Fuel thermos

I saw this Trudeau Fuel Duo Thermos and Snack Container at a local housewares store and I couldn’t resist it (I bought this product myself and this not a paid review). I like that it comes with a snack holder on the top. So I could put crackers in it and have a trashless lunch.

I thought, “One day when I eat lunches that I pack myself, I’ll bring soup.” I have a friend who is Russian who believes that it’s not lunch unless you have soup. She told me that during her childhood every single lunch included soup.

This spring I was sick a lot. I didn’t want to talk too much about it when I was actually eating school lunches, but I had some nasty viruses. Some days I struggled to get out of bed. I was sick at the very least once per month for about a week and usually it was a chest cold. Many mornings I asked myself, “Do I go to work sick or do I stay home, but how does that affect the blog?” It’s strange that I thought about it in terms of the blog project, but it’s the truth. I didn’t want to blow my cover. I remember one time I was coughing and feeling exhausted at work (in dire need of chicken noodle soup) and that day a hot dog was served in the cafeteria. I just didn’t want to eat that lunch, but I did. My body craved hot broth, but it wasn’t on the menu.
If I get sick in the Fall, I can take some chicken soup with me in this container and supplement my school lunch. I like knowing that I have that to fall back on.

By the way it’s so easy to make your own chicken stock. You just simmer a roasted chicken carcass with some veggies for a few hours. I do that with roasted chickens I buy at the store. We eat roasted chicken for a couple days and then I make stock with it. I freeze large bags of pre-measured stock for making soups later.

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This morning I’m fasting and on my way to the hospital for blood work to see if anything has changed over the past six months of eating school food for lunch. I assume that there will be no change in my labs, but we will see. As soon as I know something I will share it with you.

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14 Responses to Fuel thermos

  1. Brittany June 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Homemade stock is pretty easy to make (I remember making it when I was just a kitchen novice). There's nothing better for a bad chest cold or a sore throat than some hot broth.

  2. Your Green Helper June 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I have been on the lookout for new stainless steel lunch containers. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. JGold June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Sadly, I'm not surprised you were sick so much this spring, although I don't know what's ordinary or usual for you. I know you now have a young child at home and they get sick a lot, so you are around more germs now. But you are a teacher and have been around kids a lot for a while. What's different now? Think about it. You started eating the school lunch in January, in the middle of winter, but the colds didn't start until the spring. I'm guessing it took a while for the food to affect you in terms of wearing down your resistance to getting sick. Just a guess – I'm not a doctor.

    Glad you're feeling better. I agree that there is nothing better than soup when you're not feeling well. I don't roast chicken at home, but I buy chicken thighs and boil/simmer them for stock.

  4. janno56 June 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    I have been following your blog for a week now. You can up your readers to four! Just kidding, I know there are many readers out there. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am a teacher and would never eat cafeteria food. So you are a hero to me in the name of scientific discovery!! I am interested in seeing what your blood work shows.

  5. Melissa June 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Cute thermos! I'm always on the hunt for cute and functional lunch stuffs to make waste-free meals on-the-go! I love that this one has a little cubby included in the top. Nice find, Mrs. Q.!

  6. Kameshwari June 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    The Fuel Mug is a great idea.

    Last year, I bought a small tiffin; an Indian stacking lunch pail made of Stainless steel. This year, I bought another, slightly larger Tiffin, so I can carry dolmas to pot luck picnics.

    I agree that soup is a wonderful thing. If I do not have time to make stock, I simple have a nice cup of miso broth. Miso Master makes a nice traditional organic miso. South River Miso makes a beautiful organic artesian version of miso. Asian shops carry a generous sized bag of miso paste for under five dollars a pound.

    I'm not a doctor, but a bag, jar, or tub of miso in the refrigerator means that I always have a highly enzymatic cup of soup available.

  7. Lynn June 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    One of my daughters favorite thing when it is cooler is to bring soup, stew or chicken and dumplings in her Thermos. We used the Themos FunTainers. I heat water in the Keurig and pour it in the thermos while the food is heating up. It keeps the food nice and hot.

  8. Theresa June 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Ms Q I just want to say that I have been reading your blog for months now and I shared it in my office with my coworkers who happen to be nutritionists who specialize in healthy eating habits for low income populations. I think that by you bringing attention to this matter is such a wonderful thing! I have worked in the education system for almost 10 years now in the northeast and was also a child who growing up always was a brown bag kid. I think that what the children are being fed these days is horrendous and something needs to be done with it….I hope that because of this blog it will open to eyes of many people educators or not to help revamp school lunches throughout the U.S.
    And on a side note…I have a thermos like this that is similar and I love it! I use it all the time for soups in the winter to try and combat the northeast winters I've grown up in!

  9. Anonymous June 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I commend you for eating all of those school lunches. I know one thing that I will never miss about my K-12 years is cafeteria food. The fuel thermos is a great idea though, even for those of us in cubeland…

    Here's a link to an article on school lunches that you might find interesting: http://insite.artinstitutes.edu/unhealthy-school-lunches-not-making-the-grade-23810.aspx

  10. ashley schoolar June 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    I love this. This will be handy for me as I will be at Arizona State University for Elementary Education in the Fall and will not have time to come home for lunch and little space to pack a huge lunch. I love the compartmentalized look of it! Yeah!

  11. Carol June 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I truly commend you for your school lunch journey. It would be great it more teachers took your approach to this subject and got more people angry enough to really stand up and start to do something about it. I love that the thermos is stainless steel — wish the cap/cup was lined with stainless steel, as well. On a different note, I have eliminated–to the greatest extent possible–plasticware and storage utensils from my home. My mixing bowls are stainless steel or glass, and storage containers for my refrigerator are glass, even some antique refrigerator dishes. Cooking utensils are stainless steel, wood, or bamboo.

  12. WordVixen June 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    I make stock the same way. Here's a tip- cut up a whole onion (quartered is fine) and drop the whole thing, skin and all, in with the chicken carcass and other veggies. The skin really adds an earthy, kind of umami flavor to the whole.

    I usually confiscate my parents' turkey bones at Thanksgiving, since I think turkey makes a nicer broth. 🙂

  13. QueenMab June 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Making your own roasted chicken is pretty easy too- and much healthier than buying it pre-roasted at the store. If you do it right, you'll never want a store roasted bird again either. It will taste dry and crackly to you, if you go back. We brine our chickens over night- 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup salt, dissolved in tap water, add a rinsed chicken and fill the stock pot enough to cover the chicken. We use an inverted salad plate to keep it from floating. There are all kinds of brines, but we've found that we prefer it simple. When you take it out of the brine, rinse it again, pat it dry, and massage the skin with just a bit of olive oil. Our favorite, and most basic, treatment is just salt, pepper and paprika. But you can also go crazy with dry rubs (our favorite is 2 T brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) or lemony chicken (lemons inside with whole garlic cloves, lemon juice basted on during the roasting…mmmm… or lemon with fresh rosemary). Be sure to tie the legs. It cooks better that way. More consistent. Roast breast-side-down at 450 for 40 minutes. Flip it- just stick a wooden spoon into the center and turn it over that way- and lower the temp to 300, roasting it for another 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven.

    It sounds intimidating. It did to us when we first started to perfect it. But, wow. Nothing better.

    And you'll know exactly what you're making stock out of later. 🙂

  14. Amanda June 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I also roast my own chickens, though I do occassionally buy one at the store too if I'm in a pinch.

    I make stock in my crock pot. Put in the chicken carcass, an onion, a couple of carrots, some celery, a sprinkle of peppercorns and a bay leaf. Cover with water and leave it on low all day (or all night… whatever fits in your schedule). Totally easy. Will make your whole house smell like chicken soup too.

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