Easy, Healthy Snacks/Lunches to Go

Changing from working 8 hour days to 12 hours days means changing my eating schedule. I’ve gotten comfortable eating every couple hours, and having time for lunch. However, a busier unit and longer day means I need to start consider snacks and foods I can bring with me, and eat quickly.
I’ve found a few awesome blogs with ideas, some with just pictures and some with ingredient lists as well. Fortunately, I eat like a kid (little bits – but often, and very simple foods) so school lunch posts are perfect. Foods like fruit, string cheese, cheez-it’s, sandwiches and wraps – those are my jam. So, here’s some awesome ideas I’ve found from a couple different places.

Easy Lunchboxes

This site works really well on my Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.17.46 PMiPad in portrait-mode, not so well on my computer screen. But, it’s a collection of pictures of bento boxes, with information on what’s in the picture (in case it’s not clear) underneath. Just an example, here’s #14. I’m not sure if the description is entirely accurate here (it says it’s PB and J on a pita… looks like a cheese quesadilla – I like either!), but it’s got fruit, protein, carbs, and this would be an awesome size for lunch for me.

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I like this site because the ladies searched the web (or pinterest) and found a lot of different and unique ideas, and compiled them into one blog post. I am working on creating a pinterest board of healthy lunch ideas, I’ll get there someday. I like taking bits and pieces from these boxes to make my own lunch. Some are a little stingy and I would need to add more protein but otherwise they look great! (They are meant for kids lunches, to be fair). The picture I chose to share has cucumbers, carrots, crackers, cheese, ham, and fruit, as well as what looks like kind of a treat. I like this box, but I would likely double the amount of food for my lunch , at least the fruit, and add a few more crackers to make cracker sandwiches.

Fitsugar, a website branch from Popsugar has published an awesome list of the best healthy swaps for common lunch-box food. Some may surprise you, like keeping bread in a sandwich vs a wrap (more fiber and protein – if you choose the right bread!), anScreen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.08.34 PMd some are as simple as getting Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies instead of Goldfish (made with whole-wheat instead of enriched flour). Here’s there chart, because there’s no way I could make it better. And, click on the chart for a link to the full article, and check out the other articles on their page – this is one of my favorite sites for workout and recipe ideas.

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Other foods I’ve seen and would suggest including:

  • hardboiled eggs
  • leftovers from dinner
  • pasta salad
  • mini tacos (cut wheat tortillas into small circles and bake in a muffin tin for a few minutes. Then add lettuce, tomatos, guac, etc for make-your-own)
  • laughing cow cheese/string cheese
  • greek yogurt (my favorite – if you have a way to keep it chilled)
  • For a treat: dark chocolate. Still semi-healthy (especially in moderation), but satisfys that sweet tooth.

And finally, the most important part of healthy lunches, is something to drink. I found that buying a cute water bottle helped encourage me to drink water throughout the day, when otherwise I might not have. I have a multitude of water bottles that I rotate through, to keep myself excited and interested. My favorite – Camelbak Eddy, or my plastic mason jar with a handle that I got from Target for $12. To “spice” things up a bit, I put lemon in my water. Our cafeteria at work has Tru Lemon packets, which are dried, powdered lemon wedges. So, no extra color, flavor, sweetener, and it’s free. I just grab a few when I go down for lunch (the cafeteria has windows so I eat there a lot), and stock up for the next day.

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What do you eat for lunch?

What are some quick, easy lunch suggestions you have?

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It’s A Day Full of Children

Wednesdays in the PACU (post surgical recovery room, basically) mean one thing at my hospital: kid day. Little kids, big kids. Kids. Today we had 7 “kids” under the age of 18. Yeah, talk about fun. The day started off with 2 1-year-olds. One who had his adenoids out, and one who had ear tubes placed – both are minor surgeries. (I say minor lightly, because to the kid, and the parents, it’s a huge deal, but as opposed to a move invasive procedure, it’s a quick easy surgery and quick easy recovery, usually). Then we had 2 5-year-olds, same deal. And then a few EGDs. Anyways, I am usually voted on as the “nurturer” of the PACU, which means I get the responsibility to pick the kids up, coddle them, and snuggle them, while they scream until someone runs to bring their parents back. Good times.

After a long day, I got home and took my shoes off, put my feet up.. And my phone rings. My poor dad was stranded because his alternator was dying, and needed me to come give him a jump. Boy, does it feel good to be needed by my dad for once instead of the other way around! So I popped Rosie (my dog) into my truck and went to rescue my dad.

And, since I never get to see M when hphotoe works the night shift (he leaves home at 5pm, and gets home at 3am, while I get home at 5pm and leave at 7am…), we had a quick dinner at Subway. There’s nothing like a good fresh, semi-healthy sub to remind me why I dislike eating fast food such as McDonald’s or Wendy’s. I feel like a human being after Subway, not like I just ate a pound of grease and need to go take a nap. But I do love the fries… #hungrygirlprobz

My brother comes to town this weekend, and I am more than looking forward to seeing him! We’re not super close, but it’s always nice to have him around. ANNNNND, he’s bringing me a present.. Like, a set of golf clubs present! CAN’T WAIT!

Oh, and finally, check out the massive spider that was living inside my side-view mirror for a month. (S)He finally exposed herself, and I won’t share what I did to it!

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What are your weekend plans?

What’s your favorite “fast” food place to eat, and what do you order?

How to Find Balance in Life

Today I read the statement “8 hours labor, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest.” And for the first time I realized how unlikely this is to happen in most of our daily lives. How many of us “work” more than 8 hours, even if we truly spend only 8 hours at our official job, there’s always laundry, dishes, cooking, etc at home. The more time we spend “laboring” we lose time for rest or recreation.

So how do we fix this balance? How do we truly spend a third of our time working on enjoying ourselves, or improving ourselves, and bettering our lives. How do we leave work at work, and not bring it home? And for those of you with kids, how do you find a full 8 hours during the day for true “rest”?

The biggest thing I can suggest is – take time for yourself when it’s offered. Take your lunch break at work – spend that time doing something you love. Whether you eat outside in the sunshine, or read a book while you munch. Find time to exercise most days of the week – even if it’s 30 minutes in the morning before work, or a quick walk with the dog in the evening. If exercise is a priority it will not only improve your way of life, but it will provide fresh air (maybe) and time to clear your mind.

When you DO have free time, use it in ways other than sitting on the couch, watching tv, or just stressing about other things that need to be done. Volunteer your time – this is the best way to get back much more than you put in time-wise. Socialize. Yes, I know after a long day at work you just want to put your feet up, take off your bra (all you ladies out there know what I mean), and veg out. But, spend this time socializing! Don’t turn down friends offers to grab a drink, or happy hour after work. Don’t turn down a spouse or significant other for a dinner date because you’re “too tired”. You rarely regret spending time with friends and socializing.

But most importantly, you need to do what makes you happy. In the end, it doesn’t matter how other people feel, whether they’re disappointed or happy. You always have to remember to do what’s best for you at the time, and take care of yourself.

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