Wednesday Lunchbox & One of Those Mornings

by Valerie on September 8, 2010 · 3 comments

This morning was one of those mornings that reminded me of a couple of years ago, when I started being more serious about preparing breakfast at home and packing my lunch {I used to be addicted to the Starbucks Reduced Fat Breakfast sandwiches as a convenience option back then}.  This was way before I even started working on figuring out my food intolerances and doing several phases of an elimination diet. This was just me trying to be healthier.  I remember back then, every morning felt like an obstacle race: the blender would jam (this was pre-Vitamix days), the time would race by, I invariably forgot something.  It did not matter how organized I was, which was frustrating as organization usually comes easily to me.  About a third of the time, I would give up on breakfast and grab the egg sandwich on the way to work.

When 18 months ago I started working on an elimination diet to identify food intolerances and then really had to prepare all my meals at home, follow a set protocol, take lots of supplements on a schedule (some had to be before eating, some during) I was so grateful my husband stepped in to help the morning food routine. Just remembering to take my multiple supplements took a schedule to get down. Somehow, at first, even having a packed lunch in the fridge was not enough to make the morning smooth.  But little by little, practice helped and frazzle-central disappeared.  And most days now, it is really smooth.  Good appliances help a lot. A green smoothie takes under five minutes with a Vita.  Overnight oats are another great find. In fact, last night, I was all zen about food prep. I had steamed sweet potatoes. My lunch was packed, I had made overnight oats in a waning sunbutter jar.

And then there’s days like today.

Obstable 1: liquid overnight oats, aka chia seed fail (the picture does not do this fail justice – they were seriously liquid).

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I added chia seeds, stirred, but decided to just postpone eating them as a work-snack later in the day. They were way too liquid and I really did not want to eat them that way. Still, I was all zen, which I mostly am in the mornings. I figured I have a steamed sweet potato and a ripe avocado and yummy cacao. I will just make Gena’s recipe for her very delicious chocolate sweet potato avocado pudding. It will fill my chocolate craving and use that ripe avocado I was going to bring with lunch for my kale salad. Because I use a bit of agave and almond milk instead of dates, the recipe is more low-glycemic.

And then the lid on the mini-prep broke (I did drop it, but still). This would be Obstacle 2. Things breaking in the kitchen puts me in meltdown mode in no time. It might be because the dishwasher and the kitchen faucet both stopped working at the same time last month (thankfully those are all fixed).

Needless to say, I lost the zen. There was no yogic detachment. That feeling of morning feeling like an obstacle course, which I hated and which I had managed to master into going away, was back.  And the clock was moving faster this morning than it had in a long time. I couldn’t find the top I was planning to wear (this rarely happens to me), I spilled something.  Honestly, losing the zen was Obstacle 3 and that was bigger than 1 or 2 put together. 

Obviously it all worked out. I made the pudding in the Vita, which is more work and less convenient, but it was tasty:

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I photographed lunch (I prefer to do this in the morning because the light is so much better):

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I feel like you can see the frazzle behind the pictures.

Lunchbox details:

  • Brown rice, steamed sweet potatoes and smokey black beans – I am not sure I love this recipe yet, which is why I am not sharing it. Basically I was trying to make smokey black beans by relying on spices and liquid smoke (which is supposedly gluten-free, but I am not convinced it is such a great thing to use) because just relying on spices has not done the trick in the past.  I miss being able to use bacon to add smokey-ness.

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  • Kale salad, massaged with extra-virgin olive oil and salt (I skipped the lemon today as I am going to mix this into the reheated black beans/rice/sweet potatoes):

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Overnight oats, breakfast turned into an afternoon snack for tonight:

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I promise to give you my take on overnight oats soon.

Hmmm, I’m missing something. I am supposed to have lunch + two snacks today:

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All good:


Obviously, there are a million tips out there on making your morning routine (food, breakfast, getting ready) more zen – I know most of them, but today was a good reminder that sometimes, even when you know all these things, some mornings are harder. 


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melita September 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm

i am thinking about coming to live with you so i can eat that yummy food with you đŸ˜‰ hugs!!


2 Tasty Eats At Home September 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I'm right there with you. I'll pack my lunch (and my husbands) and it should flow smoothly just to put it in the lunch bags, right? Nope. Some days are like you described. Now that pudding looks amazing…might have to check that out.


3 Jamie September 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I USE THAT SAME BAG AS A LUNCH BOX!!! Ha ha omg so funny!


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