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Garden of Flavor juice cleanse

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I saw Motherhood Supported and Cleveland’s a Plum mention this Garden of Flavor juice cleanse from Cleveland and I was intrigued so I reached out and got my own to try. Garden of Flavor offers 1-, 2-, or 3-day juices available at Whole Foods in Cincinnati and Rookwood.

I decided to do my cleanse while serving jury duty, I figured it was an easy way to have my lunch taken care of, but didn’t think what would happen if I was put on a jury. Luckily, I was only in court one day and the other days I hung put in the juror waiting room.

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This was definitely a challenge for me because I like chewing food and this is six juices a day. But I feel like it is good to change things up and see what I’m made of! I think my fellow jurors enjoyed watching the colorful bottles appear and to see if I was really drinking them. I enjoyed reading the messages on the sides of the bottles, they really do taste like what they say…the cucumber reminded me if cut grass and in the middle of snow it was a nice reminder that Spring will come eventually!

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I had been eating a lot of salads and fruit in the time leading up to my cleanse as opposed to treating my body like a garbage disposal in which case I think my body would have been going through shock, so I fared well through it. I was I right by afternoon I was thinking about chewing something and that might be because my other job involves food.

If you’re curious about juicing and want to give yourself the treat of raw juice, look for Garden of Flavor!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

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After selecting the books for purchase for the library, my department’s job is to unpack the shipments so we have time to flip through the books. I’m always looking for an easy recipe that I can make ahead and eat for a few days.

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One I saw was a Tricia Yearwood’s creamy chicken tortilla soup. After looking online, I found one and then proceeded to not follow the directions because I wasn’t sure I needed a creamy recipe so I omitted some things and kept it the vegetables and broth. Plus, I wanted to be able to top mine with Fritos and cheese!

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KIND Healthy Snacks

kindSnacks

Because working full-time and writing two blogs isn’t enough, I decided to take a part-time job with the KIND Healthy Snacks Field Marketing Team in Cincinnati!

I’ve shared on social channels and blogs my love of KIND so this is a natural fit for me.

It is also why I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to blogging. Also, I’m creature of habit so I eat the same things over and over and the few times I’ve tried new recipes, I haven’t been satisfied or want to share them.

KIND Healthy Snacks Field Marketing

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Packed Lunch Ideas that Work

produce by LunchItPunchIt.com

I often get asked, how do I become a lunch packer?

Since this is the fourth year of Lunch It Punch It, I thought I would take the time to answer that question by running through the previously published posts of recipes, photos and ideas and try to distill my thoughts on lunch packing in one post.

I hope this information helps you get started. If you’re a veteran lunch packer, please leave a comment on what helps you or a note of encouragement for new packers!

Please note, I’m just a lunch packer. I’m not a dietitian nor have an education in nutrition. The foods I choose to consume, might be the last thing you would eat. I respect others’ choices and hope readers will afford me the same courtesy.

To be successful when embracing any lifestyle change, you need to know yourself, your schedule, routine and the excuses you make for not doing it. What time and financial investment are you willing to make in packing your lunch?

udandi's packed lunch | lunchitpunchit.comI’ve been a lunch packer most of my life. I didn’t go to a school with a cafeteria and by high school; I didn’t want to spend a short lunch period waiting in a line for food. The older I got, the less my mom packed my lunch and it became my responsibility. Since she did the grocery shopping for our family, she needed to know what I would eat. Together we made lists so she knew what to include in her grocery lists.

Make a list of foods or meals you enjoy eating, don’t forget snacks. Be realistic, if you normally eat a burrito with double steak from a fast casual restaurant, you probably won’t be satisfied with a prepared frozen meal of lasagna. But maybe you find a copycat recipe online and create your own burrito bowl. If you only eat greens when a house salad is served at a fancy restaurant, you’re going to be dissatisfied and distract at work or school if you pack a salad as your lunch.

spinach salad by LunchItPunchIt.com

If you like leftovers, you might find making an extra serving at dinner is a fast way to a packed lunch. If you don’t cook or have any desire to learn, you might assemble meals from the frozen food aisle, canned soup or sandwiches.

Fast packed food | lunchitpunchit.com

On your list of meals, note what type of containers you own or need to buy in order to pack these meals. Chances are if you’ve never been a lunch packer, you’re going to need invest in products like sandwich bags (reusable or not), glass or plastic containers, cutlery, and/or a lunch tote.

If you have some containers, pull them out and match lids to the base (I love Pyrex). If possible, store your lunch packing supplies in one area of your kitchen. If your school or workplace lacks a microwave, determine what non-heated meals you can pack or whether insulating containers would work for you.

Your next list is an ingredient and/or grocery list. Inventory your pantry, freezer and fridge while making a grocery list based on your meal wish list. You might go so far as to create a weekly or monthly meal plan for lunches and dinners.

Figure out how many meals you need to pack in your week, however you define it. Maybe you’re not ready for the Lunch It Punch It challenge or maybe you live for Taco Tuesday with your coworkers. Determine when in your personal schedule you’ll shop for groceries, prepare your meals, and pack your lunches.

How Lunch Packing Happens for Me

My choice to pack is a combination of desire and circumstance. I work in a rural area with limited access to eateries and taking lunch meetings with coworkers, clients or friends is not possible.

I only need to pack a lunch for one person, me. At some point in the weekend, I shop for groceries, especially produce and then I make an entrée or soup and portion it out.

corn chowder |lunchitpunchit.com

Click the photo for the Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon recipe

Before I put meats away from a grocery trip, I repack them based on my recipes and meals. If you’re a slow cooker meal lover, consider what ingredients can be prepared after a grocery trip and packed in freezer bags/containers.

What and How I Pack
I prefer plain yogurt without aspartame so I pass over the individual containers in favor of big container, then I make my own yogurt servings in the 1-cup Pyrex. Fruit or honey is added to the container the night before, but if taking granola, I pack it in a small container.

If I make a sandwich, I put my bread /pita pocket/tortilla in a separate reusable bag from my vegetables and protein and then assemble at lunchtime. I also like grilled cheese and quesadillas and don’t mind eating them cold.

For salads, I like the boxed greens because it is the right mix for my eating habits versus buying various greens and chopping them up. I use the 2- or 4- cup Pyrex for each bed of greens because I’ve found they keep a little longer than plastic storage containers. Others really like mason jars.

salad prep glass bowls

If I’m taking a protein for a Thai Chopped Chicken or taco meat, I keep it in a 1-cup Pyrex for reheating at lunchtime. I put salad dressing in a small container, but after seeing coworkers keep their salad dressing in the work fridge, I brought one in, too.

From my container prep work, I fill my lunch bag the night before and leave it in the fridge. I’ve gone so far as to pack two lunches since I have two totes. This is helpful for my schedule because I go to the gym before work and have frequent after-work obligations and errands.

Meal Prep Fridge | Lunchitpunchi.com

Food prepped for packed lunches

I drive to work, so if I want a break in my day that includes sunlight or different air and lighting than my cubicle, I eat in my car (except for when it is really cold). My old workplace discouraged eating lunch at desks (it didn’t matter for those of us who shared desks – don’t ask) and our break room was in the windowless basement, so many of us would go to our cars or eat in the general area of the library.

If you’re committed to lunch packing, you’ll figure out something that works for your situation and routine.

Packed lunch aftermath |lunchitpunchit.com

You can get involved in the community bag tagging your lunch photos or tweets with #LunchItPunchIt
Find my photo of packed lunches on Flickr and recipes on this blog.
Thoughts and product reviews for containers, lunch bags and more can be found in the products category of this blog.

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Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas

I’m not the biggest fan of at-home Mexican-inspired meals, but this one is pretty decent for making several servings so there are leftovers for lunch.

1 can cream of chicken soup (make your own)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups chopped cook chicken (or turkey)
1 can chopped green chiles (about 4oz)
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice!)
8 flour tortillas

HEAT butter in saucepan
ADD onion and chili powder and COOK until tender
ADD chicken, chiles and 2 tbsp of soup-sour cream mixture
SPREAD 1/2 cup soup-sour cream mixture in 2-qt shallow baking dish
SPOON about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, roll up and place seam down in pan
SPOON remaining soup-sour cream mixture on top
SPRINKLE with cheese
BAKE at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

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