Tag Archives: lunch

Mystic Nutrition Facts (and your WOD)


This is my lunch for today. Grilled chicken breast, soy sauce, radishes, carrots, raisins, and a sesame bar.  What’s it packed in?  I bought one of those bistro boxes from Starbucks and I’ve been re-using the container for months.

A while back I posted a little mindfulness exercise that, for reasons unfathomable, hasn’t been all that popular.  Maybe if I rapped it, people would grasp it?  Momma didn’t raise to quitter, so here it is again, finger on the transmitter…

Mindfulness Lunch Exercise

Devote a full ten minutes to making your lunch.  Take your time.  Relax and focus.  Make your lunch as beautiful, nutritious and delicious as you can.  Really put some thought and effort into it.  If you work outside the home, do your prep the night before or in the morning before you leave, and take your meal to work with you.

When it comes time to eat, give your lunch your undivided attention. Do not eat while reading, surfing the web, or anything like that.  Just sit and eat the food. Think only about the food — about how pretty it is, how nice it tastes, how good for you it is, how wonderfully it is going to fuel your activities, what a blessing it is, and so forth.  Fully chew and taste every bite.

It just may be the best meal you’ve had in six months.

Listen guys!

Food is more than nutrients, and nutrition is a holistic and mystical experience that is still not fully understood. As Michael Pollan famously noted, we have identified 15 carotenes in the carrot, but carotene pills do not replicate the health benefits of munching on actual carrots.  “We still don’t know what is going on in the soul of a carrot,” he said.  “It’s a wilderness in that carrot!”

Choose healthy foods, then experience them fully when you eat them.

Lunch Ideas

  • Sesame bars — These little devils are the business.  Just under 60 calories per tiny bar, and with tons of fiber, these are a great addition to your lunch in the off-season.*  I got mine at the Asian market — 16 little thumb-sized bars for $2.49.  Sure, they have a tiny bit of sugar.  But they are minimally processed and make a perfect little healthy, mini-dessert to your lunch.
  • Buy single-serving bags of nuts and dried fruit.  I know, they cost more by volume and packaging hurts the environment.  But wasted food is also bad for my budget and for the environment, and over-eating is bad for my waistline.
  • Save those sauce packets.  I rarely eat fast food, but when I do I save the extra stuff that isn’t objectionable — taco sauce, soy sauce, salad dressing, mayo, etc. as long as it’s low in sugar.  Watch out for stuff like honey mustard that’s straight sugar and soybean oil.  Save extra fortune cookies and use them to zip up lunches on workout days when you can easily burn off the extra sugar.
  • Cook once, eat five times.  Make a main dish and pick off it for the rest of the week.  Make a few chicken breasts or cook a big steak.  Slice it on a diagonal and you’re good to go.
  • Veggie trays.  They’re not just for parties you know.  Get one from the grocery store, put it in the fridge, and you won’t have any excuse for not eating your daily vegetables.
  • Check out my recipes.  I’ve posted a fair number of them on this blog.

And now for your Cabal Fang WOD.

  • Calisthenics.  As many sets as you can in 10 mins of 10 each Diamond Push-ups, Steam Engines, Hop/Clap Push-ups, Split Squats.
  • Kicks.  5 x 2:00/1:00.  Kick combos for 2:00.  For the 1:00, full power kicks vs. heavy bag.  Count number of full power shots during the first round and try to exceed that count in your final round.


* I generally eat a paleolithic diet.  During Fall and Winter I’m a little more relaxed and I let myself have a daily serving of whole grains and relax a little about trace sugars and such.  During Spring and Summer, when I’m trying to get cut, I get super strict.  I remove all grains and all fruit along with as many carbs as possible.

Fast Lunch: Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup

wpid-IMG_20130728_084945.jpgEverybody can use a simple recipe that’s healthy and delicious, right? It’s also inexpensive — by my math it will run you (depending on the price of organic chicken) about $4/serving.

If you’re doing the Slow Carb Diet like I’ve been for almost two years now, this one is also 4HB compliant.

This is a great recipe to prepare Sunday evening and  take to work the following week for lunch.  Go shop tomorrow and cook on Sunday.

Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup

Here’s what you need:

  • A 16 oz. Thermos bottle (the wide mouth kind)
  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups organic green beans
  • Knorr chicken broth mix
  • curry powder
  • red pepper flakes

Cook the chicken in a crock pot on LOW for 6 hours.  Allow to cool.  Remove skin, pull and shred.  Store in plastic tub in the fridge.

Cook 1 cup red lentils with 2 1/2 cups water in a covered sauce pan.  Simmer for 25 minutes.  Allow them to cool in the pan with the cover on.  Transfer them to a plastic tub and refrigerate.

Steam green beans until tender and put them in the fridge as well.

Each morning before work, put a cup of chicken, 2/3 cup lentils, and a pinch of green beans into a glass measuring cup.  Top off with water to the 2 cup mark and microwave until boiling (about 3 1/2 minutes).  While that’s going, put a teaspoon of broth mix, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, and a dash of crushed red pepper into your Thermos.  Carefully dump in the hot ingredients and seal tight.

When the lunch whistle blows you’ll have a healthy delicious meal ready to go.

More Simple Lunch Ideas

For those of you doing the low carb thing (or some variant such as the 4HB slow carb diet, the paleo diet, etc.) here are a couple of lunch suggestions:

Try the Wholly Guacamole single serving packs.  They’re affordable, delish, and a nice balance of convenience and nutrition.  You get 6 for about $4.00.  Throw one in your lunch bag with some some snow pea pods and carrots.  A great alternative to ranch dressing or some other empty calorie dip.

Here’s another healthy main course you can make with 5 ingredients or less:

Broccoli Bacon Chicken Salad

3 cups diced free range chicken
3 cups thinly sliced broccoli
1/4 cup real bacon bits (not imitation!)
Olive oil mayo to desired consistency

Bake chicken at 375 for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until it reads 190 on your meat thermometer.  Allow to cool, skin, and dice.  Wash and slice broccoli very thin.  Combine with chicken, add olive oil mayo and bacon, and stir.

Lunch Break Workout 11/15/12

Walking on park trails, stop every 4 minutes and do Zombie Squats (arms extended, butt to heels).  First set 12, second set 24, third set 36, etc. up to 60 (total of 180 squats in 30 minutes).  Walk it off (10 minutes).  Contemplation or Meditation (10 minutes).  Transit time to/from work (10 minutes).  Total 1 hour.

Some Kind of Storm

One of them there "Saladz"

Yesterday was my first cheat under the plan.  Hurricane Irene threw a monkey wrench into my routine and I didn’t prepare for lunch Monday.  On the way to the office I stopped by Calhoun’s Country Store to grab something (trying to at least buy from a local merchant) and they were closed — no power.  Irene causing more problems.

Had to buy one of those “saladz” from the Megacorp’s Food/Gas/Beer Multiplex.

I am thankful that I was only a little inconvenienced by Irene.  Some people lost their lives to the power of nature.

For me, Hurricane Irene knocked out the power and simultaneously delivered quiet, peace, and the closeness of family. Crayons and cards by candlelight, guitar playing, sleeping in real silence, relaxation. A taste of what life could be like in a post-tech world.

I’m up early this morning, cooking for the week so that I can eat healthy food purchased locally.