Tag Archives: lunch

How to Pack Food for a Full Day at Work

25 Jan

Before I get to the meat of this post, I wanted to share my treadmill run from yesterday. Once again, I slept in (getting up and out the door in this cold is just not happening), so I saved my workout for the evening after work. When I got to the gym, all the treadmills were full. Now, usually, I would just turn around and head home, because I hate waiting for a treadmill to open up. But, I was determined, so I just hopped on to an elliptical and kept my eyes peeled. Once I was on the elliptical, I looked down and noticed a tag on my leg…I had put my workout pants on inside out!! How embarrassing! I kept tugging at my shirt to cover the tag, and once a treadmill opened up, I ran to the bathroom to turn them right side out….and when I got back someone had taken that treadmill. I was just about to call it a wash when another opened up.

After all that, I ended up having a pretty good run:



I wish I didn’t have to stop after that first part of the run, I had made it a priority to run the whole time. I did pretty well, but after having to stop and run to the restroom, I ended up taking a lot of walking breaks. The first part I had a 10:59 pace, but the second part of the run brought my overall pace to 11:25 total. I have a much better pace when I’m running outside! But, that’s the first time in a while that I’ve run over 4 miles on the “Dreadmill”


As I mentioned the other day in my Healthy Living Survey, if I get overly hungry at work, I can and will attack the vending machine. It’s a habit I’ve tried to break, but if I’m hungry, I can convince myself that anything is a healthy option.

In order to combat that, I try to pack myself enough healthy food to keep me satisfied throughout the day. I also mentioned in that same survey my snack philosophy:


So, I thought I’d share with you what a full day worth of work meals and snacks looks like. This photo was taken on Thursday. On a normal day, I will eat my breakfast and a snack at my desk, and then Zach picks me up and we go home for lunch, or I will walk home for lunch. I will eat my lunch at home, and then re-pack my lunch bag with an afternoon snack. However, on Thursday, Zach was going to be on the road during the day and it was 20 degrees outside, so I decided to pack all my food for that day.


Doesn’t that look like a lot of food!? Well, it is! But, spread out during the day it is the recipe for keeping me satisfied. Here’s what the breakdown looks like:

Breakfast (8:30 AM, at my desk): Eggs with spinach and sausage (in the container above), half of the bagel with a thin spread (about a tablespoon) of neufchatel cheese.
Mid-morning snack (11:00 AM, at my desk): Some apple slices and half a banana with half of the container of yogurt.
Lunch (12:00 Noon, in the lunch room): The other half of the bagel with a thin spread of neufchatel, spinach and turkey. The other half of the banana and some more apple slices with half a serving of peanut butter.
Afternoon snack (between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, at my desk): The remainder of the apples and the rest of the peanut butter, and the other half of the yogurt.

This should keep my evil hunger twin from appearing before I head home at 5:15 PM. The other thing you may notice is that I cut servings in half a lot. I feel like sometimes I eat a full serving size of something (particularly the neufchatel or peanut butter) just because…that’s the suggested serving size, when in fact I would just be fine with half of it.

Sometimes when I stick around the office for lunch, I’ll skip packing the lunch portion and go out for lunch. This can be dangerous, because most of the restaurants near my office are danger zones for healthy eating. However, the one restaurant I go to the most frequently is Uno Chicago Grill. I don’t think people realize the healthy choices this restaurant has (mostly, I picture their deep dish pizza, which is a fat and calorie bomb), but they actually have some really great choices. My favorite is the fact that they have an “all you can eat” soup special for lunch, and they offer 2-3 soups that are actually quite healthy. First, and my favorite, is the Vegetable Soup. It’s so good, and a serving is very low in fat and calories. Paired with a house salad with chicken or their Power Salad, it’s a very filling lunch.

This week, I ended up at Uno’s for lunch and they didn’t have Vegetable Soup! I was devastated, until I realized that they had a new option that sounded so great: Kabocha Pumpkin Soup! Oh my.  It was incredible! Because of my chipped tooth (dentist appointment soon!), I was having trouble eating anything solid, so I skipped the salad and had two bowls of the soup for lunch. It was amazing! You must try it.


I only had to move one cracker to make this into a smiley face. That’s fate, you guys.

Question of the Day:
How do you keep the hunger at bay while you’re away from home all day? 

Christmas is in the Air!

19 Dec

Despite still fighting this stupid head cold, I popped out of bed this morning to hit the gym. With the addition of cardio to the LiveFit Trainer, my gym sessions have become about an hour-90 minutes long, so I have to get to the gym as soon as it opens at 6:00 AM.

Here’s what I did today:

workout day 36

I am running out of ways to share my workouts with you in a creative manner. Even I’m getting bored of showing you similar workouts over and over again. This LiveFit Trainer is effective, and I like it, but it’s pretty repetitive. I used to be the girl who liked to switch it up a lot (I still am!) so I’ll be glad in a week when I get to start doing HIIT and different exercises.

When I got to the cardio portion of my workout, I did not feel like running. I’m still feeling under the weather and just didn’t feel like wheezing through a run. So I walked hills and made up a pretty fun workout (if I do say so myself!):

run walk

*If I weren’t having IT Band pain, I would have done the run intervals with a 1.0 incline.

It was a fun way to keep alert on the treadmill and not get bored. Plus, even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I got a great workout.

Do you like my winter-themed graphics? I’m really starting to get into the Christmas spirit. This morning at work, a group of 2nd and 3rd graders came into the library where I work to sing Christmas Carols:

They were so cute! I absolutely loved listening to their carols. Adorable!

Today was also our office Christmas Luncheon. We all bring in a potluck dish to share:

Christmas lunch

Oh man. So much yummy food. I didn’t go too overboard, and I only had one dessert. So far! My favorite thing in the world is the veggie pizza that people make, that is like a biscuit crust topped with cream cheese and cut up, raw veggies. It’s so good! I had two slices!

I’m getting really excited also because tomorrow is my last day of work before the holidays! Tomorrow night, a bunch of friends will meet up and go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday (because Zach and I will be in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day, and everyone will be with their families anyway!), and Friday is Zach and Courtney’s Dad’s wedding! Then on Saturday morning, Zach and I will head to Pittsburgh to see my family! I haven’t seen them in almost a year, which makes me almost cry every time I think about it, but I’m very, very, very excited to see everyone soon!

Question of the Day:
Will you be travelling for the holidays this year? 


What I ate Wednesday…

25 Jul

…which means actually what I ate on Tuesday, because I’m writing this in the morning.

But I actually had a really good day yesterday of food, so I’m excited to share it with you! But first, I want to talk about my workout this morning. I swear, my new Brooks Pure Flow shoes make me faster. When I went out for my run on Tuesday, the Nike+ app told me twice that I ran my fastest 1k. Then, this morning, I did a fast treadmill mile before Cardio Sculpt class to finish up Kristen at Following Fit’s 7-day Feats of Strength (I did it!), and it ended up being a very speedy mile (for me)!

I’m pretty slow, 9:14 is like 5k race pace for me (my fastest is 27:32 or something).

Now, on to the goodies. Of course, I already showed you a photo of my Hot Apple Pie Smoothie (I’m having another one today…I’m obsessed!)

You’ve seen this, but it’s worth seeing again. Yum!

I typically go home for lunch. Usually Zach will swing by and pick me up, but sometimes I walk home. Yesterday looked like it was going to storm, I didn’t bring an umbrella and I wasn’t wearing walking shoes, so I thought I might just go somewhere and grab something. Then I remembered my pact with myself to spend $0 until payday, and I hoofed it home. I am actually always happy with that decision, because as much as I like eating out, I can eat a much heartier and healthier lunch when I prepare it at home. I like my lunch to be a fairly large meal, because I get the 3:00 PM munchies pretty bad. This is what I had yesterday:


I can’t resist taking a bite before I snap a photo.

A Light Life black bean veggie burger w/ a slice of cheese and this really delicious bourbon mustard my friend Mandee bought for me when I watched her dog, and sauteed kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli & cauliflower and chickpeas. The sauteed veggies and chickpeas are a lunch staple for me. I almost always make that for lunch. Sometimes I’ll serve it with noodles, and sometimes it’s a side dish, but I probably eat it at least 3-4 times a week for lunch.

I had a banana for an afternoon snack, but you know what a banana looks like, right?

Dinner actually turned out really well too. My plan was to make stuffed peppers. Usually, I make them southwestern style with rice, black beans, tomatoes and other veggies, but last night I was feeling like I wanted to do something different. So I browned the turkey, and added about a cup of frozen “Italian Style” veggies (Zucchini, cauliflower, red pepper, carrots and lima beans) and a little bit of brown rice leftovers and seasoned it with S&P and Italian seasonings. I stuffed the peppers and added some jarred marinara sauce all over it (with the leftover stuffing around the sides), and topped the peppers with some shredded mozzarella. Here’s where it gets weird: While the peppers were in the oven, I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti noodles (just about 1 serving for two people, so not a ton), added some sauce and served the peppers over top of them, like this:

So, so good!

I know that rice and spaghetti sounds weird together, but it so wasn’t. Since I only made about a serving of each (split two ways), we didn’t end up having too much grain on our plate. After I took that photo, I chopped up the pepper and mixed everything together. This was delicious! I love to experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. This definitely did work out.

After dinner, I decided to go to the 7 PM yoga class at the Y. It was much needed. Lately I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. Just kind of…anxious and unsure of myself. There have been some things going on with friends and with myself that have left me feeling not so hot, and yoga really helps center me. I was feeling pretty good afterwards, so I whipped up some banana and strawberry soft-serve for dessert:

Delicious and healthy!

Now, in no way did I invent this recipe: I’ve seen it floating around on blogs all over the place, but here is how I did it:

Strawberry/Banana Protein Soft-serve

1 frozen banana, chopped
handful of frozen strawberries
1/2 a scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)
small amount of almond milk

Put the banana and strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend until mostly pureed. Add protein powder if you wish and turn the processor on while streaming almond milk in until it reaches the proper consistency.

Easy peasy! I usually add the protein powder if I’m eating it after an evening workout, but leave it out if not. It’s really good, and has the same consistency as ice cream. It does melt a little faster, but you could stick it in the freezer after making it to firm it up if you wish.

Question of the Day:
Do you ever experiment in the kitchen?