Packing food to go (work, transit, travel, etc.)

I have REALLY fallen off the bandwagon lately as far as diet goes. My eating is terrible! For a long stretch I was eating 80-100g of carbs per day and it was working great, but only if I prepared all my own foods and only ate out occasionally. Due to being insanely busy (basically I took on too much), that has not been happening consistently.

I got a new job that I will start tomorrow. It's a big step up for me and involves a large variety of work throughout the province. So it means I'll have some days in the office, some days out and about visiting schools, and some days travelling by ferry, bus, or air to school districts or conferences or other events.

The office involves a 1 km walk to and from the bus stop, which is great because I've also fallen off the bandwagon as far as exercise goes. I'd like to start packing lunches every day (already done for tomorrow). With my old job I used to do this, but as soon as I started connecting with colleagues and discovered the places to eat nearby, that's when I fell. I also got in the habit of buying my own food when I travelled, which I'll definitely be trying to do again; between Type 1 and multiple food allergies I find it way less stressful, but it does take a ton of organization!!

I think my biggest challenge will be staying organized, since this job is such a variety and won't allow me to just fall into a routine where I can pack the same things. And also has a long commute (1.5 hours each way), although I'll probably end up moving in a few months. I'm wondering how others who have variable jobs that involve travel (either within a city or broader) do for food. And also open to any ideas for things that are not necessarily super low carb, but portable (I take public transit), don't require refrigeration (although I do have a lunch kit that has an ice pack). Also any cool gadgets you've found to be helpful. I have a tiny portable food scale, but when I'm organized enough to pack my own food I just weigh it all and calculate the carb count before I go.

Jen, kudos to you for the huge effort you have put in and are willing to put in! I'm not that disciplined I must admit. I always eat in a cafeteria or at in-transit places because it's just easier in my simple mind. I've kind of used trial and error to estimate carbs at those places and made a list of what works for each one and go by that each day. It's saved me a lot of time and I just don't have the time or brain power to pre-plan and pack my meals each night. When we have cake or donuts at work, I've used a portable food scale that I carry in my purse from Bed, Bath, and Beyond called Polder pocket digitcal scale. It's thinner than a deck of cards and fits easily in a purse. I think it was $15-$20.

Thanks for the information about the scale, I'll check it out. I have a pocket-sized one that I got off Amazon, but I find the food area too small, so would like something slightly (but not much) bigger.

I find my control is terrible when I eat in cafeterias. And, because I have food allergies, I tend to steer clear of most of the kitchen-type areas where they cook foods. Which means I tend to end up eating packaged stuff so I know what's in it, but ultimately I'd be healthier packing my own stuff. (Plus, at my new job there's no cafeteria and no food places nearby other that one cafe that sells sandwiches.)

Your new job sounds cool, if challenging. Congratulations & know you can stay healthy! Plan plan plan!
I recommend stocking up every week on go-to foods. Ie, cut up a nice mix of raw veggies & put 'em in some bags, ready-to-go. I would similarly pack up some small bags of almonds or walnuts. Keep on hand some Ry-Vita or Wasa, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, Kashi bars, Greek yogurts, etc.

Just curious...are you food allergies auto-immune related? I'm asking because I was diagnosed with Type 1 a year ago, and now a year later I was just told that my body now attacked my thyroid because I now have low thyroid, so I need thyroid replacement (which is faaaaarrrr easier than the insulin replacement). The Nurse Practioner told me that once you have one auto-immune disorder, you're more likely for more, so that's why I'm asking about yours. Hopefully, both of us are now done with the auto-immune issues. :-)

Allergies are sort of similar to autoimmune diseases, yes. Except that instead of attacking a part of your body, your immune system attacks a normally harmless substance. My reactions to different foods range from an itchy mouth and throat to severe whole-body reactions. I also have lots of non-food allergies, and other related conditions like asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis (this latter is rare). I definitely think in my case they are all related to my immune system being hyperactive.

Have you considered investing in some good thermoses? Mine can keep things hot for 5 hrs or cold for 7. As the allergies cause problems for me also, I'm far more comfortable traveling with my own food. You can cook on a day you're not working and just carb count it in the morning when dishing the food out.

As a backup, I always keep a non-perishable snack in my purse in case it's mealtime but I don't happen to have something on me - my current favorite is a snack called somersaults, as it's a good balance of carb and protein. If I don't have the snack on me, I'm most likely to pop into a market to grab a greek yogurt, as they're sold everywhere now.

You've been dealing with both diabetes and allergies longer than I have (my autoimmune system didn't go crazy until adulthood), but hopefully one of these tips help.