remember lunchables? 

Did anyone ever eat them? They first came out when I was in high school and I remember my mom got them for us a few times when we had a field trip and refused to cart along the Big Bag O'Doom. I confess that I used to love them, mainly because cheese and crackers are one of my favoritest things to eat pretty much any time or day. Sure, the stuff in Lunchables is highly processed and chock full of sodium and absolutely nothing about them is natural or healthy, I particularly loved the one that had a squeezy thing of "herb sauce". No idea what so-called herbs were in the so-called sauce, but I'm certain a key ingredient was crack because I would squeeze out every last absolute molecule of it.

The relative junkiness of Lunchables aside, however, my love for them is also proof once again that my love of all things bento-like has been years in the making. So consider today's lunch a healthier, organic, homemade Lunchable. :)

Deli Club box:

  • onion sesame crackers cut in half
  • cojack and swiss cheese slices
  • rolls of oven-roasted turkey breast and black forest ham on picks
  • sweet pickles
  • dark chocolate and yogurt raisins

I had little time or ingredients to work with last night, but I made up for it by packing a heartier breakfast than usual -- Cream of Wheat! So hearty, in fact, that I'm not so sure I'll be able to finish this lunch.


important obligations kept me up late

Cobbled this together very late last night, thanks to the Lost series finale extravaganza -- four and a half hours, y'all! And still processing everything that happened, and how it all ended. But my preliminary reaction is that I really liked it. I can't wait to do a straight-through marathon once all the DVDs are available (and I guess I better get crackin' on adding to my library, since I currently only have S1 on DVD; though perhaps I'll spring for the complete set instead of collecting the rest of the seasons individually....).

Anyway, thank goodness for leftovers and for a whole ton of random vegetables that needed to be used up. Oh, and a chef husband who can figure out a way to combine those random vegetables into something yummy.

Ms. Bento:

  • super vegetable soup -- tomato & stock base with pearl barley, Swiss chard, fava beans, zucchini, asparagus, onions, shallots, garlic, carrots
  • spinach wraps with cream cheese and black forest ham
  • 1st half: onion sesame crackers, Babybel gouda; 2nd half: homemade brownie bites

desmond is my constant

As for Lost, my brief, meta-ish thoughts with vague spoilers:

Click to read more ...


one of the few times a salad is better than chocolate

In the time since bento 2.0 baby! began, I've had some lunches that, I'm a tad embarrassed to admit, I couldn't wait to go to work for in order to eat them. And today is one of those lunches. Because I have to tell you, I was all atwitter about it when I went to bed last night, and have been looking forward to it all morning. YES ALRIGHT I AM A DORK IT'S NOT LIKE THAT'S ANY KIND OF SECRET DON'T JUDGE ME OKAY.

It was that glorious head of green leaf lettuce in the bin Monday that got me thinking about how to make the best use of it. And with the other veggies and stuff we had on hand, I decided a chef salad was in order. It's one of my favorite meals in the summer, and when I was a kid, was a special treat when it got hot outside.

Ever since then, chef salads are one of my comfort foods and I usually don't vary it from those salads of yore for that reason. With the exception of green leaf lettuce in place of iceberg, today's lunch includes everything we would've had on our chef salads in those days, right down to the Thousand Island dressing. We don't even buy dressing anymore, but I had to buy a small bottle for this meal because it's just not a chef salad without Thousand Island.

Fit 'n Fresh box:

  • green leaf lettuce with julienned carrots and cucumbers cut into pieces
  • black forest ham and oven-roasted turkey, cut into pieces; silicone cup has hard-boiled egg pieces and crammed into the small space next to it is shredded co-jack cheese
  • mushrooms, radishes, and peas, with tomato in the silicone cup
  • Thousand Island dressing in the container with the red lid

bin delivery ftw!

Broccoli, peaches, apples, oranges, pears, zucchini, HUGE fava beans, a whole massive bunch of asparagus, a glorious bouquet of basil, shallots, fennel, radishes, and what is possibly the most beautiful head of green leaf lettuce I have ever seen. I didn't get around to making my lunch until late (did work for my website clients like a good little worker bee) and was originally going to just stick random stuff in there.

But that bouquet of basil was calling me and I just had to do something with a bit of it. Thank heavens for my Italian heritage husband, who considers pasta, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar to be staples, so that even at 11 PM, I can throw together a mighty fine meal with a minimum of fuss.

  • 4-flavor pasta (regular, beet, tomato, spinach) tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots (sauteed in a bit of olive oil), fresh basil, and sea salt, with some radish slivers for garnish
  • chicken basil sausage, with some julienned carrots and cucumbers for garnish
  • Rainier apple slices, garlic dill cheese curds, dark chocolate and yogurt covered raisins

happy birthday, sally!

I'm excited about the prospect of all the produce we'll be getting this summer, what with our regular bin delivery, our vegetable garden, and the CSA we signed up for this year. May have to scale back our bin delivery until the garden and CSA peter out in the fall, as it's entirely possible we'll be overrun with fruit and veggies, but that's a good problem to have, no? Still a few weeks yet until we'll see anything from the CSA, though, and it'll be a couple of months before the garden gets going, so no need to panic just yet.

But it does mean that every other Monday, my bentos tend to be a little forlorn as they await the arrival of the next delivery. While we had the grill going last night, I had Sally throw on a couple of chicken basil sausages to use in lunches this week.

Breakfast, cute animals sidecar:

  • oatmeal, with Braeburn apple chunks underneath
  • butter, brown sugar, and raisins in the mini-sidecar to mix in

Lunch, black strawberry box:

  • chicken basil sausage
  • julienne cucumber and carrot strips from the weekend's sushi party (see below)
  • grilled potato with butter, sour cream, and green onion, leftover from last night's dinner
  • Braeburn apple slices
  • yogurt and dark chocolate covered raisins
  • garlic dill cheese curds

Is there anything better than a gorgeous weekend in the Pacific Northwest? NO NO THERE IS NOT.

All weekend we had temps in the mid/high 70s, blue or mildly cloudy skies, and not a breath of wind. Our roses exploded all over the place in the last few days, and combined with the rhododendrons and azaleas and irises, I'm so in love with our house and our neighborhood I could burst. Next weekend we'll be doing some yard work -- weeding the back bed so the plants my mom put in don't get clogged into oblivion, trimming back the lilacs, pruning the apple tree, planting a few new and replacement things, and putting up the twinkle lights in the trees -- but the yard is in good enough shape already that when Sister, Guy, and the Fabulous Miss M came for the weekend, all that was needed was to set the patio chairs out for us to while away some time soaking up the gorgeous, gorgeous weather.

They came for Sal's birthday -- which is actually today; Happy Birthday, Sally!! -- and we had a nice, easy-going time with family to celebrate. Did a bit of running around Saturday-- to Portland Nursery to pick up the gift certificate and two black and blue salvia my mom had reserved for his gift -- then to Steinbart's so the boys could get all atwitter over brewing supplies. We stopped for lunch at Grilled Cheese Grill, which Guy hadn't yet been to, and though we had to wait in line thanks to the street fair going on down the block, we managed to have a yummy lunch all around. Back home to put Miss M down for her nap, and we passed the time at our wonderful table under the apple tree, which is all you really need in life, frankly.

After a run to New Seasons for supplies, and back home for a snacky interlude of bread and cheese while Miss M ate her dinner, she was off to the pre-bedtime ritual of jammies, storytime, and a goodnight song. Meanwhile, we got things ready for Sal's requested birthday activity: a sushi-rolling party! Great, great fun and lots of laughs while hoovering up plates of sushi in every combination we could think of. When the last of the sushi rice was rolled up, we retired to the living room to finish off our plates and watch Louis C.K.'s most recent stand-up show and finished off the evening with four mini-cakes, complete with candles and a rendition of "Happy Birthday".

The next morning, Guy treated the chef (and the rest of us) to a fabulous breakfast -- yeasted waffles with lemon-poppyseed creme -- and then it was time for them to head home. Afterward, I retired to the nook for a bit to edit while Sally read some of his brewing books out on the front porch. We moved to the patio, where I did so more editing, though mostly I just kind of sat there in contented silence, trying to absorb just how absolutely perfect the day was. We grilled for dinner -- steaks and potatoes, with some steamed broccoli and green onions from our bin. And though I had website work to do, I did absolutely none of it, opting instead to watch a movie and fold clothes (I am determined to stay on top of the laundry, dammit!), get to bed relatively early, read for a bit, and get a good night's rest. Website work will be there tomorrow, and anyway, I knew it was supposed to rain today. How's that for procrastination?


hoping for good news

bunny & moon box:

  • egg scramble wrap: eggs, broccoli, green onion, and basil in a flour tortilla
  • steamed broccoli
  • heirloom tomato (1st of the season!) and fresh mozzarella pearls with basil...kind of a caprese sort of thing
  • dried mango slices, yogurt covered raisins, dark chocolate covered raisins

We're nearing the end of this course of antibiotics with Hobbes, so I need to get him in to the vet tomorrow or first thing next week if I can. He seems to've responded to the treatment, so I'm really, really, really, REALLY hoping that it's another indicator that he just had a really bad infection and that it's not cancer. It may mean more antibiotic for a little longer if the infection isn't completely gone, but that's nothing.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and for him, kay?


better than fast food, at least

A really unbalanced meal today, but I suppose at least it's unbalanced in a relatively healthy direction. I probably would've made more effort to even it out if I hadn't brought a sidecar for breakfast (plain yogurt, strawberry preserves, honey nut granola). starch and a little low on protein, so hopefully I won't run out of energy by the end of the work day.

Paris slimline box:

  • honey glazed roasted sweet potato
  • pixie orange sections
  • asparagus spears sauteed in a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and ground peppercorns
  • "purple heart" molded egg -- I thought purple would look pretty with the green, but didn't realize how close it would be in color to the box and there's not really any room to tuck some greenery around it for contrast (or at least, greenery that I would just eat by itself)

a house in order is a mind in order

Busy but productive weekend. The house had gotten to such a state that I was nearing a nervous breakdown if it wasn't dealt with post haste, so we got up (relatively) early Saturday, resisted the pull of the glorious weather, and busted out an impressive To Do List. It meant missing out on the St. Johns Parade and Bizarre (not Bazaar), unfortunately, but I knew if we didn't get to it, we'd regret it.

The house is gloriously clean again, all dishes washed and put away, our bedroom/attic restored to order (and thus our sanctuary-within-a-sanctuary is once again available), all laundry folded and put away, floors swept and vacuumed, etc. etc. We also got the porch rocker and swing put up, the patio raked, and the yard generally tidied up -- still need to put the decorations out, string the lights in the trees, and clean/sweep the back porch so we can use that, as well, but we're off to a good start for the summer.

When we were done, we scrapped plans to see Iron Man 2 in favor of staying in and enjoying our lovely home. I indulged in a bath and one of my bath bombs with the local jazz station playing in the background, used another of our new towels and just generally pampered myself, and then we had dinner and started a new show. (Jekyl, which is really fantastic. Kind of a cross between The X-Files, Memento, and Dexter, if you can imagine such a thing. With British accents.)

Sunday was our fun day. And another day of really fabulous weather. Sal brewed another batch of beer, I spent the day writing and editing. And finished off the day with a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that Sally made. Not a bad life, not a bad life at all.

black strawberry box:

  • spicy taco-seasoned chicken breast with spinach leaves and cheddar shapes for garnish
  • green onions and more cheese in the cups
  • all of the above are meant to be heated and combined in the flour tortilla (packed separately in a ziploc) to make a taco
  • broccoli for gap filler and a bit more veg
  • braeburn apple slices and orange sections (I know, try to contain your shock at the absence of the ubiquitous dark chocolate and yogurt covered raisins...)

back from vacation and i need another one

Whew! Home after a long (but awesome, relaxing, and productive) weekend with Cat. I went up Friday morning, came back last night, and in between, we holed up in her cozy condo with WAY more yummy food than we could possibly eat, talked, worked on edits of my manuscript, talked, watched movies, talked, discussed possible home improvement ideas for her kitchen, talked...oh, and talked! It was a great, great weekend and the only downside was missing Sally and the kitties. But we are definitely doing that again.

I took the afternoon train, which meant not getting home until evening, and that meant rushing home to get the kitties fed in time, picking up dinner on the way (since I had more work to do for website clients and no time to make something for dinner), putting away the organics bin (which was waiting for me on my front step), getting at least some of my unpacking done, and all those niggling little tasks that by themselves don't take long but add up quickly.

Needless to say, there wasn't a whole lot of time for packing today's lunch. Nothing glamorous here but it'll do.

  • PB&J sandwich (peanut butter and marionberry jam on 9-grain bread), cut to fit into the box
  • carrot sticks and sweet pickles
  • Fuji apple slices
  • yogurt and dark chocolate covered raisins

travel bento

Took the train to Seattle this AM to visit Cat!!!!!!!!!!! We're doing a hardcore shut-in weekend of working on the final edit of my manuscript, because she is awesome. I've been looking forward to this for weeks and weeks, amen. Every aspect of it. Including the train trip. And the chance to pack a travel bento for the morning ride, all packed and ready to go.

pink "Natural Lunch" box:

  • kiwi slices
  • pixie tangerines
  • molded egg
  • yogurt and dark chocolate covered raisins



insert clever title here

Well, despite my thought last night, in the midst of a mini-Armageddon, that I would have to scrap a bento for today, I ended up awesoming to the nth degree and making one after all.

Ms. Bento tiffin:

  • broccoli & cheese baked potato (fresh steamed broccoli, cojack cheese, yellow heirloom potatoes)
  • more steamed broccoli (to add to the potato), carrot sticks, and a whole lotta honey peanut butter since I'm a bit low on protein otherwise
  • Sundance navel orange sections in one half, yogurt and dark chocolate covered raisins in the other

bento to the rescue!

I'm going to be gone Friday and Thursday, so unlike a normal week where I'm trying to cram 7 days of work into 5, this week I'm going to attempt to cramp 7 days of work into 4, and whatever's not done by Thursday will roll into next week, to be crammed into 4 days. And for my next trick, I'll cure cancer....

black strawberry box:

  • egg fried rice with heart-shaped carrots for garnish
  • Pixie tangerines with the last of the dried cherries as gap fillers
  • carrot sticks
  • yogurt and dark chocolate covered raisins

The fried rice was actually a last-minute "aha!" dish. Last minute, as in, "crap, it's 10:30 and I can't think of anything for tomorrow's lunch!". We had the jasmine rice that we'd had with skewers the weekend before last, and it needed to be eaten up, but I didn't really have much for a protein other than hard boiling some eggs. It finally dawned on me that I could combine the two, and that I had another leek that could be substituted for green onion (can you tell we have a few leeks to use up?). Scrounging in the freezer yielded the last little bit of a bag of frozen peas and carrots (maybe a quarter of a cup, if that), and voila! I scrambled up an egg, then added everything else. Since the rice had been made with beef broth, I didn't add anything else for flavor other than a bit of sea salt. Turned out pretty delicious and would've made a good dinner instead of the handful of cheese and crackers and leftover potato salad I'd eaten earlier in the evening while trying to get some work done.

The proportions are all out of whack, but I'm just glad to be eating something relatively healthy -- at 10:15 last night, it was looking like an eating-out-for-lunch day. But nope, bento saves the day again.


monday? again?

Back at it after a busy (but lovely) weekend. Went down to Salem Saturday to spend the day and night with family (Sister, Guy, and the Fabulous Miss M) and as usual, had a great time together. Sister wrote me earlier last week to say that Miss M had asked if she could come to Portland for a picnic with Aunt Bitty, at which point I melted all over the floor, and had we not already had plans to go down there anyway, I would've dropped whatever I was doing and immediately driven right down there and whisked her away for a full picnic at the park, replete with every treat and confection I could cram into a wicker picnic basket. Because obviously.

Came home yesterday afternoon to the house in disarray thanks mostly to Hobbes, whose freakouts at the least little change are now apparently SOP at Hall House. Sigh. (Yes, I need to get to the pet store to get some Rescue Remedy. It's my last best hope, so everyone who reminded/recommended, keep your fingers crossed for us that it actually works miracles. Otherwise my next purchase will be a kitty-sized straitjacket....)

But! Once that was dealt with, I plotted out our vegetable garden layout, then Sally, that lovely man, did the actual planting so I could squeeze in a bit of writing time. Everything's now in the ground, juuuuuust in time for a late spring cold snap that's supposed to roll in tonight.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day and evening, and very warm, so we fired up the grill and whipped up dinner together. Then watched a movie while we ate and had chocolate gelato later for dessert. Not bad for a random weekend.

Bunny box, bottom tier:

  • grilled chicken from last night's dinner (marinated first in a concoction of Worcestershire, garlic, oil, red onion, leek, dijon mustard, and sea salt)
  • homemade potato salad (red potatoes, hard boiled eggs, leeks, red onion, yellow mustard, whole grain dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, oil, sea salt)
  • carrot sticks and sweet pickles

top tier:

  • kiwi slices and supremed orange sections
  • "stripes" of yogurt raisins and dark chocolate covered raisins

Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Bento:

  • in my pink strawberry sidecar (which I ate for breakfast before taking a picture) was vanilla and almond granola, a mini sidecar of Greek yogurt and strawberry preserves, and Braeburn apple slices

leftovers save the day...again

Another training to teach today. And somehow, my otherwise mostly-free-of-meetings day filled up with meetings. Wtf, over? Sigh. Sometimes I think my main job is attending meetings and all of my other responsibilities are just to fill the time in between (and before, and after, and late into the night...).

These are the days, more than any others, when I am so grateful for the fabulousness of leftovers.

  • fettucine with a marinara from the freezer -- Sal made it last fall with the last of the tomatoes from the garden, some thyme and rosemary from our herb garden, and some onion and mushrooms from our bin at the time; it made a huge batch so we froze the extra and it made for a pretty quick and yummy dinner last night and for lunch today
  • salad of mixed greens and rainbow carrots, with a simple vinaigrette in the little container
  • Sundance navel orange in one side, molasses cookie cut up in pieces in the other half

keeping count of the good things

Yeesh, I can't remember a time when my every day wasn't runrunrunrunrun at work. It's basically just variations of hectic. Too much. It didn't help that I didn't sleep well the night before last, even though the bed was freshly made with our luxurious new sheets and I'd taken a bath just before. This accumulated stress isn't good.

But things that are in the "good" column: our organics bin delivery was yesterday so our bare fridge filled up with yummy things again, I thus have a good and healthy lunch to get me through my 4(!) hours of meetings and 2 hours of teaching today, and tomorrow is a work-from-home day. THANK GOD.

Oh, and tonight is a new episode of Lost, and watching it with ProcrastiGirl (we decided that with these final episodes, we needed the solidarity and fortitude to survive the repeated brain explosions of awesome). AND this weekend is the Hall-Smiley family fun weekend. Yes, that's quite a nice list of things to be grateful for.

  • mixed greens with rainbow carrots and dried cherries, with a simple vinaigrette in my little sauce container
  • sticky rice with orange-ginger Thai sauce, with steam broccoli to fill the gap
  • grilled chicken skewers marinated with a Thai peanut sauce
  • Fuji apple slices
  • chocolate Pocky for a bit of a treat

spring is in the air...

Busy weekend. I got no writing done this weekend, unfortunately (and synopsis still isn't done...) but I/we did get other things done. Did some housecleaning -- well, straightening, really...we're so far behind that we have to clean before we can clean! -- and the house looks marginally less like a sty than it did. The weather was just beautiful and we were able to open up all the windows throughout the house to really give it a good airing. Still have mountains of laundry to fold and put away and the floors all need to be swept and vacuumed (and if I were really going to do things right, I'd dust, but HAHAHAHAHAHA); perhaps I can tackle those this week. Oh, and I had to get all my monthly reports to my website clients and then everything invoiced, but that's all done at last.

Also got the soil in the garden beds worked and the compost from our compost bin amended into the soil, so they'll be ready for the starts we started earlier this spring. The starts trays are all out there now to acclimate to being outside and then we can go ahead and plant. Can't wait to get that garden going!

And because it was so nice out, we grilled! Well, Sal grilled, so today's lunch comes courtesy of last night's yummy leftovers.

pink strawberry sidecar (for breakfast):

  • a-little-less-than-half an English muffin with strawberry preserves
  • honey & nuts granola
  • Greek yogurt with a dollop of strawberry preserves in the mini sidecar

black strawberry box:

  • grilled chicken skewers marinated in a Thai peanut sauce
  • jasmine rice (made in a beef broth, which is why it's brown)
  • steamed broccoli
  • fresh mango slices
  • dark chocolate covered raisins
  • dried cherries as gap fillers

breakfast, lunch, and dinner

I cooked last night! Like, a lot, actually. I had stuff to use up so I ended up making two separate entrees, which meant something heftier for breakfast than my usual. Hence two of the smaller boxes for a full day of meals instead of a larger box for lunch and a sidecar for breakfast.

Paris slimline box:

  • bottom tier is a breakfast scramble made with cheese and some spinach and leek that needed to be used up in the crisper
  • top tier (to go with lunch) is kiwi slices with orange sections underneath, and on the other side, rainbow carrots and a teensy handful of dark chocolate covered raisins

I actually made a HUGE scramble in order to use up all the spinach and the leek, which worked out well because A) the aforementioned hefty breakfast and B) breakfast for Sal, who had to go in earlier than usual today, OR C) leftovers for my dinner tonight, if he decided not to eat them for breakfast. I am so clearly awesome.

pink "Natural Lunch" box:

  • pork chop, cut into strips for easy eating with chopsticks -- this ain't no puny 1/4" thick cut that I used to think is what a pork chop is (in my pre-New Seasons days), this is a nice 1" thick center cut that was done in a good, hot pan with a bit of sea salt and ground peppercorns and is therefore yummy
  • green beans sauteed with onions (I made these after the chops and deglazed the pan in order to get some good flavor and color on the beans and onions)
  • honey-glazed roasted sweet potatoes (OMG I COULD EAT THESE AS A SNACK SO GOOD)

I brought my camera today in order to do better justice to this lunch than the cameraphone would. Because it's kind of stupendously tasty, if I do say so myself, and I knew that it wasn't going to look nearly as great as it actually tastes, and that wouldn't really be fair to the food. YES I PONDER THE PHOTOGENIC QUALITIES OF MY FOOD AND HOW THAT MIGHT AFFECT ITS SELF-ESTEEM DON'T JUDGE ME.


odds 'n ends

Can you tell that I haven't had time to cook in, like, weeks? At some point I really will have regular meals, or at least the leftovers of regular meals. And not the leftovers of something that my husband made, but something that I actually cooked, for myself.

Bottom tier:

  • rice mixed with an orange-ginger Thai sauce surrounding a hard-boiled egg
  • rolls of herb-roasted turkey slices on forked picks (toted in the chopsticks compartment and stuck in afterward)
  • baby carrots cut up and tucked in, and steamed broccoli for gap fillers

Top tier:

  • kiwi slices alternating with orange sections
  • dried cherries and dark chocolate-covered raisins with dried mango slices as baran

lesson learned

A very pedestrian bento today, but considering it was thrown together in a little over 5 minutes (not counting egg cooking time), it's more impressive than it looks. Leftovers, leftovers everywhere....

  • homemade beef stew (the last of the leftovers from the coast)
  • brown rice packed around a hard-boiled egg (a large instead of a jumbo so I didn't bother molding it)
  • orange sections and green grapes in one half, baby carrots and honey peanut butter for dipping
  • small containers of soy sauce (for the rice) and salt (for the egg and stew)
  • organic chocolate bar from Moonstruck (this will mark the fourth time I've packed this particular bar in my lunch, so we'll see if I actually get around to eating some of it)

Since I was off last week to write, I didn't do any bentos at all, even though I thought about at least doing them for lunches since I have a tendency to let time get away from me when I'm writing. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened all week, and I didn't end up eating as well or wholesomely as I could have or should have. I mean, I didn't eat a bunch of junk food (key words: "a bunch" :), but I also didn't fix a nice meal for myself and went for long stretches without eating (i.e., I'd forget to eat breakfast & lunch, and then suddenly be ravenous at around 9 PM).

It was actually a good thing, because it made me realize that if -- no, WHEN -- I'm writing full-time, keeping a regular routine of bentos will help me maintain consistency and healthy eating. It's such work to get into and maintain that writing groove that my tendency is to not want to break from it for any reason. When things are flowing, you want it to last as long as you catching that perfect wave and riding it all the way to the end (she says, as if she knows diddly about surfing...).

So I know I'm not going to stop and make myself something, and will in fact just heat whatever's in the fridge or (as happened last week, when the fridge became increasingly bare) scrounge whatever I can find and call it good -- crackers and some grapes, or a leftover sausage and a carrot and piece of chocolate, or juice and toast (examples of "meals" I ate last week). Random combinations that are just whatever's easily at hand and doesn't require any real effort. If it's occasional, that's fine, but not day after day.

So I figure if i have a lunch all ready to go, put together the night before just like I do now for work, then I don't have to break if I'm on a roll, but I'm still getting all the benefits of eating something filling and well-balanced.