Daily Grind

Since finishing my student teaching, I’ve been back to work at my old company on a part-time basis. Even though it’s part-time I’m still trying to work as much as possible, which means heading into the office almost every day of the week. While there are a lot of differences between working in an office and a classroom, I of course find some of the biggest differences when it comes to food (surprise!).

Prior to student teaching I was concerned with my lunch options – because I wasn’t familiar with the layout of the school and what most teachers did for lunch, I spent the first few weeks bringing only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good PB&J, but that doesn’t quite cut it for me when it comes to lunch – I prefer it as a snack. I brought creative leftovers every now and then, but for the most part my meals were less than inspired. Knowing that I would have constant access to a toaster oven, microwaves, and a refrigerator when coming back to the office did spark a little excitement.

Despite having grand plans for my lunches, I tend to gravitate towards the frozen section during my weekly grocery shopping trips. It doesn’t require much thinking when I’m at the grocery store, or when I’m packing my lunch. Of course once it’s actually time for lunch I’m disappointed I didn’t take the extra time to prepare something myself. Since I’m currently in a no-dairy zone, and I also stay away from meat, I’m currently living more of a vegan lifestyle, but I’m far from calling myself a vegan. Just in the past week I’ve been shocked to see how many seemingly dairy-free items actually have dairy in them (like Morningstar Farms’ soy crumbles) making my frozen lunch choices slim.

Yummy sandwich!

So what do I eat for lunch?
– peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (on a rare, uninspired occassion)
– wraps (typically filled with a smattering of veggies)
– salad (previousy topped with cheese, and I’ve since been experimenting with other toppings)
– cold-cut sandwiches (also rare, but I’m a big fan of Hormel’s natual line)
– frozen meals or quick microwave meals (Hormel makes awesome “Compleates” and I’m generally a Lean Cuisine fan)

One of my favorite snacks!

Of course the aformentioned lunches are not alone – snacks are important, too! My snacking habits are all over the place, but I try to make sure there’s some type of cracker/carb, a fruit, and either yogurt or a dessert-like treat. Since I particpate in Foodie Pen Pals, I can usually guarantee I’ll have a snack for at least a week that fits one of the criteria I mentioned.

Now that marathon training is about to start (more on that later), I need to make sure I’m eating the right stuff, and the right amount to keep myself fueled. Of course it’s been a little difficult due to all the tests I’ve been having recently, but hopefully I can get back to a normal eating schedule soon.

So, what do you usually eat for lunch? Any awesome bring-to-work friendly things I should check out?