Quick and Easy: Office Lunch

I like to keep easy staples on hand in my office kitchen so I don’t always have to worry about what I’m going to have for lunch (or a snack).

Some great basics:

  • unsalted nuts
  • dried fruit
  • tuna [I prefer the packets so I don’t have to worry about a can opener, and packed in water instead of oil]
  • almond milk [the shelf stable cartons are great to keep on hand for smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, etc.]
  • oatmeal
  • rice cakes
  • granola
  • protein powder
  • tea
  • peanut butter

Having a variety of things on hand makes me more likely to have something nutritious while I’m in the office, and less likely to fall back on fast food or a not-as-great choice.  I try to bring leftovers in, or meal prep ahead of time, to supplement my stash; since this is a holiday week, I didn’t want to grocery shop or meal prep so I’m heavily relying on what I’ve got on hand.

014.JPGToday’s lunch wasn’t the most visually appealing option, but it was really good.  I’m actually looking forward to having it again tomorrow.

I mixed one tuna packet with half of an over ripe avocado, smashed them together in a bowl.  Mix in some seasoning (I keep salt, pepper, salad dressing, salsa, and hot sauce on hand for these situations) and spread on a rice cake.  Seriously, this was crunchy, creamy, salty goodness.  I mixed it with a cilantro lime dressing that I had in the fridge, and a little bit of salt and pepper.

Side Note: don’t judge me on the rice cake situation, I really don’t consider these diet food!  I LOVE rice cakes.  They’re crunchy, and the lightly salted ones go with everything.  The flavored variety might not have as good nutritional stats but they’re still a really good option.  Buttered popcorn, chocolate, caramel, ranch…seriously I would have a hard time giving up rice cakes!!

Happy lunch time!

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New Years 2014

New Years is a time of resolutions, reflection, maybe regrets. Instead of looking too hard at the past year, or swearing to some strict resolutions, this year I wanted to just appreciate the moment. That very moment when it’s midnight, delirious from trying to stay up; for that one second anything is possible.

The entire year of missed opportunities, failures, accidents, burnt dinners, forgotten workouts; all gone in a second. That one very moment where it’s just happiness and champagne, that’s why New Year’s Eve is special. That’s what I wanted to celebrate.

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While our dinner at home was a celebration, the afternoon felt heavy while I mourned the ending of a phase in my life. This new year brings a new job, and I can’t believe my work family from the ship can’t come with me. It hasn’t quite settled in yet. My Monday lunch crew, the volunteers, interns, ladders, portholes. They will always exist as my Albany family, and I already look forward to visits as much as any holiday.

Mister sweetly brought me flowers towards the end of my last day, sitting with me for my last coffee. Reminding me of all the reasons we have a great year coming.

To close out 2014 we had a perfect dinner. It was on point, including new recipes and standby flavors.

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Steaks from Cardonas.

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My first attempt at from scratch scalloped potatoes.

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Brussel sprouts with balsamic and pancetta.

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Mushroom-Beef gravy.

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We even managed to have everything ready for the plate at the same time. A year or so ago, that wouldn’t have happened. Who knows what I might pull off next year.

Meals for 12.12.14

What do you actually eat everyday? I know we don’t have grandiose Pinterest worth meals every three hours 365 days a year. That’s not real life.

I watch what I eat, most of the time. I track my food in the App, MyFitnessPal; keeping tabs on carbs/fat/protein per day. Some weeks I’m great about planning ahead, others I just barely manage to fill my lunch bag with a haphazard collection of things in an attempt to meet my goals.

Today is one of those days. Sort of.
For breakfast all week we had those baked eggs. But Mister got the last portion packed for his breakfast. So I mixed some strawberry flavored protein powder with Greek yogurt and a splash of almond milk.

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I do some form of exercise daily. Sometimes it’s yoga and running, other days it’s weights at the gym. (Sadly, lately it’s been a lot of at home quick routines to avoid the snow and darkness. )The point is, I like to keep my protein high for building new muscle as part of my weight-loss and health goals. Everyone has different goals. I don’t recommend chugging protein if you’re hanging out on the couch all week.

About 2-3 hours after that mini meal, I’ll have a clementine with my morning coffee.

And just about 3 hours after that I’ll have lunch. Sometimes this is leftovers from dinner. Today is is a multigrain tortilla from Trader Joes filled with one slice of Swiss cheese, 3oz of low sodium turkey, and a handful of baby spinach. (I have a food scale)

My fourth mini meal of the day is half a cup of cottage cheese mixed with cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins.

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Yes I eat seriously unphotogenic meals. I know. But this mixture is so great in this weather, it’s texturally similar to rice pudding and the flavor profile is a nice break from plain dairy.

I brought a banana in case I feel hungry, or decide to run an errand right after work. And yes, I pack a ton of food for work most days. I like feeling prepared and I love being in the habit of five to six mini meals a day.

Dinner is undecided yet. It’s Friday so it might be a splurge in terms of calories and content, but not necessarily.

What do you eat every day, honestly?