It’s definitely different, but not bad, eating lunch at home. For as long as I can remember, I’ve eaten lunch Monday through Friday out of a lunch bag – a brown bag, L.L. Bean neon green lunchbox, reusable Lululemon totes – because I’ve either been in school as a student, at my practicum school for student teaching, in my own classroom as a teacher, or at my desk with the past two event planning jobs. But for the past week I’ve been eating lunch in the comfort of my own home, on a ceramic plate with silver utensils.
This whole unemployed thing is taking time for me to get used to. I won’t lie, the first day or two felt like vacation and I had no desire to do any sort of work but as time goes on my emotions are changing and I know that I need to get down to business (taking advice from Mulan, a classic). Some moments I’m totally at ease, enjoying the flexibility that I have, the freedom to create my own schedule, and the lack of responsibilities. But at other times I’m nervous, worried, and overwhelmed with thoughts about what’s going to happen next.
I know that I won’t be unemployed for long thankfully, I’m just waiting for my paperwork to be processed so I can start substitute teaching (early next week) and for a part-time event planning job to start (in November). In the meantime, I have plenty of work to keep me busy… I need to outline grad school application requirements, select which schools I want to apply to, and complete the applications. I need to study for and take the VCLA (Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment) to receive my VA teaching license. I need to study for and take the GRE. And I potentially may study for and take the Praxis exams. So what am I worried about? Finances – paying my bills and having extra “fun money” to do things on the weekends. End of tangent.
Moving on to my Tuesday eats. Food is always much more enjoyable to discuss than finances.
Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!
Breakfast: The past few mornings I’ve been loving what I’ll refer to as the breakfast trifecta – pancakes, peanut butter, and pumpkin – Pumpkin Spice Almond Pancakes topped with pumpkin pie cottage cheese + crunchy peanut butter. Plus a cup of Coconut Mocha coffee and banana slices + raisins on the side.
Lunch: Last week I did our grocery shopping at Walmart. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about Walmart but the store near us is clean, well-organized, and carries a great mix of generic groceries and all-natural, organic products. We’re not big cream cheese eaters, but I saw Greek Cream Cheese by Franklin Foods and thought it would be a great topping on TJ’s pumpkin bagels. I was right, it’s great on the bagels and anything that you can schmear with creamy deliciousness – I’ll definitely buy it again.
For lunch I had a bowl of (very unphotogenic) roasted broccoli, a grapefruit, ham + dijon cream cheese wraps, and a mix of Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips + pretzels. Salt and vinegar chips are my favorite, it’s hard not to eat the whole bag in one sitting!
Snack: Another new-to-me purchase from Walmart was caramel rice cakes. Ryan sticks his tongue out at rice cakes and thinks they’re extremely bland, but I disagree. They’re a fabulous base for guacamole, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and so on. I typically purchase lightly salted or butter flavored but last week caramel caught my eye and oh my, they taste just like Cracker Jacks!
For a snack I topped two caramel rice cakes with pumpkin pie cottage cheese and sliced up a Golden Delicious apple.
Dinner: This dinner is from Monday but it was too good not to share. Ryan had a last minute dinner with coworkers from out of town, so I took advantage of cooking for one to try something new. I roasted an acorn squash and once it was done, I mashed it up, mixed it with a couple of spoonfuls of plain Chobani, and topped that with a dollop of Greek cream cheese + crushed pretzels + pistachios. I’ll call it… Pistachio Pretzel Acorn Squash Mash? Someone probably can come up with a better name, help! I’m a sucker for salty + sweet and this combo was divine. On the side I had a salad with roasted veggies.
Dessert: Did you know that this week is National Cereal Lovers Week? As if I need any more reasons to eat cereal. Dessert was a bowl of Kix + Kashi Go Lean with plain old 1% cows milk. I can’t remember the last time I ate cereal with anything other than Silk?
a recycled cereal picture, I forgot to snap a pic until my bowl was empty last night
Question: Do you eat cereal for breakfast? A few of us had a fun little Twitter chat the other day about cereal for breakfast… As much as I love cereal, I typically don’t eat it for breakfast because it doesn’t fill me up. If I’m in a hurry to get out the door, I’ll have a bowl of cereal but I’ll add a cup of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt and a spoonful of peanut butter. I need protein + fat in the morning to keep me full until lunch.
Question: Where do you most frequently buy your groceries? Our go-to typically is TJ’s, followed by our local generic grocery store, and then Whole Foods. But after the deals I scored last week, I may become a more frequent Walmart shopper – hopefully I don’t end up on People of Walmart!