Office LunchWith today’s tough times, eating out is a luxury that you might only be able to afford once in a while. Unless you have access to an all-expense-paid account (or are independently wealthy), the best option is to bring a packed lunch from home when going to work. The only hitch is that you can’t take just any kind of food to the office. Here are foods that are unadvisable you pack for lunch:

Microwaved Popcorn
Two reasons: Number one, most people burn the popcorn. For whatever reason, microwaves seem bent on nearly incinerating a bag of popcorn, no matter how short an amount of time you cook it. 30 seconds? BAM. BURNT. And number two, you burn-up the popcorn and stink up the whole place with an odor that sticks. Unlike other people who are quietly sitting at their desks, silently munching on a bag of peanut or a bar of chocolate, you’re letting everyone in a 50-yard range know that you’re eating the worst food they could have ever imagined for lunch.

Popcorn is great at the movies, but not at the office!

Cheese
There are literally hundreds of varieties of cheese from all over the world (about 670+) that you would never run out of choices. Cheese goes well paired with wine. If you’re a wine connoisseur, you probably want to pair your favorite vintage with your favorite cheese. Unfortunately, it’s best not to be a wine and cheese guy at the office. Cheese carries a very peculiar smell.

Fish
Fish is great grilled, smoked or even fresh, as in sushi. Tuna and salmon are particular favorites. However, there’s often something fishy about these food items and it’s just that: they’re fish. If you’ve ever tried to visit the seafood section of your local market, you will be familiar with that fishy smell. If you’ve handled fish for cooking, you know how hard it is to take the smell off. The same goes with bringing fish for lunch. So, avoid packing fish for lunch to the office. There’s no amount of lemon in the world that will cover up the stench.

Smelling Vegetables
Vegetables are great for your health, yes. They provide a lot of vitamins and fiber. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of vegetables of the stinking variety. Chief among these are broccoli, cabbage and asparagus. You might wonder where that flatulence-like smell is coming from, but it might be too late to realize that it’s coming from your plate inside the microwave.

Even if we encourage healthy living through eating vegetables, we do discourage placing those veggies in the microwave. Stick to veggies that come with a neutral smell, like carrots and celery. And eat them raw for extra nutrition.

On a final note, remember that your workplace will usually rely on re-circulated air and any strong odors have the tendency to stick long after lunchtime. Also, if you can manage it, bring enough to share with co-workers. Trust me, they’ll appreciate the extra goodies.