Tag Archives: lunch

Simple Real Food Goal: Swap Your Snacks

17 Nov

crackers, fruit and cheese

I love to snack. I love finger food, appetizers, tapas–if it’s tiny and I can eat it off of a mini plate with my fingers, I’m a fan. My favorite part of the day in elementary school was fruit break. To me, a road trip wouldn’t be a road trip without a cooler full of fun things to munch on.

Unfortunately, most snacks are not exactly renowned for being healthy or real. Especially when you’re at the whim of a vending machine, gas station, or lunch counter. Bags of chips, chocolate-covered cake bites, cookies, bright orange cheese crackers–you know what I’m talking about. They’re tasty, I know. But they’re not food. They haven’t seen the light of day for weeks, and have the same amount of nutritional value as a piece of styrofoam. Will they stop your hunger pangs for an hour or so? Probably. But they’re just as likely to give you a headache from sugar or MSG overload.

Your best bet? Stay away!

Okay, I admit it. There are times when I can’t resist the siren call of a Hostess Cake Roll. And those times usually happen because I wasn’t prepared. The trick is to be ready–when you go shopping, when you’re fixing lunch, before a long trip–to fend off the processed snack villans.

sliced green peppers

Prep Ahead of Time

My biggest obstacle to eating all the fruits and veggies before they spoil is preparation. If I know that I have to wash and chop or slice something, it puts me one step closer to looking for something that I can eat just by opening a package or sticking in the microwave (popcorn, I’m looking at you). To fight my lazy mid-week self, I try and do as much food prep as I can as soon as I get home from the farmer’s market or grocery store. [Note: when you are at the store, avoid the snack aisle! It’s bad enough saying no to processed snacks when you’re out and about, but if they live in your house, they’ll end up in your stomach.]

Coming home with my bags full of food, I’m excited about the things I bought. The vegetables that I saw looking so lovely on display need to be put away, and it only takes a few minutes to get them ready for snacking: just wash, slice them up and put them in an airtight container. Granted, you can’t do this with all produce, but for foods like carrots, green peppers, celery and grapes, a few minutes means a week of grab and go snacks without any further prep.

Harness your post-shopping energy (or your weekend energy, if you don’t like the shopping part) and you’ll be thanking yourself later. Especially when it’s 8:30 on a Wednesday night and the last thing you want to do is wash a cutting board and cut up a pineapple.
lunch snack

Bring it With You

Taking your own snacks is another line of defense against the non-food gremlins. Think about your routine, your day, your trip, and plan ahead. Pack more in your lunch than just a sandwich. I aim for a morning snack and an afternoon snack, and by including those things I don’t give the junk food cravings a chance to start.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. After all, real (simple) food is the point. Here are a few suggestions:

• Hard boiled egg
• Slices of whole milk cheese
• Fruit: an apple, banana, peach–even better if it’s in season!
• Sliced avocado or homemade guacamole with organic chips
• Homemade (or organic, corn-syrup free) granola bars (Donielle has a delicious recipe)
• Whole wheat crackers (there are some great recipes for these as well)
• Raw or dehydrated nuts (raw almonds are so tasty)
• Fruit leather – Stretch Island is my favorite brand, but you can also make your own
• Sliced veggies and hummus
• Yogurt (I buy a big container of plain yogurt and add my own berries)
dried cranberries

Know Your Go-To Players

This is it. You’re down to the wire. You were running late, threw a sandwich together and ran out the door. Now it’s 3:45 and the nachos are calling. Before you mash together the vending machine buttons, take a moment and peruse your options. There might be something slightly more redeeming than a candy bar or cheeze curlz. Your best bets are baked chips, dried fruit, nuts (as long as they’re not roasted in sugar), sunflower seeds, or any other choices that have less sugar and look like they might actually expire in the future.

Maybe you’re on the road, and you’re about to pull in to the gas station: a Twinkie and a Slurpee should hold you over, right? Before you hit the turn signal, look around (or use your GPS) to see if there’s a grocery store nearby. You can easily run in and grab a piece of fruit or an organic smoothie for the same price as a 32 oz. vat of ice and sugar.

Use your snacking as a chance to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. Get creative when you’re stuck with less options, and eat breakfast so you don’t end up feeling ravenous with two hours before lunch time. Find things that you like that will leave you feeling nourished at the same time.

Day Eleven – The August Break

16 Aug

On Saturday, I used my technological skills to help my dear friend Eddye transition in to the 21st century on, and she used her incredible cooking skills to make us a fabulous lunch! Shrimp salad, brie with pine nuts wrapped in puff pastry, and brushetta = sooo tasty.

Friday Faves

18 Jun

Friday Faves June 18th

1 :: There’s an amazing store called nestliving on the ground floor of the building I work in. It is filled with wonderful modern and mid-century modern decor and I drool every morning when I walk by the window. This Eames chair will be mine one day. I just know it.

2 :: I want to make this fun DIY printed mousepad from design*sponge–my new desk needs a fun mousepad and a pop of color.

3 :: For the man in your life, this classic handkerchief from Hickoree’s Hard Goods would make a great Father’s Day present.

4 :: Shutterbean just featured some of her amazing lunches–leaving you with no excuse to have a boring lunch at work!

5 :: I always love looking at the vintage finds from Frecklewonder. The best party dress is still for sale and it looks perfect for hosting a summer party.

6 :: Free printables are always great, especially when they’re just in time for a holiday! I’ll definitely be printing this fun card from Turnaround Design for the dads in my life.

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