What’s in your lunch box round 2!

What’s in your lunch box round 2!

So this week I decided to get a little more creative with my lunches/breakfast’s now that I’m beginning to fall into a groove and learning to find a good work-life balance! If you remember not too long ago, I had my minor panic attack while figuring out how to juggle a healthy lifestyle, a social life, work life, lack of sleep, ME time, etc. Though I obviously have not perfected it yet (cut me some slack, I’m only my third week!?…or is it fourth? It’s all beginning to blur together now…), I feel like I am beginning to fall into a routine. Shocking!!

I really never thought I’d get used to a 5:30AM wake up call. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t ENJOY waking up that early. Trust me, there have been a few mornings where I’ve snoozed the alarm like 5 times until I realize my hour and a half before hand to workout has disappeared and I’m left to go the gym after work. Ugh. So, yes there are days I struggle and then there are some where I’m weirdly too motivated haha but case in point, give it some time and I promise you, YOU will fall into a happy and healthy work-life balance compromise : ) Now for some on-the-go friendly recipes to hopefully get you inspired!
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The Lean, Clean, & Mean Broccoli Salad (serves 2-3 decent size servings):
-1-2 heads of broccoli
– ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt OR more depending on how many people you are serving and creamy you like it, just make sure not to add TOO much in as it can be overpowering (I prefer plain chobani or fage)
– 1-2 tbsp. Unsalted sunflower seeds
– ¼ cup Chopped pitted dates
-Dash of Cinnamon
– ½ tbsp. Lemon Juice
– ½ – 1 tbsp. of Honey (depends on your taste buds and sweet tooth! ☺)
-2 tbsp. Unsweetened raisins
– ¼ cup Diced red onion
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and I recommend having it sit overnight before serving. This way the yogurt, lemon juice, and honey soften up the raw broccoli and really make it much more flavorful!

photo (75)
PB&J Banana Overnight oats:
-½ banana
-4 sliced strawberries
-4 chopped pitted dates
-Cinnamon (add to your desire)
-2 tbsp. of almond butter
-½ cup dry Quaker instant oats
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tbsp. of chia seeds
Optional: add honey or stevia as a natural sweetener if you enjoy your oats even more sweet. HOWEVER, I didn’t feel it was necessary at all as this LITERALLY tasted like a dessert. I was seriously in heaven!!
Anyway, I usually toss all ingredients in a jar (I had about 2 tbsp. left in my almond butter jar so I just used that!) and then I shake it fairly well so everything mixes in real nicely. Then I squeeze the lid on tightly and put it in the fridge overnight. You can choose to either eat it cold like that the next day (as the oats absorb all the liquid and expand) or you can heat it up if you’re in the mood for a warm comfort meal!

Chicken! An easy source of PROTEIN to add to any meal…salads, quinoa, rice, corn, etc.
Balsamic Sesame Chicken: Set over to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss chicken in ½ tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook until meat is white when you cut through and Voila! Simple as that!
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EASY peasy Rosemary Balsamic Chicken: Set over to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss chicken in ½ tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with rosemary, ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook until meat is white when you cut through. Basically the same idea as above, but it just comes to show how one simple spice can switch up your meal options!

Salads on Salads:
So basically if you couldn’t tell based on my instagram account @Eatrunandallinbetween I LOVE having a small salad with just about EVERY meal. Now, I’m constantly hungry so JUST a salad for lunch doesn’t exactly do the job for me. However, I find it a simple and great way to get my greens/veggies in for the day just by adding it on the side!
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I typically use:
-Spinach or Arugula
-Cherry Tomatoes
-Red onion
-Shredded Carrots
-Sliced Avocado
-Red/Yellow Peppers
-Unsweetened Cranberries or mixed nuts/sunflower seeds

And for the dressing:
-1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice
– ½ – 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (great detoxifying source!)

For some reason, in the midst of summer, I was feeling a little fall inspired and whipped up this concoction! Not going to lie, I felt a little guilty eating this warming fall treat on a beautiful summer day…
photo (73)
Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, and Almond Butter topped with mixed Nuts and Dates:
-1 large chopped sweet potato. (Peel skin off and chop into diced size chunks)
-Cinnamon (add to your desire)
-1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
-2 tbsp. of almond butter
-Raw Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Unsweetened Cranberries)
-3 Chopped Dates
Heat up the sweet potato initially by itself (including the cinnamon!) for about 2 minutes or until soft. Next, layer it with the pumpkin puree and the almond butter and heat for another minute. Finally top it off with the nuts and dates. Obviously you can add any other toppings to your liking (i.e. honey, granola, sliced bananas, apples, blueberries, vanilla Greek Yogurt, etc.) Enjoy!

Well, I hope that helps give you an idea of what I bring into work every day! And lastly, here are a few helpful tips:
TRY and prep this all the night BEFORE (or if you’re really on top of your stuff, get it all done on Sunday or at least try and chop all your veggies then!)
– Another tip I have for you is to bring a snack OR 2 to work! When that 3:30/4 mark comes around and you’re anxious to get out, a healthy snack is a great way to curb your stress cravings and get your mind back on track. I typically bring in nuts, fruit, Greek Yogurt w/ granola, a protein bar, carrots & hummus
– OR hit up the drink station… I’ll often sip on Green tea, a decaf coffee, OR even the low-sugar/low-fat/low-calorie nestle hot chocolate powder to curb my sweet tooth craving! Try it out 🙂

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