Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The actually-eat-lunch challenge

Lately it's come to my attention that I don't eat actual meals.  I sort of graze.  I think that's fine in general, except what I was eating wasn't that good for me.  I mean, I was living off of PBJ crusts, chunks of cheese, and bites of cookie dough and wondering why I wasn't feeling quite right.  Meanwhile Marko was mainly forgetting to eat until suddenly he was starving, and then he wanted nothing other than a peanut butter sandwich because he has no imagination when it comes to food.  And then my friend's mom gave me a talking-to about how, as the mother, it's my job to take good care of myself so I can nourish my babies, and I was sold.  I decided to make a point of actually planning what I'm going to eat, and actually eating it at a relatively regular time.  In short, I am going to eat lunch.

Dinner is no problem; I always eat a good dinner because I make it for the family.  Breakfast I tend to keep light, but I do eat it -- usually either yogurt or fruit and bread.  Lunch is the clincher.  If I can eat a good lunch daily, I will actually achieve the famed Three Squares a Day for the first time since college.

Last time I went to the store, I made a point of buying things for lunch. That meant buying things that I like and will eat.  I don't generally eat meat for lunch very often.  I like my lunches to include a lot of veggies, if possible.  I don't like always eating the same thing.  It has to be fairly quick to make, but interesting and tasty.  So I stocked up on my favorite whole grain bread, tortillas, fruit, and fresh vegetables.  I purposely bought only two pounds of cheese for two weeks instead of the usual three, because I know if cheese is around I eat nothing else.

Here are some things I have been eating for lunch:

Veggie wraps: I slather a tortilla in homemade mayo and toss in whatever veggies I can find, along with cheese cubes or chickpeas to give it a bit more protein.  They usually include tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and/or purslane.  I've had these most days this week and they are YUM.  I mean delicious.

Pasta: This is a pretty easy dish to make and you can put anything on it you want.  Yesterday I had some slow-roasted tomatoes and some green beans from my garden, so I put those in some noodles along with onions, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.  So good.

Sandwiches:  I love a good tomato-and-cheese sandwich.  Bacon optional if it's available.  Other good additions are cucumber, lettuce, or spinach.  Oh, and you know what else would be good?  Sprouts!  >makes mental note<

Smoothies:  These are more of a midafternoon snack.  We always have a snack around here, and I like it best if it's not PBJ again.  Some favorites are pumpkin smoothies, strawberry smoothies, and peach smoothies.  Aldi has bags of frozen fruit which I use for the last two.  For the first, I take pumpkin from my garden, spice it up like pie filling, and stick it in the freezer till it's getting a little frozen.  Then I blend it with homemade yogurt.

Quesadillas:  With just cheese, these are a little boring and a little lacking in the veggie department.  But there's nothing stopping you from throwing in some pico de gallo (I make my own), green peppers, heck, even beans if you've got them around.  Though at that point it's easier to turn it into a burrito.

The wonderful benefit of eating lunch?  Marko sees me eating my special, delicious meal that I made just for me out of things that I particularly like, and he's drawn like a bee to honey.  He only eats a few bites, and I make sure I've made plenty so I can share.  The important thing is that he's eating nutritious, flavorful things which help make up for the rather uniform diet he eats otherwise.  (I don't need to say the word PBJ again, do I?)

What do you like to eat for lunch?


Amy said...

These all sound very yummy! Maybe because it is lunchtime and I have no plan yet? I don't like to eat the same thing over and over for lunch (usually I get into a cheese sandwich rut), and I prefer hot to cold lunches most days, but rarely have the energy to cook something. Eggs are always a good option--very easy to throw veggies into an omelet. Or soup in the winter, and one pot lasts at least two days.

The Sojourner said...

I just eat leftovers for lunch, usually. (With MEAT. I buy a crazy amount of meat for two people.) On days when I don't have leftovers, I usually do the grazing thing. Or I just eat cake. :/ My husband eats lunchmeat sandwiches every day (except Fridays, when he eats cheese and crackers or maybe an egg salad sandwich) because he is the least picky creature on the planet and I am not creative enough to make him something else.

Sheila said...

Amy, I forgot to mention eggs. I haven't been into them so much lately, but sometimes I eat them every day. I like them with cream cheese and spinach. Or cheddar cheese and salsa. Or mushrooms. Or dandelion greens!

In our family, John has dibs on leftovers. He packs a quart-size container with all the leftovers we have. I'd eat them myself otherwise. But while he isn't picky, he is very hungry, and I never can seem to pack him enough otherwise. It makes Thursday nights annoying because the leftovers have meat and I have to make him something. Usually tuna salad and a couple of baked potatoes.

The Sojourner said...

Scott eats leftovers for breakfast. I always worry his lunch won't be enough and he'll get hungry (especially on Fridays) but he hasn't complained. (He's weird. He *can* sit down and eat, say, 2 huge plates of spaghetti in one sitting. But once in college I caught him trying to leave the cafeteria with only an apple for lunch, and he never eats breakfast unless I wake him up and hand it to him on a plate, with a fork.)

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