Category Archives: Groceries

Homemade Lunch: No Communal Refridgerator Required

Fridge

I have been a full-fledged, card carrying member of the work force for about ten years now. I have to say, being an adult and having a job is not nearly as scary as they made it sound in the brochure. However, there is one thing no one tells you about. It is the one thing that can make you fear for your life and run for the door. It is just as likely to be found at a fancy law firm or doctor’s office, as it is in the employee lounge of a grocery store, or post office. What am I talking about? None other than the communal refrigerator.

Almost anyone who has held a job outside of the home has encountered the communal refrigerator; if you have not, count your lucky stars. Communal refrigerators are notoriously icky. They are usually stuffed full of items that expired during the Clinton administration, and there is almost always an unidentifiable sticky substance lurking at the bottom of the drawers. The freezer is the safest place for your food, but everyone knows that, so good luck squeezing your lunch in there.

The communal refrigerator at my current job isn’t that terrible, but I am still not inclined to use it. Even if I was, the staff lounge is a tight squeeze for my wheelchair, plus the fridge is a side by side, so I can’t reach all the shelves. For me, it is much easier to just keep my lunch with me at my desk, but then there is the concern of keeping it cold. Avoiding the communal refrigerator is pointless if I get myself sick with warm mayonnaise.

I tried a number of lunch coolers before I found one that met all my needs; big enough for my breakfast and lunch, actually kept my food cold and fit in the backpack I use on the back of my chair. But finally the fourth one I tried fit the bill. This lunch tote by Thirty One, holds a lot of food, but its soft sides and shape make it fit easily in my backpack. This bag is also the only one I have found that will keep my food cool until lunch time without the hassle of an ice pack.

So if you are sick of eating out every day just to avoid the horrors of the communal fridge, try this cute little cooler. It can be found in several colors, so you can also stay fashionable while your food stays cool.

Bag Mate

Despite living with a prosthetic leg, I love going for walks. I find little more relaxing than turning my phone to Pandora and going for a long stroll through the neighborhood. The time alone affords me a much needed opportunity to regroup and to clear my head. Walking has become my sanctuary.

Although I enjoy going for little jaunts, I utterly detest walking while carrying any sort of load. Anytime my center of balance is compromised, by carrying an awkward package or heavy objects, I become hyper cognizant of each step. When I feel unsafe, I tend to avoid the activity.

Being a busy Mom, avoidance is not a solution. Although I would prefer to never carry a package or bag, it is simply not a reality. Gallons of ice cream would melt if I didn’t carrying it in from the car after grocery shopping. Circumstances have left me with no choice but to carry the cumbersome, and often times poorly packed plastic grocery bags up our outside steps and into my home. 

Tackling the grocery bag predicament, I began to investigate better options. I suppose I could make multiple trips up and down the steps to and from the car, but that seemed laborious. My time is limited, so I always seek the fastest and safest way to accomplish a task. 

My husband, tired of coming home from work and having to carry in every non-perishable item that I bought at the grocery store, began to do some research. Several months ago he found these bag carrying hooks. Simply brilliant in design, I immediately knew that these hooks were the solution we had been seeking.

It took a little practice loading, but I can now carry five bags on each hook, for a total of ten bags of groceries, on one trip. I have learned to load the bag hooks evenly, so I am not weighted heavier on one side. Even weight distribution, coupled with my carrying the load on a single point, has been the solution I’ve been seeking. As an added bonus, because I’m holding the comfort grip handle instead of the thin plastic handles, my hands and wrists are spared the painful pressure points often inflicted by the handles cutting into my arms. 

These bag carrying hooks, although seemingly inconsequential, have made a great difference in my life. Being able to comfortably carry the groceries into my home, without compromising safety, has been wonderful! (My husband certainly appreciates not being loaded up like a pack mule as soon as he comes home from work.)  I love how such a simple idea has created a profound impact on my life. These bag hooks have certainly helped me to become an UNlimiter!

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