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Tasty Lunches & Wintery Runs

January 25, 2011

I am a planner. I like to know what’s coming ahead and not be surprised or thrown off by things I could have controlled if I knew in advance. I don’t necessarily need set routines, but I need to know what’s next so I can adjust.

This is definitely the case when it comes to planning my running and eating schedules. I structure my running around my weekly schedule (after work plans with friends? Run in the morning. Going out hard on Friday? Probably better to save my long run for Sunday…) so it throws a wrench in everything when something unexpected pops up like a late night at work or alarm clock failure!

So, same goes with how I plan my eating. I tend to pack my lunch daily because it saves money. I just can’t justify spending $10 on a salad, sandwich, soup or drink every single day. NYC is expensive! Lucky for me, I actually really enjoy cooking my meals, grocery shopping, and experimenting with new foods and recipes! But, since I do like to eat slightly more adventurous lunches than the standard PB&J or plain turkey sandwich, my packed lunches are often comprised of 3 Tupperware containers, Ziploc bags, and multiple microwave sessions. My coworkers laugh a little at this intensive process but I promise they are usually healthy and tasty!

One of my friends suggested that I blog about creative and easy meals to pack for work. She said she typically just eats frozen meals like Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine because they are easy and cheap, but she often gets burnt out on them day after day. Maybe she just needs some creativity and tips on what to make, and how to make it!

I’ve debated the idea of posting what I eat on this blog for a while. I have gotten so many tips and tricks on recipes and food combinations or preparation from reading other blogs, so I may as well share mine, too. I just cannot be one of those people that post and photograph everything they eat because 1) I can’t bring my camera everywhere 2) I snack way too frequently on little things and 3) I’m hungry and eat too quickly before I can take a picture! J I admire those people who do, and find it really interesting to see other athletes diets and each individual step that goes into a recipe, but it just isn’t me. And that’s ok.

I’ll start with my two most recent lunches. Please note that I usually prepare my lunches an evening or two before, and place it into tupperwares or bags, to be reheated and assembled the next day. Sometimes I even cook lunches for the whole week on a Sunday.

Island Soyaki Marinated Chicken & Broccoli Wrap

  • Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine were frozen)
  • Broccoli spears (I used frozen ones)
  • Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki Sauce (or other teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, or meat marinade)
  • Whole Wheat Tortilla Wrap

Place frozen chicken breasts and Island Soyaki marinade in plastic bag. Place in your refrigerator and allow to thaw and soak in the marinade overnight (see, I like to plan ahead.). In the morning, place chicken breasts and a little marinade in tin foil and place in toaster oven (or, real oven) for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked. Microwave frozen broccoli (or not, if you have fresh) and coat with a tablespoon of Island Soyaki sauce for flavor.

When you’re ready to eat, place broccoli on the wrap and microwave for about :30 to get it all warm. Microwave the chicken for about :90 or until hot and add to wrap, and enjoy! Afterthought: This would also taste really good with pineapple chunks given the sweet teriyaki marinade.

Please note, this was not my whole lunch. I eat a lot more than this on a daily basis. Today, I also ate an apple, a dozen handfuls of animal crackers, 2 clementines, and countless delicious Valentine’s Day hearts. My favorite holiday candy!

So cute I want to eat you up!

Grilled Eggplant Marinara Wrap

  • 1/2 Large fresh eggplant
  • Bit of olive oil, salt, garlic
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (I realllly like sauce…)
  • Shredded or diced cheese (I had swiss cheese, but mozzarella would probably taste better)
  • Whole Wheat Tortilla Wrap

I didn’t take a picture of this meal 😦 But it was TASTY!

Cut ½ of a large eggplant vertically, into discs. Place discs on baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil, salt and garlic. Bake at around 400 degrees for 15 minutes until slightly brown, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Add marinara sauce and eggplant into Tupperware, top with cheese. When ready to eat, microwave wrap for about :20. Microwave Tupperware of marinara sauce/eggplant/cheese for about :90 and add to wrap and enjoy!

Hopefully you see how easy these recipes are if you have the right ingredients and do a little prep the night before, or even morning-of. I’ll look to rack my brain about grocery shopping tips and other ways to plan out meals in advance, but hope you enjoy for now!

And now onto running. I was out way late on Saturday night and subsequently woke up at 2pm and lay in bed hungover tired all day Sunday. I did not even left my apartment for fresh air. So much for that planned long run. At least my training weeks start on Sundays so I have 6 more days to get it in 🙂 But see, I don’t like wrenches in my schedule because now I need to adjust the rest of this week. *breathe* and stay flexible!

I woke up Monday morning to discover it was 6 degrees outside. 6! Since I am crazy and give myself too much guilt for laying in bed the previous day, I dragged my butt out of bed, majorly layered up, and hit the roads for 6 miles. I figured it was fitting to run 1 mile per degree. My body internally was warm, but my fingers were frozen solid. I could barely control them to hold my key to unlock my door. As I ran them under hot water to try to return feeling, it was so painful I thought I was going to pass out and/or throw up simultaneously. Luckily that passed and I took a long, scalding hot shower. Why do I enjoy this, again?

This morning I awoke and set out for 7.5 miles, loving the 20 degree increase in temperature from yesterday! I began my run with clear skies, but it began to progressively snowflurry more and more! By the end, snowflakes were stuck on my eyelashes. I found it quite tranquil and wintery, actually. Maybe winter running is not so bad afterall…

What are your tips for packing creative and  easy homemade lunches? I could always use more!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Boring Frozen Friend permalink
    January 25, 2011 6:27 pm

    I love these ideas for lunch – you are seriously so creative with a microwave and some planning. Can’t wait to see more! I need inspiration to keep me away from frozen stuff and buying lunch!

  2. January 28, 2011 3:30 pm

    oh my goodness, some women in my office eat lean cuisines/smart ones EVERY DAY and I don’t know how they stand it. Your homemade lunches look 100x healthier and tastier! A lot of times for lunch I will make a big “junk” salad that uses up lots of fridge ingredients 🙂


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