Work Lunch: Greek Cucumber Salad

I usually take leftovers for work lunch, but on Sunday night, I wanted fish tacos and A. you can’t take leftover fish to work, it’s against all the rules and B. there were no leftovers because they were awesome and I’m getting really good at cooking just enough for one.

So, I prepped something different for my work lunches on Sunday afternoon – a new Greek cucumber salad recipe.  Note I said new.  That’s dangerous because what if it sucks? I get cranky and woozy if I don’t eat!

But, it was all stuff I liked and it was based on a Rachael Ray recipe, so how can you go wrong?

Greek Cucumber Salad (for one to-go lunch)
half a cucumber – thick slices, quartered
handful of grape tomatoes – halved
half a bell pepper – chopped
an eighth of a red onion – chopped
a few kalamata olives – quartered
Combine all veggies. Top with olive oil and red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and feta crumbles.

As you can see, my “recipes” are quite precise.  Follow with care!

I chopped on Sunday and added the oil and vinegar before I took it to work so it was nicely soaked in. The veggies are all pretty firm, so they’ll hold up to the dressing, which is nice because then you avoid taking dressing and then forgetting it and then forgetting which in the communal mini-fridge are yours and then everyone’s mad at the person who’s taking up all the space in the already-small-for-nine-people fridge, including you because you have no idea they’re ALL YOURS. 

In addition to getting cranky if I don’t eat, I also get totally lethargic, which makes me cranky, if I have a big (for me) lunch, so this suited my as-of-late mini-meals plan, but if I wanted a little more, I might add some hard-boiled eggs or it would be really good in a wrap and of course, it could just be a really good side for something heartier.

I get so bored and uninspired by my work lunches sometimes, but I’m in love with this one – it’s so easy and quick and a great way to eat fresh!

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Workout Giant: Lunch Time Workout

I am very fortunate to have my job for many reasons. One reason is that my schedule is quite flexible. Another is that it’s close to my gym.

A + B = WHY don’t I work out on my lunch break more often?!

The idea of getting a good work out in, refreshing and getting back to work in a reasonable amount of time is intimidating, but on Tuesday I just wanted a quick workout – a little cardio, a little strength – you fit in WHAT you can WHEN you can and it’s a heck of a lot better than skipping it all together!

I was surprised to find the parking lot packed when I pulled up, but my gym is very family friendly and the kiddos are still on summer break (seems like a given, but my boss’s kids have just ONE week of summer vacay left!) so it made sense, they usually crowd the pools all summer long, but fortunately for me, I was not headed to the pool.

I changed quickly, jumped on the elliptical for 10 minutes to warm up and then into an empty group fitness room for some more booty busting, which got my heart rate up! I wrapped it up with 10 more minutes on the spin bike and I was happily breaking a sweat.

A quick shower – sans hair washing – and wardrobe change and I was back to work!

I love the feeling of working out in the morning because I’m accomplished and “done” for the day…and the mid-day workout gave me the same feeling with the added bonus of getting up and away from my desk for an hour to recharge.

So, after tackling this workout giant, I’m no longer in the you “can’t get a good workout on a lunch break” club and hope to get in more mid-day sweat seshes!

Greek Yogurt-ginity

Yes, it’s true. I lost my Greek Yogurt-ginity today. I’ve had the plain stuff in dips and such, but the last time I was at the grocery store, Chobani was on sale, so I decided to overlook my usual Yoplait Light and try it.

Why?  Well, greek yogurt is all the rage for its health benefits.  Like any yogurt, it’s a great way to get a serving of dairy with bone-building calcium.  Building bone mass is really important, especially for women.  Our bone density peaks at about 30, so as a mid-twenty-something, I’m stocking up!

But, what makes greek yogurt unique is that it has more active cultures and probiotics and twice the protein of regular yogurt, providing much more satiety.  I definitely put that to the test today.

After a delicious – and BIG – sushi dinner last night, I wasn’t too hungry this morning, so as I headed out to work, I grabbed some random things from my fridge and pantry to feed me for the day.  I usually have a meal packed, but I successfully ate all my leftovers throughout the week and had nothing (and usually try to avoid going out for lunch).  I ended up with a cutie, a banana, baby carrots and a vanilla Chobani. 

I ate the fruit a few hours later, but by 11:30 I was HUNGRY!  I really don’t like to eat [lunch] before noon, but I’m getting better at eating when I’m actually hungry even if the clock is screaming at me that I eat like a senior citizen.

I tried the yogurt plain first just to check it out.  Definitely a texture I wasn’t expecting, but not a bad one and the flavor was good.  Then I mixed it with some granola and dried cranberries I had in my desk and absolutely loved it. Best of all, even though I ate earlier than I was used to (and ate the carrots a little later), I didn’t get hungry again until around dinner time (okay, dinner time if you’re a senior citizen)!

So, I think it’s fair to say I’m a convert and I’m looking forward to trying the strawberry and blueberry I still have in my fridge (and finding the peach and honey flavors somewhere).