Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas

fed up with lunch Fed Up with Lunchs Mrs. Q Reveals Her Identity

I had a nightmare.  A nightmare that involved…eating school lunches.  Oh the horror;


Having read books like Fed Up With School Lunches, I have become more assured that I would rather go all day without eating that touch the pink slime, multiple ingredient, what is this garbage they feed to kids and paying adults.  I still recoil in remembrance of one particular meal in which the kids got what I thought was watermelon from the squishy pink color.  It was baked apple.


That being said, throughout student teaching and my career now as a substitute teacher, I have always packed a lunch to eat.  Since I only eat fish and don’t do dairy, eggs or honey, lunches can sometimes be an interesting predicament when I’m planning meals.  Here’s a couple of lunch ideas that are healthy and will keep you going from lunch time and beyond.


Main Course/Whole Meal


Peanut Butter and Jelly on Whole Wheat or Multigrain bread


Tofu Salsa Scramble (Add mushrooms!)

Sweet Potato Chili

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Veggie Burgers

Burritos and Falafel wraps


Tuna or salmon fish sandwich with spinach

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Hummus, sprouts and veggie sandwiches



Carrots with Hummus, ranch dressing

Crackers (Back to Nature)

Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries (any fruit)

Brown Rice chips (love riceworks!)

Steamed Veggies (I LOVE birdseye)


Pistachios or other nuts

Yogurt (Stoneyfield is my favorite!)


Seaweed Snacks


Keep in mind you want to eat the right amount to keep you going during the afternoon crash before you have a snack!  Processed foods and sweets will make you crash and sluggish, so keep in mind that you want to fuel your body 🙂  A balanced meal includes;

  • Protein! (Nut butter, tofu, nuts or seeds, tempeh, hummus, beans)
  • 1-2+ servings of veggies and/or fruit
  • Balance of fat, protein and carbs
  • Wholegrains
  • Avoid sugar, processed foods and too much soda


A typical week in lunches at school for me might look like;

Monday: Veggie burger on spinach, rice chips (salsa or garden)

Tuesday: Bean burrito filled with your hearts desire insides.  (Food for Life wraps!)

Wednesday: Tofu scramble with toast topped with peanut/almond butter and banana

Thursday: Veggie Sandwich with chips on the side or an apple

Friday: Salmon or Tuna Sandiwch with spinach.  Steamed veggies on the side.


And of course, leftovers from dinner are always great 🙂


Do you pack your own lunch?


How I Adore the Weekend


At seemingly long last, the weekend is here.  I enjoyed Saturdays as a kid because it meant cartoons, shopping trips with my grandmother, time with friends and video games.  Now after having a full week at work and tons of meetings and what not, I’m ready to have me time to rec cop.  Tommorrow I have church and afterwards I’m volunteering for “Rise and Shine”.   I plan on utilizing my day with the following;


  • Cover Letter for amazing job being offered ❤ X10
  • Working on Education notebook
  • Making Mocha Cupcakes
  • Grocery shopping-taters, baking stuff, almond milk
  • Finish my list of summer goals
  • Birthday Present/card for best guy friend
  • Video Gaming-I really need to meet a new game in the near future
  • Cleaning-bathroom and vacuuming
  • Working out/walking/yoga


The older I get the more nostalgic I feel about my childhood and teenage years.  I miss sleepovers with friends, playing tons of video games, yard sailing with my grandmother, not having to pay bills, watching good cartoons on Saturday mornings and the list goes on.  I have an unquenchable desire to replay Final Fantasy VII and it will happen at some point.  I just need to beat these other games I’ve started first.

Toonami- Dragon Ball Z, Big O, Tenchi old schools shows were the shit

On a side note, for those of us who grew up with Toonami, its coming back!!!  Growing up, I remember doing my homework while watching Toonami in the afternoons after school and before dinner.  Too bad I don’t have cable anymore (nor have in 5 years).

Eight Features That the Next (or next) Pottermore upgrade should have

I’ve been addicted playing Pottermore consistently for the past three weeks. I’m also in an ongoing battle to have the most points with a certain Ravenclaw…but that’s besides the point. Pottermore is a long-waited point and click adventure for fans of the Harry Potter world.  Not only does it go through the first book and everything fans know, but the creator J.K. Rowling was behind this entire project.  Needless to say there’s a ton of new information for fans including the backstory of Minerva McGonagall.

Pottermore is still in its beta release and only the first book has been issued to the public (why is the second book taking so long anyways?)  It’s a good game and has a fair amount to do, but speaking personally, I wish there was more to do in Pottermore.  This list may be too late for the second book to be considered, by by the third book at the latest, here are eight things I hope to see in Pottermore;


1) Part-time jobs/Ways to earn money

Maybe I’m biased…but having blown up ten cauldrons, I’m running short on money AND because I’m always brewing potions.  Having additional ways to earn money would also mean more money to buy things from Diagon ally.


2) RPG attributes


It would be great to see attributes for each character just to make Pottermore go one step further.  It could be simply magic, attack, defense, wisdom etc and we could level up like in RPG games.  It would make the duels and competition between houses a bit more interesting.


3) Character customization

Character Customization

Pottermore is done through a 1st person point of view, but it would be nice to give your character an appearance (rather than an icon of their animal).  Granted the characters in Pottermore would be wearing cloaks, so the clothing option might be out, it would be a nice feature to be able to customize a characters hair color & style, eye color, height, shape etc.


4) Quidditch


In Pottermore, the only things to really do after finishing the first book are to duel friends and brew potions.  A friend suggested that adding Quidditch games would make it more fun after fans have already went through the book and found items.  Not sure how it would look, but fans have been waiting for a game to play the #1 sport in Wizard world.


5) Character Control

What if Pottermore’s world was interactive like hobo hotel, or most MMO’s on the market?  It’d be fun and players could interact with one another.  Sure the quality of graphics would be lost, but players would feel like that had more control over the game.  It would cease to be just a point and click adventure and would become a tangible world that players felt connected to.  Speaking of character control…


6) Increased interaction with friends and other players

There has been more than one instance where I have wished I could write on a friends board.  I can understand the fear of players saying something crude, but there are ways to censor these things.  It could be as simple as giving players a wall, the ability to send messages to other players (or even making it friends only).  I feel cut off from my friends in Pottermore with the exception of being able to send items and have duels against players/friends in houses other than your own. I want to be connected.


7) More items to collect and buy…and trade!

I have a not so fond relationship with the point and click collection option Pottermore has.  Since there are lots of open slots throughout the game, fans know that lots of new items, spells, books etc will be coming there way.  But, what if we could trade items or had other ways of getting items aside from clicking?  Maybe collecting them through minigames?


8) Achievements

I am an A-type personality in that I love setting goals and creating lists.  Being able to cross off things ranks high on my list of things I enjoy.  Due to the surplus of games now (and websites!) that offer achievements, adding it into Pottermore could entice more members to do more (provided more is added).  There could be an achievement for winning 100 duels…then 1000…then 10,000 or having more than 20 friends.  The list goes on.  It’d be the perfect fit for A-type personalities in the Pottermore world.


There you have it.  My personal list of 8 things I’d like to see in the next book or eventually in the Pottermore universe.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a certain ravenclaw to out-duel.

With the Light

Threeish years ago I stumbled across a series called “With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child.”  Its a big manga too, all 8 volumes clock in at around 500 or more pages each.  It tells the story of the Azuma family whose first son is born autistic and the struggles they go through raising him in a society that doesn’t quite understand what autism is.  Its a journey of struggles, joys, confusion and one that grows increasingly complex as time moves on.

I recently received the fifth volume as an Easter gift (would you believe the fifth and sixth book are out of print?) and currently I’m reading through this amazing series.  As an educator, I think it should be on the shelves of every teacher who has a student with Autism.  It is a resoruce that adults and children can read and find enjoyment and a wealth of knowledge within.  The books also include further resources and Keiko Tobe was a genius in writing this.  Its heartbreaking to know she died in a car crash after completed the 8th (13th in Japan) volume.



I can’t describe in words how much I love this series.  My career at the moment is as a substitute teacher and I am reguarlly in a special education classroom.  I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with two students  and have a friend, who have Autism.  Reading this books has given me a cultural look at Autism as well as a better understanding of life once students go home.  Because the thing about working with kids all day, is that you think about them and spend late hours looking up more things for them.  That being said, read at least the first book in this wonderful series, you will only find ‘the light’


Autism Facts

  • intellectually, those with Autism have average to above average IQ’s
  • Autism is comorbid with intellectual disability (40%)
  • 1 in 88 children will be born with Autism.
  • Boys have a 1:54 chance of having autism
  • Boys are 4 times more likely to be born with autism
  • 10 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with Autism

My Started Games…and Why They’re not Beaten Yet

A common trait among more serious gamers are games that have been started, but not completed.  I am guilty of this trait and looking through my collection earlier, while debating a game to play due to insomina, just how many of my 150+ games I have started, but have yet to beat.  I am currently playing Persona 4 and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep off and on, but its the games I have started and stopped for one reason or another that fit the bill.  For the sake of sanity, I’m not including gameboy (or color), NES or SNES games.



Patapon-I’m on mission to find a door and got fustrated trying to find it so I put it down.  I orginally picked it up while procrastinating on some homework at the time too.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep-I’m currently playing this actually.  I’m on Ventus’ story meaning the last one.

Final Fantasy II-I got stuck in one of the dungeons over the summer and youtube did not help me get out of it.  Therefore, its on the back burner.

Harvest Moon: Boy and Girl-I might as well restart this one if I want to get married or have a good ending.



Elite Beat AgentsIt really stinks when you cannot beat the last level of a game.

Final Fantasy III-my first DS title and I put it down intially because I got stuck in a cave where I had to turn into a frog.

Magical Starsign-I am in the process of finding my last friend (or already did).  This is a really fun title but one of the infamous “got really into it and then had to put it down”.



Animal Crossing-I feel like the debt I owe to Tom Nook is like my student loans.  I put in what I think is a good amount, only to see it didn’t make the dent I hoped.  So I continue paying in money and see the number only slowly go down before I put the game way.  I equate this in real life to deferring loans (and still paying mind you) by taking classes.



Endless Ocean-Its a calm game and I really enjoy it.  It’s just not a high priority game so much as a random mood and an hour of gameplay here and there game.

Super Smash Bros Brawl-I was so excited when it was first released that I drove 30 miles to buy it.  I beat the main story and just never got around to finishing it.


Playstation 2

.hack//quaratine-I need to get the Q disc/lock/whatever in order to get to the next dungeon.  An hour of searching for such means it gets put down for a while.

Persona 4-Currently playing through it.  I just saved one person and now I’m off to save a future team member 😉

Shadow of the Colossus-I was making good progress when I first picked this  up…but then my controller died when I was fighting the electric eel shadow.  Needless to say I haven’t picked it up since then.

Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves-I’d been wanting to play Sly 3 for a while and when my computer broke I gave it a good play.  I’m on chapter 2 I believe and I’ve broken into a mansion to get a code.  I got really busy with work after that and never had time for the next 2-3 weeks to play games.



Final Fantasy IV-I’m stuck on the moon and couldn’t figure out where to go to/got lost and put it down to play another game.  It’s been 3-4 years since then.  I’m actually planning on buying the Final Fantasy IV collection for the PSP so that I’ll have the expansion and game all in one go.

Final Fantasy V-I was wandering through a library adn then got into a cave with these giant wide-eyed squirrels.  Since I remember telling a friend about this fact in high school, I realize I haven’t picked it up in six years.  Ouch.

Final Fantasy VI-I don’t remember the exact part I am in, though a recent memory says it was after fighting the pocessed train.

The Legend of Dragoon-I just met the blue-haried girl (forget her name) and I’m heading somewhere in a town…I just remember getting lost trying to go to where I needed to be.


That’s all the games I have on my “played but not beaten” shelf.  I do need to make it a goal to beat all these games before I start on another title.  Luckily unless a new Pokemon game comes out I should be pretty safe.  There’s just something about Pokemon games that make me drop every other game.  I used to be the same way with Kingdom Hearts and some other RPG’s, but I fell out of that rhythm.

What I Ate Wednesday Numero Uno

I really thought today was Thursday when I woke up.  Luckily it wasn’t!  I didn’t get any sub calls for today (two for full days Friday and next week though!)  It was good timing since it meant I could get caught up on things that I was behind on, though tomorrow I’ll need to head to the DMV and renew my license.  The weather has been incredible here and last I checked it was 81 degrees!  This is my kind of weather to be sure 😉








After seeing Angela’s recipe last week for Blueberry Buckwheat pancakes, I knew on my next day off I needed to make them!  They tasted wonderful and I had a little fun with the extra bananas.  I had almond butter on the side for added protein.  Of course the essential coffee was included.









Rudi’s english muffin (I’m never switching brands, they’re amazing!) with one of my homemade black bean burgers.  Inside was sliced onion, tons of spinach, pasta sauce and naoyneise.  I had several dehyrdated veggies on the side.  Hey, they’re veggies right?  I hope so because I ate like a 1/3 of the bag.









Lunch held me over until around 7 after my brownies had finished.  I did a small stir fry (broccoli, cashews, pepper, onion, mushroom and rice noodles) and a soy yogurt on the side.  It was super yummy and hit the spot.








Giving into my chocolate craving, I made ‘healthy-ish brownies).  I subbed whole wheat flour in for all purpose, 1/4th the sugar content, added brewed coffee instead of water and made some pretty decent vegan brownies.  They weren’t super sweet, which was perfect 🙂  And yes, that is a PB chip in case you were wondering 😉


The warm weather has certainly been amazing lately and I enjoyed it some today.  I mainly took today to catch up on things and look forward to finishing them up tomorrow!  Tomorrow will definately be another day for shorts!  Good thing I already started doing my spring cleaning on that note…and tomorrow I can work on it some more.


What was the best thing you ate today?

February Books

Here we are almost a month later without a post.  It was not my intention as I had not forgotten Healthly Nerdy Girl, but instead my not even 3 month old Sony Vaio’s motherboard decided to die.  Its been in shop for the past two weeks and its looking like the maximum 3-4 week period is going to happen.  Plus Sony forgot to include my recovery disks which has been the biggest hassle.  I’m so grateful that my mom is allowing me to use her mini-dell as I would be lost without it.


100 books in a Year Challenge;

January 2012


Keeping up with my goal to read 100 books this year, February wasn’t my strongest month due to the fact I only finished 4 books (one I started February 29th and finished two days later).  I’m only counting actual novels/young adult books, but Febraury was childrens book month for me as I read at least 20 over the course of the month (some of which I annotated in fact).  Here’s what I read this month which brings my total books up to 15;











12) The Haunted Flute and Other Japanese Stories by Warwick Goble (5/5)

I love folklore and for the longest time I’ve been looking for a good collection of several Japanese stories.  The Haunted Flute presents several classic tales, but adds in several that readers may not be as familiar with.  The writing style and presentation are very attractive and for fans of folklore (especially Japanese), this is the best collection I have found.


13) Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee (5/5)

I grabbed this book initially as part of a research assignment for one of my classes.  I highly enjoyed this book and Millicent was a very refreshing character.  The plot isn’t your typical young adult book and there’s a lot of good feel in the pages.  Millicent in a great character adn I was very fond of her.  This book shows an extraordinary girl who is true to herself and others.  Its a quick read, but a highly enjoyable one.


red pyramid

14) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (4/5)

I love Egyptian mythology, so this book was more my style that his series based on Greek Mythology.  I thought Riordan did a great job with this series and I’m excited to read the continuing tales of Sadie and Carter.  There was nothing I really disliked with this series, but for as good as it was, it still has some room to continue growing.


15) The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (3/5)

It was just ok.  I wasn’t really crazy about it, but it was a decent read for fans of the Percy Jackson series.  It was nice to see side stories about characters like Nico and Percy, but if you’re not a fan of the series, you won’t enjoy this one.


Hopefully March will involve more reading as I work towards my goal to read 100 books in a year.  I’m not reading anything at the moment do to having so much reading related to classes, but I’m doing better than this time last year (3 books between January-March as I was student teaching).


What was the best book you read in February?