Category Archives: Meals on the go

Therapeutic

Dear Diary,

In my next life, I’d like to be a baker.

apron

I spent my afternoon baking Christmas cookies that I’ll be gifting to our building staff and some other special people in our lives. Baking is so therapeutic for me and I really need to do it more often. For my mental health, if nothing else!

cookies

I know you’re salivating. Have no fear, I’ll be posting all my Christmas cookie recipes shortly.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

I was on the go this morning and threw together a smoothie to sip in the car. It was a little weird tasting and I’d make some tweaks if I re-create it. But hey, it worked!

smoothie

1 pear + cinnamon + 1 scoop vanilla About Time protein powder + almond milk + ice cubes

I stopped by a Super Target while in the suburbs this morning. Suburban shopping is the way to go, people. No crowds! A parking lot! My stomach was grumbling while shopping the aisles, so I bought a pre-made deli sandwich and scarfed it down in the car.

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Turkey + havarti + tomato + mayo + lettuce

I also shipped out some special gifts (last minute Lizzie!) and said a little prayer that they’d arrive before Christmas

gift

***

We’re headed to dinner tonight with some friends. I’ll see you in the morning for Favorite Finds Friday!

Question for you:

  • Do you prefer cooking or baking?

xo,

Lizzie

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Filed under Baking, Holidays, Meals on the go

Lunching & Learning

***I meant to post this around 4 p.m. this afternoon, but accidentally saved it in my drafts. Oops!**

As we speak, I am currently holed up in our building’s business center trying to get some studying accomplished. I needed a change of scenery to see if I could gather some studying mojo. It’s not quite working. I just have one more final on Thursday and I am done, done, done with grad school!

papers

LUNCH

I spent the morning at the post office (mailing some earrings I sold on Poshmark – wahoo!), getting a pedicure (lovely) and running a few errands in the neighborhood. Is anyone else sick of the sun-less, wet weather? I picked up a salad from Pockets on my way home and ate it in the business center.

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salad close

Romaine & iceberg + craisins + edamame + walnuts + cucumbers + carrots + honey mustard dressing with a whole wheat roll on the side

***

Nothing special on the dinner agenda tonight, just more studying and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, of course. Have a great night!

xo,
Lizzie

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Filed under Lunch, Meals on the go

Brief Day of Eats

I’m currently running around trying to get ready for my university’s graduate cocktail reception. Since the College of Social Work is so small, December grads don’t get a proper graduation ceremony. We are given the option to walk in May’s procession, but I’m hoping that my focus will be on a new j-o-b by then. I’m looking forward to spending time with my school friends in a relaxed cocktail flowing environment. Ya feel me?

I just downed a snack so as not to be famished when I arrive at the reception. Rule #1 of staying healthy at holiday parties!

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Homemade trail mix + 1 clementine

BREAKFAST

Today’s morning meal started with another smoothie. I’ve really been craving those bad boys lately.

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1/2 frozen banana + frozen cherries + 1 C unsweetened almond milk + 1 scoop About Time vanilla protein powder + 5 ice cubes

LUNCH

I packed a lunch to take with me while babysitting this afternoon. Another big a** salad was calling my name, though this wasn’t wasn’t quite as large as I’d hoped (I’m running low on tupperware).

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Chopped romaine + 1/2 green apple + 1 apple maple chicken sausage + 1 large carrot + swiss cheese + (unpictured) Marzetti light yogurt ranch

***

Off to try and hot roll my dirty hair and throw some makeup on my flaking face! My cold walk wreaked straight up havoc on my sensitive skin.

xo,

Lizzie

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy Meals, Lunch, Meals on the go

Deal Stalking and a Brain Fart

Hey guys, how are ya?

We’re hosting Bobby’s sister and her husband over here for dinner tonight. We haven’t seen them in a while and wanted to have a pseudo holiday celebration before the calendars start filling up. I’m making a cheesy chicken pasta bake. It’s a variation on this one, using spinach instead of kale and way less ricotta. I’ve made it a couple times, but never for company. Hoping they love it as much as we do!

No exercise today for me, but I’m planning on a morning workout before we hit the road tomorrow.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

I toasted my last ezekiel english muffin this morning and topped it with crunchy peanut butter and 1/2 banana.

breakfast

As per usual, I packed lunch to-go including the same egg white salad from yesterday atop romaine, plus some green grapes on the side. <– literally the exact lunch from yesterday. Oops!

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Remember that research paper that was due today? Welp, it almost turned into the research paper that wasn’t. I printed it yesterday, placed it in my class folder and dropped the folder into my purse last night. When I opened my bag this morning to hand it in to my professor, IT WASN’T THERE.  Turns out, I had removed said folder this morning because I wanted to lighten my load while walking to school. Literally didn’t even think about it. Luckily, I was able to email it to my teacher, but still. Talk about stressful.

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On my way home from class I stopped into Nordstrom. Sometimes it’s dangerous living on Michigan Avenue 🙂

nordstrom

I had been online stalking a pair of booties for weeks waiting for the price to drop. I noticed they were reduced a few days ago, but knew shipping would take way longer than just hopping into Nordstrom. Fortunately, they had my exact size and I loved them even more in person. Lucky me! They’re the Franco Sarto Octagon Wedge Bootie. 

booties

My new booties are already packed in my suitcase for our Thanksgiving trip to the farm, in addition to my “rugged” staples: cozy knits, fur, flannel and Fryes.

packing

I don’t really consider myself to be type A except when it comes to packing. I type out every single item broken down by day or category. 🙂

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Questions for you:

  • Have you jumped on the booties trend train?
  • What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
  • What is your packing strategy? <– I’m always fascinated by others’ methodologies or lack there of!

XO,

Lizzie

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Filed under Breakfast, Fashion, Holidays, Lunch, Meals on the go

Celebrating Your Pet’s Birthday

I’m currently on the tail end of the longest day I’ve had in a while. Three classes + a two hour GRADUATION meeting <– where they tell me everything I must do in the next two weeks in order to bust out of here on time. Woot!

I told Bobby in advance last night that I would not be cooking when I arrived home, and would instead like takeout sushi waiting for me.

What princess wants, princess gets.

Not really. I’m sure we’ll order something or possibly head out to a neighborhood joint.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

I packed up my lunch this morning to include a turkey sammy. FYI, I really wanted to take a huge bite while taking this pic!

lunch

We’ve got a toasted ezekiel english muffin + light mayo + mustard + reduced fat swiss cheese + deli turkey. I also packed a green apple and peanut butter to enjoy as the sweet part of my lunch. Before heading out the door, I heated up two everyday egg white muffins and grabbed a banana to consume on the run.

apples pb

Per my Thursday ritual, I snagged a blonde roast + 1 pump sugar free cinnamon dulce from Starbucks (added my own almond milk and stevia) with some homemade trail mix on the side. My first obligatory red cup of the season!

coffee and nuts

just nuts

One of my classmates brought cookies to share with the class. How dare he, right?! I think I was still full from lunch because they actually weren’t as tempting as I thought they’d be.

cookies

My creepy attempt at a photo

LAST NIGHT

Baxter was being extra naughty cute before bed last night. We started talking about how when he was little and before I moved in with Bobby, he rarely slept next to me. However, in the past six months, he’s started snoozing legitimately against my face every single night. I told Bobby that maybe it’s because he’s getting older and more needy?! Baxter turns four this January!

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Baxter’s third birthday

The rest of the conversation went something like this:

  • Me: What are we going to do for his birthday this year?
  • Bobby: It doesn’t matter, you’ll be gone. (I’m headed to Florida with my mama in January)
  • Me: I will be?!
  • Bobby: You’re such a bad mom!
  • Me: (nervously pulling up my itinerary on my phone) Found it! I’m leaving the day after his birthday.

Thank goodness. 🙂

We also talked about inviting all the other cats in the building to visit Baxter on his birthday. We pictured them coming out of the elevator and prancing down to our end of the hallway. Yes, we are joking…and yes, we are very strange!

Questions for you:

  • Do you celebrate your pets’ birthdays?
  • Do you pack your lunch to take to work/school?
  • What do you pack?

***

PS. I brought the Walgreens gloves with me today to give to the homeless man. I didn’t spot him on the corner, but I like to think that he found his way into a shelter and is warm and fed. Don’t worry, I’ll keep looking for him!

XO,

Lizzie

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Filed under Healthy Meals, Lunch, Meals on the go, Pets

Lightened Up Pad Thai

Hey guys, hoping your morning is going well.

LAST NIGHT

I’d posted last week about wanting to make Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. I bought the necessary ingredients during our latest grocery haul and decided to give it a whirl last night.

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Pad Thai is one of my favorite takeout foods, but it is most definitely not the healthiest choice. One serving can pack over 1,000 calories and almost 4,000 grams of sodium! Once in a while, I don’t mind consuming a meal with those stats, but I could eat Pad Thai every night 🙂

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The two main ingredients in the sauce, oyster sauce and seasoned rice vinegar, both have added sugar – something I did not realize until I pulled them out of the cabinet. I ended up using about 3/4 of what the recipe called for in order to cut the sugar a bit.

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All in all, I probably had about 5 g sugar in my meal, which I still consider a success for my no sugar challenge. 

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I made a few other adjustments to Lexi’s recipe.

  • Didn’t include mushrooms (can’t stand them); doubled the carrots instead
  • Used canned minced garlic
  • Didn’t include shrimp
  • Used regular eggs, not organic
  • Used soy sauce instead of coconut aminos

Our squash was too small as well; you definitely need a big guy for this recipe. Bobby and I both enjoyed this stuff and thought it tasted just like Pad Thai. Will definitely be making again!

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

I woke up this morning in time to chug coffee, make breakfast and pack up lunch for the day.

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I didn’t have much of an appetite when I woke up (blame the no sugar?), so I blended a protein smoothie to go. I forgot to take a photo but it included the usual: 1/2 banana + handful of spinach + 1 scoop About Time vanilla protein powder + frozen cherries + 1/2 C almond milk + 6 ice cubes. I also made a similar lunch from yesterday’s.

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I used a whole wheat wrap as my base and added 1/4 avocado mashed + deli turkey + spinach + carrots.

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In addition to roasted peanuts and spicy sunflower seeds on the side. <– bought these in the gourmet food section at TJ Maxx, ie. my favorite aisle on earth. 

seeds

***

It currently feels like January in Chicago (16 degrees!!!!!!!), so hoping it’s warmer wherever you are.

XO,
Lizzie

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Filed under Healthy Meals, Meals on the go, No Sugar

Everyday Egg White Muffins [Recipe]

As you read this morning, today marks day one of my 7-Day No Added Sugar + Sweat Everyday Challenge. To celebrate the occasion, I baked a dozen of my favorite (and sugar-less!) go-to breakfasts: baked egg muffins.

To get to the recipe, scroll on down to the end.

egg muffins

WORKOUT

I started this morning with a quick 40-minute workout in our building’s gym.

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My routine included a 20-minute warmup on the treadmill alternating different speeds and inclines + 20 minutes of lower body strength training. I completed 3×10 of each exercise: squats + lunges + deadlifts + donkey kicks. It’ s been at least a month since I worked my lower body, and my legs still feel like jelly seven hours later!

After showering, I headed out for an afternoon of errands and a doctor’s appointment. For some reason I did not check the weather forecast before I left the house. I wore FLATS…and it was 15 degrees and windy. I ended up taking a cab four blocks home this afternoon because I couldn’t feel my feet.

LUNCH

I ate part of my packed lunch on the go today, literally while walking down Michigan Ave.

lunch

My wrap included light mayo + mustard + spinach + carrots + deli turkey.

wrap

I ate the rest of my lunch (spicy sunflower seeds + roasted almonds) while waiting for my appointment at the Apple store.

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***

Now, since that’s out of the way, onto the real reason you’re reading this post.

EVERYDAY EGG WHITE MUFFINS

egg muffins 2.0

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Spray 12-cup muffin with non-stick cooking spray
  • Cut each link into smaller pieces, add four pieces to each muffin cup
  • Divide each piece of cheese into three sections, tear each individual section into smaller pieces and add to muffin cups (so that each cup holds 1/3 slice of cheese)
  • Pour egg whites into each cup until 1/4 inch full
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes
  • Let cool, store in tupperware for up to five days

Enjoy for breakfast or snacks throughout the week! We make a dozen or two dozen on Sunday nights and nuke them for 30 seconds in the microwave in the mornings. 

XO,

Lizzie

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy Meals, Meals on the go, Reipe, Workout

Thursday Musings

Good morning!

Just wanted to pop in quickly before my longest day of classes begins. This post might be a bit random, so bear with me 🙂

LAST NIGHT

We threw together turkey burgers for dinner in ten minutes flat. I’d been very snackish while babysitting, so just didn’t feel like eating much else. That didn’t stop me from making dessert just an hour later.

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This pumpkin mug cake is my pumpkin version of Katie’s five minute carrot cake for one. (PS. If you love dessert, but prefer to lighten things up, check out her blog. I actually think she’s a baking genius). I’ll post my variation of her recipe once I perfect it to my liking!

syrup2

Drizzled with sugar-free maple syrup!

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

For breakfast this morning, I toasted a slice of ezekiel bread and smothered it in peanut butter while drinking my coffee and checking emails/perusing blogs. Soon after, I packed up my lunch and snacks for the day.

lunch

Hooray for a new camera cord and no more iPhone photos!

My salad included romaine + 1/2 green apple + carrots + 1/2 avocado + reduced sugar craisins + mixed nuts.

 salad

***

I’m about to head out for the day, but wanted to share with you a link to some fantastic reads from the week. One of my favorite bloggers at Fitting It All In posted a list of some of the most thought-provoking articles. I plan to make it through all of these over the weekend.

While scrolling down to the comments section, I noticed that Claire opened herself up to criticism from some of her readers (mostly due to the “controversial” section of articles). I happen to think that she’s doing us a favor by sharing her own thoughts and opening our minds to all sides of the coin. I prefer articles that make me think!

XO,

Lizzie

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Filed under Healthy Meals, Meals on the go

How Veteran’s Day is Different for Me This Year

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Before we transition into the usual content you expect around here, I wanted to acknowledge this very special holiday and why it’s different for me this year. Just six months ago, I thought of Veterans Day as similar to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Columbus Day. To me, it meant a break from school/work, and a chance to briefly remember the historical significance of the holiday.

Well, things sure have changed.

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This past summer, I was given the opportunity to complete my final social work internship at a VA Hospital. I provided counseling services to the people that have served my country since World War II.  I don’t know how much I helped my clients, but my life has been forever changed.

veterans

So, THANK YOU veterans for your dedication to something greater. THANK YOU for risking your mental health, your physical body and most of all, your lives for us. THANK YOU for committing the most selfless act, putting the rest of us before yourself.

I will be forever grateful for you.

***

I like to keep things light on this little blog, but I couldn’t leave this topic unaddressed. Thanks for listening, now let’s move on!

LAST NIGHT

We had some ground turkey that I wasn’t sure what to do with. I was craving pasta, so I poked around on the Google black hole for a turkey meatball recipe. I came across this one and decided to run with it it. <– Note, I do not follow a Paleo diet, but used this recipe because I had everything in the fridge.

I’ve been cooking so many new dishes lately, mostly because I have a lot more free time. Bobby also loves to cook, but last night he told me,

“You’re getting better than me at cooking,” and he doesn’t like it 🙂

That must have propelled him into the kitchen because he took the reigns on the turkey meatballs while I boiled the Dreamfields penne and threw together a red sauce.

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My sauce included a can of plain tomato sauce + onions sautéed in minced garlic + oregano + thyme.

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I wasn’t feeling great after dinner, so I hopped into bed around 8:45(!), enjoyed a cup of tea and a Quest bar while catching up on the latest issue of US Weekly.

tea

 BREAKFAST + LUNCH

I think that the weather directly affects the type of outfit I put together. Today, I look like a homeless person. With the wet and dreary darkness outside, it made sense for some reason to wear leggings, a ratty shirt, five-year old rain boots and a curly bun.

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 After putting together my less than fashion-forward outfit, I packed my lunch bag for a day of classes. (Side note: I graduate in less than four weeks, and I think I’m in denial). I’m still feeling a little off and don’t have much of an appetite, so I threw together a bunch of snacks to have throughout the day.

 photo 4

 Tortilla with peanut butter + pear + homemade trail mix + string cheese + gummy vitamins.

I took my coffee to go, and enjoyed it with ½ banana.

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 I normally eat a much bigger breakfast, so I’m sure I’ll be hungry in an hour. After I drank most of my coffee, my brain came to life and I realized that probably wasn’t the best choice for an upset stomach :/

XO,

Lizzie

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Filed under Healthy Meals, Meals on the go