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Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #16

Let’s get right to it!

Monday

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We don’t usually get sliced deli meat, but for some reason I picked up a pack over the weekend and made these ham and cucumber rolls. Kiddo1 loved them, like freaked out over them, so we had to make them again for a school lunch. I used a carrot peeler to get the thin slices of cucumber. A pretty easy and fun lunch! Rounding it out is some broccoli, carrots, and applesauce.

Tuesday

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More ham, because again we lacked leftovers, but I guess that just means we’re getting our fill at dinnertime! This time our ham came from a local farmer – we usually get a chunk of Beeler’s uncured ham. This ham is cured, but it’s really, really local and there’s nothing artificial in the curing ingredients. We can’t complain I guess. Also accompanying this lunch is more broccoli, carrots, and cucumber, plus a little orange.

Wednesday

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Leftover taco day, of course! This week we had chicken tacos, which Kiddo1 said aren’t his favorite (his favorite are beef tacos) but he still likes them because…. tacos. He had another orange and a special treat – vegan, gluten free chocolate-covered pretzels from Missionary Chocolates.

Thursday

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Kiddo1 hasn’t had a lettuce wrap in his lunch for awhile, and I had some leftover pork that needed a little something extra, so lettuce wrap it was! Of course in the wrap we have cucumber, because that’s all I’m allowed to put in there. More carrots and a rare winter visit from our friend, cantelope. A couple small slices of Missionary Chocolates truffles finish out this yummy lunch.

Friday

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Leftover chicken! Another favorite. With carrots and broccoli, another small orange, and more Missionary Chocolate truffle slices. It was a good week of lunches!

No wrap up next week – we’re off visiting family and playing hookie from school. We’ll be eating yummy lunches with them I’m sure, just not posting about them. Have a great week!

 

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #15

Kiddo1 is back in school after a long holiday break and we’ve got lunches! It took me the week to get back into the swing of things, both because our routine got all disrupted and I got a horrible cold that got worse as the week went on. So of course I neglected to take one picture, but I think that isn’t too bad considering how awful the cold was. Anyway, here are our lunches!

Monday

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Once again I’ve been relying on ham a bit too much because we haven’t had a lot of leftovers lately. Luckily Kiddo1 does not complain at all about receiving ham, even though I’m not the biggest fan of serving the processed meat more than a couple times a week. But what are you going to do some days? I am grateful to have it as my back-up meat. Along with his ham, Kiddo1 had cucumbers, carrots, applesauce and some homemade chocolate chip cookies – not Enjoy Life ones for once! Win!

Tuesday

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More ham but this time in a salad with cucumbers, which Kiddo1 actually eats so that’s great. He also had more applesauce and a little orange.

Wednesday

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Leftover tacos! These were beef with shredded romaine and cucumber. We use organic corn tortillas too. Kiddo1 also had carrots and a chunk of vegan truffle from Missionary Chocolates.

Thursday

Sick day for me! Mr. Handsome made lunch and I was too sleepy to ask for a picture. Oh well! Still very happy that Kiddo1 had a yummy lunch, whatever it was.

Friday

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Leftover orange chicken (I just discovered this recipe and we’re all obsessed with it), with carrots, another orange, and I found some peppermint bark from Christmas in the back of the fridge, so Kiddo1 got a surprise treat there. We thought it was all gone! And now of course he wants me to make more.

Not a bad first week back!

Year in Review

It’s almost 2015! Lately my mind has been on coming up with a great resolution for next year. BUT, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. We still have a day or two left of this year and as excited as I am about the possibilities for all the improvements that 2015 can bring, I think I need to pause for a moment and reflect on the accomplishments of 2014.

At the beginning of 2014, I set my resolution to remove all the GMOs from my house. The idea wasn’t to search and distroy within my pantry but rather do a slow replacement of offending items as they ran out. A nice, easy transition.

Things started to snowball around the middle of the year, though, and before I knew it I was learning not just about modified foods but about pesticides, chemical additives, industrialized food, etc. That transitioned into learning about grains and why they aren’t fulfilling my family’s nutritional needs. From there we did food allergy testing on our son to see if we could nail down some persistent digestive issues… and we discovered the need to keep out wheat as well as spelt, diary, eggs, and peanuts. And more research has led me to try to restrict certain other foods, like nightshades (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes).

This year has been a big learning experience with food. And we’ve come a long way as a family with our diet. We started the year very grain- and dairy-heavy: lots of cereal, lots of cheese, lots of baggies of processed snacks and a whole pantry of dinner “helpers” in a box and processed convenience foods. Now we still have a couple snack foods that we buy but we’ve switched to buying brands with more quality ingredients. We read labels on everything now and we try to make foods rather than buy them.

Speaking of making foods, now we cook all our meals at home, three times a day (I work from home which helps with this tremendously). We went from going out to eat at least once or twice a week to family meals out maybe twice in the last few months (it’s easy to stop eating out when you’re avoiding just about everything on the menu!). This has been really great on our pocketbook and it’s really easy to avoid the “no” foods by just not being around them. But we’ve had to learn to cook everything!

I wasn’t too much of a cook before this year. I could make a mean boxed mac n’cheese. I could bake chicken and stuff too, but cooking a whole chicken or making a vegetable without a cheese topping really wasn’t my thing. This year I have learned so much about cooking and baking. I can make several meals without recipes now and I have lots of resources for finding things to eat when I get stuck. I meal plan every week – no more winging it like I used to! I know how to properly use and care for my cast iron pans (that I had but only used a handful of times before this year – now I use them at least once, sometimes two or three times a day!). I’ve totally changed how and where we shop for food so that we can buy from local farms and outside the industrialized food system.

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My latest meal planning tool – the list of foods we can eat!

 

I’ve learned that a lot of the food out there today is just plain not food. I’ve learned that I want to participate in a better food system, and if I really want to bring about change then I must be conscious of how each one of my food dollars is spent. We buy from local farms because organic is good for us, but we also buy that way because we’re supporting a way of growing food that is sustainable on every level: good to the Earth, good to the animals, good to the workers, good to the neighbors, good for the community, on and on and on. Yes it is more expensive but what is the true cost of the alternative? The cost of food is not just what I see on my receipt!! It’s in how the workers are paid so they can contribute to a healthy economy, it’s how the animals are treated so they are healthy and strong (cause if they’re not healthy my meat isn’t going to be too healthy eaither), it’s in the way we treat the Earth so we have fertile soil and clean air to keep growing healthy food, it’s in the LACK of government subsidies that decive customers with food prices that are unsustainably cheap. That cheap food is costing us much more than the tax dollars we spend on the subsidies. In my opinion, it is not sustainable or responsible to turn a blind eye to what we buy.

Out of everything, the biggest thing I learned and my family learned is just general awareness of food: what’s in it, where it comes from, who makes it, why it’s good for us or not, where we can buy it, etc. This year of discovery has completely changed everything about food for us and I’m so glad we opened this can of worms and started making these changes!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #14

Lunch time! Here’s what Kiddo1 ate for (most of) last week…

Monday

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Leftover beef meatballs. We’re still working through the ground beef of a quarter cow we got this fall. We still have like 8 pounds of ground beef left!

Tuesday

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We cheated a bit in the previous night’s “Meatless Monday” and added a little sausage to our spaghetti squash. We had this last month on Mr. Handsome’s birthday and it was so good I thought it was worthy of a cheat. Kiddo1 will even eat squash this way… as long as the meat-to-squash ratio leans carnivore.

Wednesday

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Leftover chicken tacos and peas. I’m just happy I remembered to take the Wednesday picture this week!

Thursday

…because I forgot the Thursday picture! Two weeks in a row that I’ve forgotten one! I believe Kiddo1 had a lettuce wrap with pork and cucumber, but I can’t remember for sure. He ate, though, that’s for sure!

Friday

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A fun theme lunch with stick-shaped foods! And Kiddo1’s latest favorite – the tiny oranges. Mmmmm, small fruit.

If you’re reading this post I hope it is helping to inspire healthy lunches for you! Thanks for viewing!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #13

Time for another post of the week’s lunches! This one is from last week. Kiddo1 was out the week of Thanksgiving so no lunch post from that week. Actually, he was out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Tuesday after, so I really just combined the short pre- and post-Thanksgiving days into one week. I thought that detail might be boring though, so I was going to leave it out. But then I thought I might as well be truthful. So there you go.

Monday

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Cubed foods day! A little fun to offset a drerry Monday. Kiddo1 had cubes of ham, carrots, and cucumber, with two chocolate cubes (Missionary Chocolates are vegan), and -gasp- oval-shaped grapes.

Tuesday

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Keeping it simple today – a lettuce wrap stuffed with ham and cucumber, some carrots and grapes, a little more Missionary chocolate (a slice of dark chocolate and peppermint flavors), with some apple-blueberry granola too.

Wednesday

I haven’t forgotten a picture in awhile, but I did this week. It was a nice looking lunch, too, so I was pretty bummed about it! I was going to try to draw a picture of it but that actually would have just been me tracing an old photo of tacos for lunch and I just don’t feel like doing that. Kiddo1 had leftover beef tacos, a clementine and a cookie.

Thursday

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On Thursday, Kiddo1 had leftover pork tenderloin, carrots and romanesco, a clementine and a little over half of one of the leftover apple cider donuts that we had for breakfast that morning.

Friday

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Somehow by Friday morning we had ran out of meat and I was taken a little by surprise at that! Luckily we have bacon for breakfast on Friday, so Kiddo1 got a little less bacon in the morning (with a little more fruit to make up for it) and he got what I like to call a BLC salad – bacon, lettuce, and cucumber (I’d totally put tomato in there but he won’t go for it just yet). He also had carrots and applesauce for dessert.

 

Thanks for tuning in!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #12

More lunches! I’m still catching up from my blog break so I’m a little behind with my lunch posts! This one is from the week before Thanksgiving.

Monday

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I haven’t done many silly things with the lunches lately, so for Monday I cut everything into strips. If only I had an elongated fruit, I could have kept it up! Alas, we had grapes that day. And Enjoy Life cookies – the soft ones that Kiddo1 still likes.

Tuesday

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More ham on Tuesday – we didn’t generate a lot of leftovers this week I guess! I was already in Thanksgiving prep mode and I didn’t want anything cluttering up the fridge! So Kiddo1 had a salad with ham and cucumber, plus some strawberries and an Enjoy Life cookie.

Wednesday

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Leftover tacos! These are turkey tacos – our last taste of ground turkey before turkey leftovers take over the fridge next week. Kiddo1 always has his tacos with a little romaine and cucumber. Rounding out the lunch are some grapes and another Enjoy Life cookie.

Thursday

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He really wanted another taco! And I really wanted to get rid of the lingering leftovers – must have space for the turkey! Sure I still had three days to clean out the fridge… but you can never be too prepared. Anyway, Kiddo1 also had applesauce and a coffee cake-style muffin, with the standard carrots and cucumber veggie sides, of course.

Friday

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Not a lot of creativity with lunch this week! But we did manage to get Kiddo1 fed with healthy foods and he wasn’t complaining so I guess the week wasn’t so bad after all! We finished it up with almost an exact repeat of Tuesday’s lunch, except our sides are applesauce and carrots instead of fruit and a cookie. He happily ate it all!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #11

Lunch wrap up time! I’m catching up after a few weeks of blog break, so this post covers lunches over Veteran’s Day week.  Only four lunches since we had Tuesday off!

Monday

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Monday was Mr. Handsome’s birthday and we celebrated with cupcakes. They were pretty good – I posted the recipe on Instagram I think… I’ll see if I can find it and update this later. So Kiddo1 had one of his dad’s birthday cupcakes for lunch, plus pumpkin seeds we roasted on Halloween, a kabob of turkey meatballs, and chopped carrots and cucumbers.

Tuesday – No school Tuesday for Veteran’s Day

Wednesday

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Leftovers of Tuesday’s tacos were for lunch on Wednesday. We had beef tacos and cauliflower rice. Kiddo1 isn’t a fan of the cauliflower rice though, so he got broccoli instead. Totally a fair trade, I think. And for dessert there was applesauce.

Thursday

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What would we do without carrots and cucumber? They’re Kiddo1’s favorite veggies so he gets them often. They came with some leftover chicken, another of Kiddo1’s favorites. For dessert he had an Enjoy Life cookie.

Friday

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More carrots! And there’s cucumber in the lettuce wrap. There’s also some meat in there but I can’t at all remember what it was! Kiddo1 had another Enjoy Life cookie for dessert. It was one of the crispy ones and he says he doesn’t like them anymore. So that’s cool I guess! Also, as you can see from the paper in the pumpkin seeds I am still sending jokes with lunch, although lately they have been less frequent. I’ve ran out of jokes already!