Friday Professional Group


The Rae Makes Meals Challenge (plus Rae Organizes Her Desk update!)

Besides some very dedicated, healthy individuals, I’m sure we all have days where we don’t have time for breakfast, pick the wrong choices for lunch, and are so tired when we get home that dinner just falls by the wayside into the takeout menu. With the advent of resources like Pinterest and lifestyle blogs it seems like a no-brainer to make healthier – and, often, easier - choices (oftentimes the recipes look delectable and uncomplicated, AND are pleasingly illustrated with pictures of them adorably presented in mason jars! Who could resist, I ask you?). And yet – sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Actually, for me, it rarely works out that way.

One of the things our fantastic Employment Solutions Specialist and all-around social media expert Shabana does, as you’ll know if you frequent our Facebook or Twitter accounts, is round up and share awesome tips and information on everything from resumes to interview attire to make-ahead dinners. As I looked through some of the ideas on the meal spectrum we’re going to be sharing with you in the upcoming weeks and months, I had a thought – why don’t I take a look at the week I just had, meal-wise, and see if I can do better this week using some of these ideas?

Last week, I actually did better at breakfast than I usually do – I almost never eat breakfast, as I am a devotee of my alarm’s snooze button. I had a cold glass of water, two boiled eggs with a little bit of buffalo wing hot sauce, and tea on Wednesday and Friday. (Friday, though, I also ate three sour soothers. Breakfast of champions!) The other days, I had a cold glass of water and a cup of tea or coffee. So, my goal for this week is to make some truly grab-and-go ideas for breakfast. I started this week with my good old two boiled eggs and hot sauce option, followed by a cold glass of water and some coffee when I got to work this morning. This slideshow has some great ideas for breakfast options – because of a medical condition, though, I can’t eat anything containing gluten, so I’ll be modifying recipes from there and using this site for more ideas and reference for the rest of the week.

As for lunch, last week was also a good week for me. I’ve picked, apparently, one of my best food weeks ever to start this experiment - I brought my lunch (usually a small sandwich and a piece of fruit) every day except for Friday! Usually I run across the street for a salad or a Jugo Juice with protein powder. This probably sounds healthier than it is – it’s sometimes too easy to choose creamy dressings or too much cheese on a salad, and I’ll admit to being honestly unsure how much better a choice a fruit smoothie with protein powder really is for lunch than some of the ideas I want to be trying this week. I’m lucky enough to live right now with my parents and my fiancé, who usually packs my lunch for me while I am racing around in the morning trying to get ready in time to leave, so this week: I’ll be making my lunches the night before! I didn’t manage to get my lunch packed last night, but I did pack some turkey, feta and cranberry burgers, an apple, an orange and a Coke Zero for today’s lunch this morning. Since gluten-free sandwich bread is reaaallly expensive, I was thrilled to come across this website which suggests sixteen sandwich-free lunch ideas, which is perfect for me! I’m also looking at ideas to use or modify from places like this and this.

Dinners? Well, I humbly admit that for dinners, I’m usually off the hook – as I mentioned, my fiancé and I live with my family, and my father is a wonderful and enthusiastic cook. Since two of my other family members are also celiac, that means we’re privileged enough to have safe and delicious dinners usually prepared for us. However! In the spirit of this challenge, I’ll be perusing this to make one dinner (at least – I might aim for two) for me and my family next week. I found, for example, this good-looking delight – that’s probably not the healthiest salad ever concocted, but boy, is it ever up my alley.

I’m actually really excited to take this on! It will involve a good deal of list-making, which is my specialty, and as I look over the plan I’ve got going for the week, I can see exactly where and how this is going to save me lots of time and money in the long run. It gets expensive to eat out for four or five lunches a week! Plus, eating breakfast (my number-one most skipped meal) has been shown to have major benefits. I’ll be back in this space on Friday or Monday to share with you what I made and how the week went in general. Cross your fingers for me! Bon appétit!

-Rae, First Impressions Coordinator

PS: Shabana suggested I share how my desk organization was coming along! She also graciously told me I had been doing a pretty good job. In my opinion, desk organization is still a work in progress. I am doing really well at keeping the pen caddy cleaned out and having only what I need to hand; I am still working on tidying up at the end of the day and not having too much paper everywhere! 

 

Photo: My unpopular lunchbox in our work fridge. 

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