Tag Archives: food

Real Food Lunches

23 Oct

Hey guys. I’m “back.” I’m recovering from my second illness in a month and trying my darndest to remember how the citric acid cycle in cellular respiration works, along with molecular shape and VSEPR theory. So much fun, I tell ya.

lunches

You may recall my nervousness at the beginning of the school year. I was worried about keeping up with packing a nourishing, satisfying lunch for my daughter to take to kindergarten. Thirty-some-odd packed lunches later, I’m over my initial apprehensiveness. These past seven weeks have been a trial-and-error/ learn as I go period. Now I fret less and even take less time preparing everyday.

What I’ve learned thus far: (in bullet format, because I’m all about bullet format lately (hooray lab reports!))

  • Ask what they want. After the first few weeks of choosing for her, I started to let my daughter decide what to eat. Surprisingly, she asked for the same things she had already been eating. I would simply add one or two things to make it a more complete lunch.
  • This or that. For tough food categories, I give her the choice between what we have. She’s old enough to understand that this is what available; so she has to pick out of what there is. Example: Jerky, tuna, or turkey?
  • Some kids like a lot of variety. My daughter is not one of those. She is ok with having only a few things in rotation, as you’ll see in the pictures below. She does get plenty of variety in her breakfast, snack, and dinner though.
  • Finger foods are fun. We don’t consume many finger foods at dinner anymore (ex. pizza;) so having things like cherry tomatoes, olives, and raw veggies to pick up with her hands are so cool. At least to my five (and a half) year old.
  • It’s ok to introduce new foods during the school year. I’ve had a pep talk or two about how new foods might not taste very good the first or second time. It might take a lot of small tries to learn to like something new. (FYI- it’s worked.)
  • Buy a thermos. I didn’t get one until my daughter didn’t eat something “because it was cold” a few times. Twelve bucks at Target later, she was happily wolfing down hot meatballs and spaghetti squash at school.
  • Before we bought the thermos, she was only carrying her cute LunchBots bento box and a water bottle. After the thermos purchase, we got little bag on clearance to stash everything in. Thank goodness it’s machine washable.
  • Usually she gets water to drink. On the occasion that I do pack her juice or milk, I throw in an ice pack, which wouldn’t have worked without the aforementioned lunch bag.
  • Store bought “lunch” type meat is either priced high or high in preservatives and flavors. Added flavors really irk me, whether “natural” or artificial. To me, that says “whatever meat we’re feeding you is so crappy that we had to add other crap to make you think it tastes good.” While I have bought some Applegate sliced meats here or there, we have made a lot of the others and saved a ridiculous amount of money, not to mention peace of mind knowing exactly what I’m feeding my child.

On to the pictures! These are the real lunches I’ve packed, and my daughter has eaten.

1045 978 961 960 950 921 910 908 899 845 832 829 796 784 783 772 717 458 457 456 455 20131022_082245 20131021_074020 20131018_080119 20131017_081645 1059 1050 1038
image

image
image

image

image

image
image

If you’re more into lists than pictures, here’s a breakdown of these real food lunches:

Meats/Mains

  • Homemade jerky
  • Tuna sushi
  • Scotch eggs (sausage wrapped boiled egg)
  • Homemade chicken nuggets (breading is mainly shredded coconut)
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Homemade sliced smoked turkey
  • Turkey/ham/roast beef wrapped peppers
  • Paleo zuppa toscana soup
  • Bacon
  • Cucumber tuna sandwiches
  • Meatballs, sauce, spaghetti squash

Vegetables

  • Sliced peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Homemade sweet potato chips
  • Olives
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Celery (ants on a log- with almond butter and raisins)
  • Kale (usually wrapped in meat)

Fruit

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Plum
  • Raisins
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Dried pineapple
  • Creamsicle gummies
  • Strawberry gummies

Nuts/Seeds/Treats/Other

  • Trail mix
  • Cinnamon Almonds
  • Raw nuts and seeds- almonds, pecans, pepitas, sesame seeds
  • Justin’s maple almond butter
  • Honey yogurt (our yogurt is from a local farm. It contains whole, un-homogenized milk, cultures, and honey)
  • Pumpkin yogurt (honey yogurt + pumpkin + spice)
  • Pumpkin chia pudding
  • Paleo apple cider muffins
  • Pumpkin spice coconut cookie
  • Kerrygold cheese
  • Raw pumpkin pie bar
  • SB&J bar
  • Paleo pumpkin muffin

There you have it. Real food lunches- easy. But wait! What about that one thing in the picture? How did I make it? What’s the recipe? Don’t be shy- ask in the comments below and you shall receive.

But wait! There’s more! I will be updating this post at least once a week with MORE lunches and ideas! That’s right, this very post right here will continue to grow. So if you run out of ideas or are just looking for something a little different, hop on over and you’ll be glad you did.

 

Advertisements

Ch-ch-ch-changes

30 Sep

My life is near unrecognizable to the one I led one or two years ago. I live an active life, following a paleo approach to my nutrition. My focuses are on positivity and progression in all aspects of my life, and I’m a better person for it.  The obvious changes are better strength, higher endurance, elevated confidence, and a much smaller body. Then there is all the little, weird stuff that changes that I, oddly, have taken note of…

Twelve Months of Changes:

 

  • Half my wardrobe consists of clothes that are too big and the other half is progressively tighter workout clothes.
  • My Amazon wish list is filled with my dream crossfit shoes, specialized ingredients for gourmet paleo, workout clothes, and clothes that I would never have worn 42 lbs ago (like dresses and shorts, gasp!)
  • Sore feels good. So good.
  • It’s easy to get out of bed super early when I know I get to go workout.
  • I’ve inspired friends to change their lifestyles (workouts and nutrition.)
  • Didn’t get sick for 11 months.
  • I don’t jiggle while brushing my teeth. Seriously, this was a secret new year’s resolution two years ago.
  • Drinking sucks. Even a little bit noticeably dehydrates me and affects my workout performance. Plus big time bloat.
  • Eggs. I could eat eggs for days and still want more.
  • Getting extremely excited when I find a place that uses almond or coconut milk for lattes.
  • Fruit is dessert. It’s a treat that I enjoy 100 times more than I did when it was just food, not fuel. Dried pineapple is like candy.
  • Coconutcoconutcoconutcoconutcoconut obsessed. Can you tell? I use some form of coconut every single day.
  • I flex in the mirror. Oh yes, I do. Not in a vain way, just checking out my growing muscles. Ok, sometimes in a vain way.
  • My entire week can be made by a new accomplishment at JTS. Like going up in weight, or getting my first (insert bad ass movement.)
  • No more ankle problems- the occasional swelling that I barely feel. Other than that, I’d consider my ankle in better shape than it ever was. (I had torn many ligaments, had two surgeries, and permanent hardware.)
  • When I sleep, I sleep. Working out and getting up early translates to great recovery sleep.
  • Goodwill jeans are totally acceptable. They probably won’t fit right in four weeks anyways
  • My bubble got bigger. No, not my butt. My comfort zone. Social functions with strangers? I can totally handle that. Kinda. Talk to my lab partner? No biggie. Ask for help in a store? A breeze. A year ago? Not so much.
  • After many experiences, I find I don’t crave the food that makes me feel like crud: the food that my body isn’t designed to digest easily.
  • New techniques/ingredients/tools in the kitchen are an exciting adventure rather than an anxiety-inducing nightmare. Dates? I’ll give them a go. Coconut flour? A great challenge. Kombucha? Let’s do it!

So there you have it. Now you know 20 random things about me that you didn’t before. So, tell me something random about you. Have you made a change for the good and had other aspects of your life change because of it?