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Healthy Egg Salad

Tastes Like Disappointment:

When prepping lunches, I try to find a balance between being healthy and tasting good. I don’t want to spend hours prepping a meal that turns out to be inedible. And, of course, it won’t help if the meal is so bad that I end up picking at my lunch, then binge eating junk later. So I try to take meals I like and find healthy, altered versons.

For this meal, I used this Heathy Egg Salad recipe. It uses plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, dijon mustard and fresh dill for a touch of zing, and celery for a bit of crunch. I made the egg salad exactly according to the recipe. For serving, I used pita bread instead of whole grain bread, and for toppings I only added arugula, both stored seperately to keep from getting soggy. I thought I had found a great balance between healthy and tasty.

The Zesty Mediterranean Quinoa Salad was pretty delicious. While a bit heavy on the onion, I will be making this again.

How I F*d Up:

While plain non-fat Greek yogurt probably would have gone great with the previous weeks Waldorf Salad, as fruit and yogurt tend to go well together, it did not do anything for egg. The egg salad itself was bland and tasteless, despite the added dill and mustard. The yogurt seperated quite a bit overnight, so instead of being thick and creamy, it turned a bit watery and runny, despite mixing before stuffing into the pita. Lesson learned, plain non-fat Greek yogurt is not always an acceptable substitution for mayonnaise. There was such a small amount of mustard added, there might as well have not been any added at all.

In attempt to cut back on some of my food costs, I decided to try cheap pitas. However, you get what you pay for. Pita’s is not something you want to cheap out on, especially if you plan to stuff it full of runny egg salad. The pita was extremely thin, so shoving it full of egg salad soup caused it to get soggy and start falling apart before I was done eating. Putting a layer of Arugula into the bottom of the pita before pouring in the egg salad helped to give it a protective layer, as well as adding to the flavor.

Suggestions for Improvement:

The two biggest improvements to this would be to use light mayonnaise instead of greek yogurt and using quality pitas. While light mayonnaise will add in a bit more fat and calories than fat-free greek yogurt, it will taste much better, while still being more healthy than full-fat mayo.


Waldorf Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad Would Have Been Better:

For those of you who don’t know, Waldorf salad is fruits and nuts covered in mayo. Don’t ask why I thought that sounded good, I don’t know. The picture was pretty and a box full of fruit sounded healthy. I must have missed the part where it was covered in mayo. I used the recipe from here, which includes turkey (or chicken), apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, mayonnaise, salt, and Bibb lettuce leaves. I used quality chicken and cooked it in the sous vide so it would be nice and tender. I used fresh apples I cut myself, rather than the precut mushy ones. I used the freshest, non-squishy grapes I could find. I even remembered to package the leaves seperately so they wouldn’t get soggy. I followed the recipe exacly and made sure to do everything just right. I included mixed berries and a halo on the side to make this box as fruit packed as I could.

How I F*d Up:

Mayonnaise does not go on fruit. I don’t care what my Waldorf salad loving dad thinks, it just doesn’t. As I ate my lunch, I just kept thinking about how healthy this box would be if it wasn’t covered in mayo.

Being that this meal was basically a box full of fruit, with about 3 small pieces of diced chicken, it wasn’t very filling. After eating my lunch, I felt like I had just had a light snack. It was all I could do to not eat my own left arm off out of hunger before leaving work. My family had dinner early every day this week. But, on the plus side, I did loose 5 pounds this week alone, despite being overloaded with mayonnaise. Must have been all the starvation.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Being mostly fruit, it would probably taste a lot better, and be healthier, with plain fat-free greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise. However, this meal needs something of substance to make it more filling. So using less fruit and more chicken, as well as putting it on a pita instead of lettuce leafs would make this meal more satisfying. So basically, a chicken salad pita would be better. But if you do go with the classic recipe, use something filling on the side so your co-workers don’t have to deal with the hanger.


Probably Not the Healthiest:

Carnita’s is another one of my favorite meals, so I have made them, and messed them up, several times. Keep in mind, since the only veggies in this dish is a bit of onion, these are probably not the healthiest. But they are really quick, easy, and tasty. Just cook a pork roast, shred it up with some seasonings, portion it in the big compartments, and top with your choice of toppings. I use diced onion and chopped cilantro. Keep in mind, if you plan to heat this meal up, you may not want to put lettuce on the meat. This can be stored seperately. Then portion canned refried beans into one small compartment, and top with a little enchilada sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. I use fat-free refried beans in attempt to make this meal a bit healthier. Portion spanish rice in the final compartment. I use Zatarain’s spanish rice or cilantro lime rice cooked in a rice cooker.

There are different methods for cooking pork roasts, but I like to put several at a time in the sous vide at 160 degrees for 18 hours, with no seasonings, so I can start them the night before and just let it go all night. Making a small toddler pool worth of pulled pork allows me to freeze leftovers in small portions for later and use other things. I can then use the extra meat for quick BBQ pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, or tacos at a later date.

How I F*d Up:

The first time making this, I assembled the tacos in the box with small soft corn tortillas. Which fell apart upon attempting to eat the next day.

The second time making this, I attempted at making this meal healthier and tastier by adding vegan cheese and some kind of vegan, non-dairy, imitation, plain greek yogurt to everything. It did not make anything tastier and the cheese never melted. I had just watched the Jay and Silent Bob reboot, where they kept making jokes about Silent Bob being vegan. Seeing how much weight Kevin smith lost, I went to the store and bought 4 packages vegan sliced turkey, 2 packages vegan sliced cheese, a package of vegan shredded cheese, and a tub of the imitation yogurt. I still have 3 and a half packages of vegan sliced turkey, 1 package of vegan sliced cheese, and half a package of vegan shredded cheese in my fridge that I probably won’t eat. The fake yogurt turned to liquid overnight after opening and was thrown away.

Suggestions for Improvement:

First, Package tortillas and any veggies that are not to be heated up seperately, then assemble while eating. Second, don’t use vegan things to replace dairy, unless you actually are vegan and know what kinds are good. If you are not vegan, but want to make this healthier, use fat free versions of actual cheese and sour cream.

Adult Lunchables

My Favorite So Far:

I think the adult lunchables are probably my favorite lunch preps so far. They are quick and easy to make, versatile, and they taste delicious. There is no specific recipe for making this lunch and how healthy they are depends on what is actaually packed in them. Fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and good quality meats are going to be healthier than cookies, bologna , and candy. The boxes pictured above have sliced ham, mixed fruit, cheese, carrots, celery, and hummus.

How I F*d Up:

First, I bought the wrong amount of food. Buying too much food will spoil before eaten, not enough food and you’ll go hungry. One of the classic dinner sliced half hams is plenty for ten boxes. I bought three. However, I was able to freeze the extra hams for future use.

Second, I used crackers the first time I made one of these. While some people may have airtight containers, mine are not, so the crackers were stale after one night in the fridge. To fix this, I traded in the crackers for pita bread sliced into triangles the next time.

Third, to save time, I used a premade fruit salad from the grocery store. The fruit in these are typically not as fresh to begin with, and you won’t always get the ratio you want. I think I got maybe two grapes out of the whole package, and they were squishy. If you don’t mind the fruit not being fresh and don’t care how many grapes you have, this might be a great option. However, I prefer taking a little bit extra time to prepare my own fruit salad so I can make it how I want. Also, mixed berries are quick and don’t require any cutting, peeling, or prepping. A lot of my meals will have a mix of blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, which are all full of nutrients and antioxidants, and are an important part to a balanced diet.

Suggestions for Improvement:

It can take a few tries to figure out how much food is needed to prep the correct amount of boxes. Documenting the amount of food actually used can help determine how much is needed next time. Any excess foods can be frozen or eaten as healthy snacks later. I like to keep stocks of mixed nuts in the cabinets to use in the lunches in case I didn’t buy enough food. Also, If the food is not being stored in an airtight container, avoid anything that may go stale quickly. Or package it in seperate airtight containers. Finally, determine what’s more important, saving time or fresh fruit. Then decide to either use a premade fruit salad, or make one.

Follow Me on My Journey

I used to have one requirement for the food I ate, it had to be tasty. Now that I am trying to become healthy, my requirements have changed a bit. It must be low-fat, low-calories, less meat, more veggies, no carbs, no rice, no pasta, cheap, take less than 20 minutes to make, and be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. This perfect food does not exist. If it does, please let me know!

The most difficult thing for me while learning to eat healthy has dealt with lunches at work. I did not want to give up my free time on Sundays to prep lunches, and it was difficult to give up the fast food I had grown to love so much. However, over the past few months, while learning to meal prep, I have discovered I really enjoy trying the new recipes. Not only have I discovered a new hobby, it lead to me creating this blog. Every week, I try something new, and every week, I discover something I did wrong that could have been done better. But I realized, I never document which ones I liked, or my suggestions of improvements, so I never try the recipe again. While I may discuss other foods I found I enjoyed, or did not enjoy, my main focus is going to be on lunch prepping.

My journey to healthy eating has been a long one, and I have a long way to go, but I have learned a lot along the way. I started this blog to document mistakes I have made and what I have learned from those mistakes. And I appreciate any comments and suggestions that would help me on my journey. Please check back weekly for my latest lunch prep attempt.

Coming soon, Adult Lunchables…

The Beginning

My name is Sheila and I started this blog because my boyfriend is tired of hearing me babbling constantly about food. Like everyone alive, I have a long history with food, and like some people, it’s not always been the best relationship. As a child, I was constantly teased for being too skinny, and I was taught to eat as many calories as I can to gain weight. I’ve been called anorexic, told I need to eat a cheeseburger, and called twig. I’ve been sent to nutritionists, who taught me to eat a lot of ice cream, add ALL the toppings, add mayo to all of my sandwiches, and charged me $300. As an adult, a lifetime of learning to eat junk has caught up with me and now I can’t smell a brownie without gaining another 10 pounds. Now I am trying to learn to eat healthy, which I have come to learn means I can no longer eat anything I normally ate.

I have two reasons for making this blog public. First, I hope to raise awareness that teaching a skinny kid to eat fatty foods, for the sake of gaining weight, isn’t necessarily always the best solution. Healthy eating habits are best learned young, and being “too skinny” doesn’t mean that the person should eat more junk food. A skinny child that eats junk food to gain weight turns into an adult with high cholesterol. Second, I would like to have some input on my journey, and I welcome anyone who wants to join me.

The main thing I hope to accomplish is gaining and sharing knowledge of how to eat healthy. I want this to be a collaboration between myself and all of my readers. See something that could be improved upon? Please, leave a comment and let me know your suggestions!