10 Cozy Desk Lunches

Recently, my desk lunches have been pretty pathetic. I was going pretty strong with meal prep for most of September and October, but recently my organization hasn’t been so great. The result of my disorganization is cold, lackluster lunches that do nothing to warm my frigid hands, fill me up, or satisfy my cravings for all things warm and cozy.

My desk lunch dilemma has inspired me to collect this list of ten recipes for you (and me) that are delicious, comforting, healthy, and meal-prep friendly.

Healing Bowls by Pinch of Yum

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup by Vegan Blondes

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Vegan “Sausage” by Primarily Plants (me!)

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Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad by Cookie and Kate

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Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Chickpea Glow Bowl by Pinch of Yum

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Super Spinach Quinoa Bowl by Primarily Plants (!!)

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Cheezy Spaghetti Squash by Chickpea in the City

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Eggplant and Almond Butter Tofu Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Roasted Acorn Squash Bowl by Well and Full

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Happy eating! If you have any other lunch recommendations, let me know.

Healthy Hacks: Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Does any one else have a habit of spending wayyyy too much money on fancy groceries? I often walk into Whole Foods intending to grab some veggies and almond milk and come out with veggies, almond milk, a handful of granola bars, a bottle of kombucha, and something totally random I saw on Instagram and just had to have.

I’m still in high school and living with my family, so I’m very lucky that I don’t have to buy all my own groceries yet. (If I did, I’d be broke in a month.) However, I am the only one that follows a primarily plant (haha) based lifestyle, so there are lots of foods, such as almond milk and tofu, that I have to buy for myself, and therefore I find budgeting very important.

Assuming I’m not the only one who struggles with overspending (if I am don’t tell me), today I’m sharing some of my tips for keeping the nutrition high and the prices low when grocery shopping.

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Top 5 tips for grocery shopping on a budget:

  • Focus on ingredients over brand name. I’m constantly tempted to buy the expensive products I see my favorite bloggers posting about on Instagram, from granola to face wash, but I try to keep in mind that there are alternatives of equal quality for a fraction of the price. Sometimes I will splurge and treat myself to something from a fancy brand, but most of the time I try to find something less expensive with a comparable ingredient list (i.e. few ingredients, real foods, words I’m familiar with).
  • Compare price per ounce. This is a shopping trick my mom taught me when I was still sitting in the baby seat of the shopping cart. Sure, a  $2 carton of almond milk might look like good deal, but if the $3 carton is significantly larger, the $3 milk may actually be the better purchase.
  • Go in with a specific list. This one is pretty simple. If you know what you need and have a clear plan for what you’re going to buy, you will be less likely to find yourself wandering through the store making unnecessary purchases.
  • Never grocery shop in a rush. While making a specific grocery list should speed up the shopping process, it’s also important to give yourself plenty of time to peruse, explore, and find the best deals.
  • Keep a tally of prices as you shop. I find this strategy especially useful when paying for my groceries in cash, as I’m terrified of getting up to the cash register and not having enough money on me to pay for my mountain of food. Even if you’re paying with credit, keeping a list of prices as you shop and adding it all up before you check out saves you from having to nod and smile and pretend you’re not dying inside when the cashier tells you how much money you owe.
  • Sales and coupons are your friends. I bought a pack of Justin’s peanut butter cups the other day that had a coupon inside, so I saved it and redeemed it for a squeeze pack of nut butter.

Using these strategies, I managed to snag all the goods pictured above for just over $30! I’m pretty proud of myself to tell the truth.  I had so much fun practicing mindful shopping, and I discovered some really great brands I’d never tried before. All these great brands, along with what I make with them, will be showing up on my Instagram throughout the week.

If you have any shopping hacks, I’d love to hear about them!

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Simple Sweat: 30 minute workout

So far, my summer has been full of so much great movement. I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with exercise in the past, but recently moving my body has brought me so much joy. Hiking, dancing, tv workouts, and old fashioned gym trips have all been part of my repertoire, but I worry I won’t have time for any of these activities when school starts up again.

Therefore, I have consolidated some of my favorite movements into a 30 minute session you can fit into the busiest of days. To ensure this workout takes the same amount of time for everyone, I measure activities in minutes instead of reps. I would suggest setting a timer for 30 minutes at the beginning of the workout, then watching the clock so you know when to switch activities.

These simple exercises require little to no special equipment and can be done in your living room, basement, backyard, or just out on the sidewalk if needed. If you do happen to have some light weights on hand, I’d highly recommend using them to do curls during lunges and wall sits, and possibly to add an extra challenge to punching.

Though I love this sequence, I am always looking for new ways to mix up my workout routine, so let me know if you have any suggestions!

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Warm up: 5 minutes LIGHT cardio. When I have access to an elliptical I’ll use that, but at home I most often jump rope or run around the block a few times. It is essential, however, that you do not over-exert yourself during this section or you may not have enough energy left for the rest of the workout (trust me, I know from experience).

 

5 minutes dynamic stretching

  • High-knees
  • Grapevine
  • Bootykickers
  • Moving lunges
  • Walking toe-touches
  • High kicks

Workout: Now that you’ve got your heart rate up it’s time for 20 minutes of strengthening exercises.

  1. Wall-sit (1 minute)
  2. Sit ups (1 minute)
  3. Cherry pickers/Russian twists (1 minute)
  4. Push ups (1 minute)
  5. Lunges (1 minute)
  6. Interval Cardio- this is intended to be more intense than the warm-up cardio, so perhaps alternate 1 minute of sprinting with 30 seconds of jogging or 1 minute of fast jump-roping with 30 seconds of slower jumping. (5 minutes)
  7. Jumping Jack Squats (1 minute)
  8. Plank (2 minute)
  9. Side Plank (1 minute, alternate after 30 seconds)
  10. Punch it out- in the air, on a punching bag, on a pillow (1 minute)

Cool down: 5 minutes stretches of your choice. Personally, I love these moves by Popsugar.

If you try this, share all your #fitspo photos with me (cause sweaty selfies are what working out is really all about, right?) using #16worksout. Have fun!