Photo from Life gets busy, we scramble, and we end up saying "oh screw it, I'll just buy lunch today" when we've failed to prepare.

If you need a little reminder of how much smarter it is to invest 5 minutes every evening or morning to pack yourself a lunch, here it is:

1) It's much easier to eat a nutritious, filling and clean meal. Most restaurant / takeout options have tons of hidden fat, salt and calories that are energy zappers and waistline expanders. Even salads are often served with multiple portions of fat (be them healthful or not - they would be more than we would add at home as consumers like to "get their money's worth"), and large portions of unhealthy salad dressings. Chicken can often be marinating in fat beforehand, as well. Your tofu and brown rice bowl may be drizzled in 4 servings of olive oil, for instance. At home, the lean factor is always controlled.

2) You save a ton of cash. Your lunches probably run you $10-$15 / day, on average. Having a morning coffee, too? So maybe we're looking at $20 all in, which is $100 / week. If you spend $100 on groceries on a Sunday, you will easily get through breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even a pricier brand of coffee all week long. You can do the math.

3) You save time. Yes, you've invested 5 minutes in the preparation, maybe even 10. But if you're avoiding the 30 minutes it takes to grab lunch (I'm guess-timating - 5 minutes to the food place, 20 minutes in line / waiting, 5 minutes back, give or take?) it's well worth it and a much more efficient use of time. And then you can take 5 minutes to walk to the park, 5 minutes back to work, and wow - you've enjoyed a full, lovely 50 minutes of your lunch break outdoors eating a healthy meal! There's a ticket to wellness...

Sometimes we fall into bad habits. And of course, most of you are aware of the above game changers that brown bagging a lunch can make. It is my job to remind you - take a few minutes to plan, and bask in all of the benefits. Healthier, richer, and less stressed: I don't know a soul who doesn't strive for those qualities.

What are your favourite homemade lunches?