5 Workday Lunches in 20 Minutes

We all know the benefits of packing a workday lunch.  Bringing a lunch from home saves time during the day (no need to escape the office to go grab a midday meal), saves money ($4.99 for a tiny side salad at the cafe in my building?  Um, yeah, I can get enough spinach at the grocery store for about 5 salads for the same price!) and allows you to control the nutritional value of your meal.  Although we know all of this, it can be difficult to accomplish the task of lunch preparation and packing.  I don’t know about you, but my husband and I find that weeknights and weekday mornings can be a little hectic for packing lunches.  By the time we get home from work, have some dinner and clean up, we’re ready to collapse on the couch and relax!  Time can easily get away from us.  So, we’ve worked out a system for making sure that we have our lunches ready.

Mark likes sandwiches for his lunch — chicken breast and provolone.

I start with 10 slices of whole grain bread, spread with mayonnaise and sprinkled with some seasoning (it was garlic+parsley this week, sometimes it’s oregano, sometimes it’s an italian herb blend).

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Stick some provolone to the mayo glue.

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Then the chicken breast fillets…

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We’ve been loving the convenience of these frozen pre-cooked chicken breast fillets from Tyson!

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Flip ’em over…..

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Stuff in zip-top bags and freeze 4 of them!  (One gets immediately tossed into the Monday lunch bag)

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Of course, my husband and I have different taste buds.  I prefer salads for my weekday lunches.

I start with a mix of spinach and romaine (or whatever I’m feeling/whatever greens were on sale that week!)

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I dollop two tablespoons of hummus on top of the greens and chop up 4 ounces deli-style all-natural turkey breast to add in as well.  I find that hummus serves as an awesome portable salad dressing…no soggy greens, no spilling or leaking as I tote my lunch into work each day!  And the roasted red pepper flavor from Tribe?  Addicting.

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I box up three over the weekend, and then Wednesday evening I box up the remaining two.  I find that doing this prep twice during the week results in fresher salads for Thursday and Friday!

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Now that the “main courses” are done, weeknight lunch-packing simply becomes a matter of tossing some fresh fruit or yogurt into the lunch bags alongside the mains, and I always keep some rice cakes or corn tortillas, 100-calorie almond packs and protein bars in my desk drawer!

Give it a try this weekend — you’ll be grateful next week when you can quickly pack up your lunches even in the midst of the usual weekday morning hurrying-out-the-door.  ——————————

What is your favorite weekday lunch?

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I Am So Much More Than a Number

Over the course of my weight loss, I became addicted to the scale.

I weigh myself at least once a day, and today the number was about 2 pounds higher than it was yesterday. Immediately I was tempted to stress, worry, make myself throw up, go to the gym (even though today is my planned rest day!) and in general be a grump.

But I will not! I am so much more than a number on the scale. That. Umber says nothing about who I am to my husband, my family, my friends, and truly it says very very little about my true health at this point. It is still 12 pounds lighter than it was 12 months ago. And about 5 pounds lower than it should be for me to be within a healthy weight range.

Today, the scale won’t rule me. I won’t judge myself based on this number, but I’ll judge myself based on who I truly am.

Science says jump; I say how high?

I left the house this morning before it was light. 6:05am.

I came back after the light was completely gone. 8:00pm.

This isn’t my normal schedule and I know that there are many others who consistently put in far more hours than I do at their workplace…but this, in my kind is too long for one work day.

It started with a 6:30 cell treatment, followed by breakfast and prepping to teach my 8am recitation. After the recitation, I dove into a western blot and an immunofluorescence treatment. I had a snack break at 12:15, a group meeting at 1:00, then finished my immunofluorescence prep. 3:00 I sat down for a salad with egg whites and hummus, then I was off to the microscopy lab to reap the rewards of the day-long immunofluorescence prep.

Except….no fluorescence in 4 out of 6 samples.

I was so disappointed, but grateful that I had packed a set of gym clothes in my backpack and that the campus gym was only a few blocks from the microscopy lab….off I went for a dose of endorphins.

For me, this is one of the best ways to deal with stress or disappointment: sweat.

It worked like a charm, I must say! I was all smiles again when Mark pulled up to take me home. Now, after more egg whites and spinach and peaches, I’m lying in bed just relaxing!

All day I thought about my job, both present and future. I’m realizing I want a job with boundaries; something more controllable and limit-able than what I’m involved in now. The frustration of research is that it’s unpredictable at times. I’m tired of not knowing whether or not I can be home for dinner with Mark.

This thought is nothing new. As evidence of this, I submit This fact: today I ordered a free trial of the NASM CPT training program. Starting to investigate…could this be the start of helping others find the freedom I’m also finding through fitness?? Stay tuned, my friends. 🙂