Once upon a time, packed lunches were cool. I used to so desperately envy the kids at school who'd arrive with their shiny lunch boxes adorned in collectable stickers and pictures of Disney princesses.
I'd drool over the ever changing concoctions of cheese strings, Hoola Hoops, Penguin bars and crust-cut sandwiches that their parents had lovingly prepared. I'd silently curse my silly (although retrospectively, just as loving) parents who had left me to fend for myself (i.e. queue for a hot lunch in school canteens while the packed lunch crew all sat outside in the sunshine and had loads of fun without me).
READ MORE: Here's Team Debrief's Best Hangover Cures
Here's Team Debrief's Best Hangover Cures To Help You Get Through December
News editor Sophie likes to tackle hangovers with food, 'Chicken flavour super noodles (or any other ramen noodle in a square pack) cooked as per the packet instructions but with a bit of crunchy peanut butter and soy sauce and sriracha sauce put in. Sometimes I step it up and put in rice wine vinegar and chillies and maybe some mushrooms and greens but mostly Itu2019s noodles and peanut butter. It coagulates into a ball then you eat it.'
According to editorial assistant Chemmie, Sainsbury's is the way forward, 'Thanks to my uni days and the allure of Sainsbury's Local just across the road, their meal deal became my hangover go-to. Ham hock sandwich, full fat Coke and Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli is your (my) man.'
Culture editor Jess swears by self-loathing and showers, 'I roll around in bed reading Twitter until I become so disgusted by how late in the day it is that Iu2019m forced to get up and get in the shower. Original Source lemon shower gel erases any of those gross memories of kebabs or fags and turning the temperature right down at the end gives you the shock/self-loathing punishment you need to go about the rest of your day.'
Creative editor Anna sticks to tried and tested methods, 'My foolproof method is to start the day by taking two ibuprofen, which is an antiinflammatory so soothes a headache way better than paracetamol. I wash this down with pint of water, full fat coke & coconut water (sorry but it works!).'
Natalia our picture assistant, swears by nostalgia telly and erm, fish. 'I watch back to back Friends and OC episodes. I like to eat tuna out of a tin when doing so.'
Emma our social media editor has a number of tricks up her sleeve; 'A Lucozade! Or a Ribena with lots of sugar. Also eating my body weight in bread and actuallyu2026having another cold beer for lunch. Plus, I hate to be "that person" but actually bikram yoga has worked wonders before, sweating it all out etc.'
Deputy editor Lena keeps things upmarket, 'At risk of sounding like a bit of a posh twat but San Pellegrino sparkling water is a winner. Scientifically it has the highest concentration of salt and thus is most satisfying on a hangover. And have now persuaded myself it's the only thing that works to justify the spend over normal soda water. In real dire times a 'Red Ambulance' aka full fat coke is bought instead.'
Staff Writer Stevie goes in hard. 'Cheese, egg and bread based things throughout the day are essential; paninis, sandwiches, the lot. Then at about 4PM, a large glass of white wine mixed with soda water should sort you right out.'
But in the adult world, the game has changed dramatically. The office lunch envy often materialises when that one smug colleague with Pinterest-worthy meal-prep game whacks open a delicious looking homemade chilli con carne served on a sweet potato jacket and a Tupperware mini of soured cream to go with it. A meal that effectively makes you question and resent the £7.67 you spent on a Pret baguette and packet of crisps that you don't really want.
Nevertheless, while the idea of saving last night's left overs for an equally satisfying lunch the next day is certainly tempting and do-able, we've all watched and pitied the poor sods dashing from desk to kitchen every five minutes, willing the microwave queue to have gone down at least a little bit. And who really has the time (patience) for that malarky?
To help you out, we've rounded up some of Pinterest's most yummy looking and visually pleasing lunches that you can make at home to make you the envy of all the office for once. Just remember to put it in your bag before you leave for work in the morning...
Debrief non boring pack lunches
Where better to start than with one of BBC Good Food's good old elaborate looking dishes that's deceptively easy to make? The recipe is enough for four people so you're sorted for two lunches and two dinners.
If you want to feel super smug about your mega nutritious yet actually tasty lunch, go for Meg Is Well's salmon and quinoa bowl. The great thing about this one is that if there's anything else you fancy (any extra veg that's about to go off) you can throw that in too.
Here's the serious sandwich upgrade you've been looking for. The Flexitarian uses chunky rustic bread but the curried chickpea concoction will quite happily sit in a pitta, bagel, or even a baguette if you so wish.
Bon Apetite have a nice and light option for you, especially if you're the sort of person to buy a whole loaf of bread, not get through it all, and then refuse to use the just-too-crusty slices for sandwiches. Also takes no time to make for those late night meal prep sessions.
Consider this a DIY Pot Noodle scenario. No microwave? No problem? You just need a kettle (every office has a kettle... right?) to top up The Londoner's noodle recipe. It's all sorts of hearty and wholesome.
Forget those continually disappointing pasta dishes at the supermarket salad bar, my friends. Make one you *know *isn't going to leave you disappointed and with a funny after taste in your mouth. Make one like the pretty Ambitious Kitchen's one.
All hail the buddha bowl! When all else fails you know you can resort to an old Instagram fave. They're all pretty straight-forward to make but Emilie Eats' recipe calls for a light and fresh medley of spinach, chickpeas, fresh avo and hummus.
**Follow Jazmin on Instagram **@JazKopotsha
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.