What do you eat for lunch?

With the summer ending, it is the perfect time for me to get back on track with packing lunches. Not only Jack’s, but my own! I’ve fallen out of the habit of preparing all my lunches at the beginning of the week and I need to get back to it.

It’s difficult though because I’m not really a sandwich person. Sandwiches are totally ‘work lunch’ food, right? I want something where I can make three servings on Monday’s and then pack that up for my Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday office days.

Sooo… what do you eat? Are you sautéed chicken and veggies kinda person? Do you make rice bowls? Do you just give up and grab a fast food burger?

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Sprializing Zucchini

Let’s talk about zucchini noodles. Or zoodles if you’re fancy.

I’ve known about zoodles for a while, but they always seemed kind of time consuming. Then, I tried some at our local Noodles & Company and decided to look into exactly how time consuming they really are. If by ‘look into’ you mean, see a spiralizer at Target and just buy it with no forethought or research.

This is the exact one I bought at Target (OXO spiralizer at Target) they also have it at Amazon (OXO spiralizer on Amazon) both are listed at $40.00… which is what I paid. I also saw this one on Amazon while writing this post and it looks pretty similar for just $27.99.

As I said, I did NO research… otherwise I would have gotten the cheaper one off Amazon. Anyways, I bought it on a whim and brought it home. We had some zucchini in our fridge, so I unwrapped it and used it that same night.

It was SO EASY that Jack could do it!

You just chop the ends off the zucchini and stick one end into the spiky part of the machine and put the other end against the blade. Then crank. And crank. And crank.

So. EASY.

I had heard that a drawback of zoodles is that they can be kind of wet and watery. So,when I do my set up I throw a paper towel under the blade. All the zoodles collect on the paper towel and then I just roll them up and let them hang out while I’m cooking the rest of dinner.

To cook them up, I just add some olive oil to the pan, throw in the zoodles and shake on some salt and pepper.

That’s it. And they are SO GOOD! We’ve had them probably 4 times since I bought the spiralizer and we love them! Just keep in mind that they really cook down. That entire pan above made this much cooked zoodles:

So if you’ve been thinking of trying zoodles… go for it!

Now I need to branch out and start spiralizing other stuff. Do you have any favorite items to spiralize?

 

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Adding to my Breakfast Shake

I mentioned in my Goals Update that I was working with my doctor and nutritionist to get my high cholesterol under control. I’ll go more into that in another blog post, but I did want to talk about how my breakfast shake has changed to include more healthy foods.

Basically, I’ve been doing meal replacement shakes 3ish days a week as a way to get a healthy breakfast into me when I’m commuting to work in the morning. I did a protein shake comparison in this post and I’ve been drinking the Vega One Protein & Greens in Coconut Almond for a few months now. My go-to recipe has been the shake + 1 ¼ cups water + 1 TBSP peanut butter + 1 banana + ice.

When I met with my nutritionist, we talked a lot about the effects of dietary fats on inflammation and cholesterol. I decided to try adding some of the suggested foods into my morning shake to get them into my body without much thought or effort. I started with adding a handful of baby spinach, because I had a leftover salad bag in the fridge. I was shocked that even though the entire shake turned the color of Shrek…it didn’t change the taste at all!

So, I kept adding more and more healthy things into my shake until I came up with my new morning recipe. I actually added TOO many healthy things, so I had to back off of some of them so it didn’t taste like dirt. Also, I was adding ½ avocado but found it too wasteful because by time I’d go to use the other half it was all brown and gross.

Here’s what I’m doing now:

4 walnut halves (plant-based Omega-3 source)
1 ½ TBSP flaxseed meal (plant-based Omega-3 source)
½ banana (a whole banana was too high on the glycemic index for me)
1 handful baby spinach
1 ½ cups water
1 scoop Vega One Protein & Greens in Coconut Almond

I put all that in my Nutri Ninja and blend the bejesus out of it. Like for a full 60 seconds. It is a totally blended liquid at that point with no chunks or anything. If you don’t do this, it totally gives the shake a chewy consistency…which is kind of gross.

Next, I add:

1 TBSP chia gel (plant-based Omega-3 source)
Handful of ice

Then I pulse it a few times to give the whole shake a milkshake-like consistency. I was adding chia seeds, but read that making them into a gel is better. So, once a week I take about 3 TBSP of chia seeds and mix it with 2 cups of water. I stick it in a tupperware and shake it for a bit. Then, a minute later I shake it again and stick it in the fridge. They turn into a gel in about 15 minutes and then you can just scoop from that all week long.

Now, if you would have told me that my morning shake would contain chia seed gel and flaxseed I would have laughed so hard that I’d choke on my Krispy Kreme doughnut…BUT, this actually doesn’t taste very different than my original recipe. I’ve upped my shakes to 5+ days a week and I really like that it’s such an easy — and tasty — to get a whole bunch of good stuff into my body without really trying.

Do you have a shake recipe that you love? Feel free to share it in the comments!

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