Feature Friday: What do you eat for lunch?

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We are starting a new series this month called "What Do You Eat for Lunch?". Each Friday, we will feature a Voedenite to find out what their routine is! I'll be honest (Tina here), lunch tends to be a struggle for me. I grab leftovers, a piece of toast with avocado, something easy. But I want to do better. A yummy, nourishing lunch makes a day so much better. I have been so inspired by learning the routines of our awesome subscribers, and hope it helps inspire you, too!

We are kicking off with Jill, an intelligent, energetic, full-time working woman, wife, mom, and all around rad lady. She doesn't let lack of time be an excuse - she kicks some serious arse! 

Tell us about your lunch routine.  

After subscribing to Voeden Life over a year ago, I knew I needed to make a drastic change in my lunch habits. When you are eating healthy, veggie-packed meals for dinner, it is REALLY hard to get take out from one of the usual suspects (sub shops, pizza joints, iceberg lettuce salads to go) at lunch.

Not only was I now much more informed on the foods that I should be fueling my body with through Voeden, I had the confidence in the kitchen to know that I could make something WAY tastier (not to mention cheaper) for myself at home. 

I began making double batches of soup on the weekends and putting them into single serving containers to grab and go during the week. I also started making sure that I had greens (arugula is my favorite, but also baby kale, spinach, etc.) on hand at all times for grab and go salads. Or sometimes I would make a double batch of my favorite recipe that I knew made for great leftovers. The extra time it took in the kitchen, and stopping by the fridge to grab something on my way out the door were paying back DIVIDENDS during my workday.  No more 2pm sluggishness that I experienced after going to the all you can eat Chinese buffet for lunch.

To make things even better, a co-worker of mine happened to share my newfound affinity for healthy foods. So we devised a plan to help each other out by splitting lunch duty, and jokingly called each other "lunch buddies" in the beginning and it has stuck!

A lunch buddy? Do tell!  

My lunch buddy and I take turns bringing in lunch for each other. He makes enough for 2 people twice a week, I make enough for us on the other 2 days, with one free day. Now I find myself getting excited to see what he has created, and know it will be energy-giving food (and quite tasty too!) to stave off that 2pm sluggishness. 

The lunch buddy program has also kept us both more accountable, because you don't want to let each other down and be forced back into going to a drive through. It has inspired our coworkers and spread throughout the company. Every time I see a kale concoction in the lunch room fridge, or a heart healthy recipe pinned to the board, it warms my heart. .

So what is your go-to lunch when you are super busy but don't want to let down your buddy?

This is nothing fancy. I am a real working mother of two on the go! So when I'm in a rush, I grab a re-usable bag and throw things in that I can make a loaded salad with at work. 

These are basic ingredients and simple homemade dressings that I have learned about by eating the Voeden way. I find it refreshing that I can grab a bunch of randomness from my fridge and cupboard to make deliciousness!  

Jill's "Grab-everything-you-can-from-your-fridge-because-you're-late-again" Salad

  • Grab a reusable shopping bag.

  • Throw a box of greens in it. Right now I love the box of Power Greens from the grocery store, but in the summers I get bags of pre-mixed greens from the farmers market or the organic produce delivery service.

  • Grab a can of beans. I know dried beans are best, but I'm trying to be real here and canned beans are easier for me. I like black beans and chickpeas right now for salads. They are filling and also pack a nutritional punch. I always drain and rinse my beans right in the work cafe sink.

  • Pick a nut, any nut. Pecans, walnuts, cashews are some of my faves. Grab the whole bag to save time and bring it back home later. This will give you the protein and energy you need.

  • Throw in leftover cooked quinoa or brown rice; you can dump that in the salad too! I had never done this before, but it takes salads to a whole new level in my opinion, making them feel more substantial and filling.   

  • Grab some fruit. I'll take an apple or box of blueberries. Fruit goes great with the nuts and beans on salad. Especially a black bean/balsamic apple combo!

  • Throw in some cheese (if you can eat cheese). I like goat cheese crumbles, feta or Parmesan on mine for some extra flavor.

  • If you have an avocado, by all means, throw it in your bag. It's a fun addition when I happen to have one lying around.

  • Throw in leftovers. Sometimes when I'm really low on some of the staples above, I've grabbed hummus or leftover roasted veggies to put in it....pretty much anything you think might work, does.  

  • For the dressing: When I'm really in a hurry, I grab a lemon and a bottle of olive oil (I actually bought a smaller bottle of olive oil just to bring with me to work). This plus a little salt and pepper and you will be in heaven. If I have 20 seconds, I'll pour an equal measure of olive oil and red wine vinegar (or balsamic....I go back and forth) into a reusable container, with a squirt of Dijon Mustard (I've never measured and it always tastes good) and shake it up later.  

    When lunchtime rolls around, I grab the bag out of the fridge and prep myself (and my lunch buddy of course) a delicious feast. This salad never gets old because it's never the same combo twice! 

 

Thanks Jill! And we love your reusable bag!

What do you think? Would you try Jill's lunch buddy system? What do you do for lunch? We'd love to hear! Share your tricks in the comments. And tag your lunch photos on instagram, we'd love to see! #voedenlunch

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