”
  • “Small things that inspire: like Christmas music, sending a note to brighten someone’s day, or a simple act of kindness like lending a helping hand.”
  • “Living out a lifelong dream of living in a warmer climate and for a company that helped that dream come true.”
  • “Mindfulness podcasts, books, and other resources.”
  • “Not many military wives get the opportunity to continue their careers while moving around so much. Having a company that supports me and the military is so important! Working for PMG is without a doubt what I am most thankful for this year.”
  • “My family, friends, health, and especially a new Grandbaby. My job and co-workers! Oh, and especially a new Grandbaby!”
  • “Home.”
  • “Adoption. Exactly one year ago today, I watched my dad take his last breath. He was my adoptive dad but that doesn’t matter, he was my dad. My step-son was adopted as well and he brings me such joy. We have become buddies as we travel the states in search of Pokémon, watch Korean horror movies together (he claims that it’s reading time because he has to read the subtitles), engage in Nerf gun wars, and plan grand adventures, even if it’s just down to the laundry room. Even though adoption can be painful at times, the blessings are abundant.”
  • “The people working tirelessly to find a cure for COVID-19.”
  • “I’m thankful that neither myself or anyone in my immediate family has contracted COVID-19.”
  • “I have so much to be thankful for despite the challenges each of us have faced this year. I am thankful for my job because it gives me and my family the stability that we have needed and has enabled us to purchase our first home, my wife and family, and the health that each one of us have been blessed with.”
  • “Being employed with a great compensation and opportunities.”
  • “I’m thankful my health is good enough to perform acceptably for PMG clients so I can set up my more and more imminent retirement.”

So much thankfulness. I couldn’t leave anyone out. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

I want to end with a response from PMG’s president. It seems fitting for so many of us.

Silver Linings

  • “It has been an insane year. We faced challenges I never expected. We adjusted to changes that haven’t necessarily been comfortable or ideal. We’ve had more loss than usual this year, and have felt our losses, both small and large, more deeply that we have in the past. We’ve lived with a level of fear and uncertainty over the past 9 months that wears on us after time. Despite all that, this year I have found some silver linings that I’m thankful for.”
  • “At work, I’m thankful for the silver lining of learning that the team of people I work with, who I thought were pretty amazing going already, are stronger and together can accomplish more than my already high beliefs of what we could accomplish were.”
  • “At home, I’m thankful for the silver linings of a slower pace with less planned activities, more time to just be home together, and using our creativity more than we ever have in the past to entertain ourselves and connect with those we love in new ways.”
  • “I am also thankful for the silver lining of knowing that life as we know it can change at any minute, and that we are resilient and will find ways to grow in new and good ways, including loud, crazy Zoom family Thanksgiving get togethers where we will share our thanks virtually until we can all gather in person again.”

I hope that each of you is able to find the silver linings in your world, and reflect on all that you’re thankful for this year. Remember though – Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to be thankful. Start a gratitude journal for all the days. Gratitude Journals are good all year round!

Many thanks to you!



About the Author

Picture of HR Manager, Beth Bangtson

Beth Bangtson, Human Resources Manager 

Lunchbox Hack – Edition 6

From the shop to the warehouse to the field, production is powered by people who are fueled by food. We want to help you work better by helping you eat better. This blog is our effort to do just that. If you missed last month’s lunchbox hack, check it out on our blog page now. But, if you liked what you learned (or you’re just tired of the same old same old), read on to find delicious ways to improve your lunch packing process.


Snacks aren’t just to help satisfy your cravings. They are an important source of nutrition to maintain your energy between meals. To make sure you have enough fuel to power through your day before or after lunch, choose snacks high in protein and complex carbs. A few handfuls of mixed nuts or trail mix is always a good choice. Packing separately from the rest of your lunch and at the top of your lunchbox, reduces mess and improves access at breaktime too!


Follow a formula. A lot of the trouble in packing your own lunch comes with deciding what to pack in the first place. The easy way around this is to take the deciding out of it. This is the same reason why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same kind of hoodie and pants every day. The fewer choices available, the less time spent choosing. Pack your lunches according to a formula like the one below and then just choose based on pre-listed options in each category. A great example of this method can be found in this article.


A great way to follow a simple lunch formula like PROTEIN + CARB + FRUIT/VEG + SOMETHING FUN is to pack an adult lunchable. They’re easy, healthy, low-mess, and fun to eat so they’re definitely not just for kids. You don’t have to opt for an expensive, pre-packaged version either. Try this recipe for a DIY Starbucks Protein Bistro Box on your next lunch break.


About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate