Happy Monday! Monday is one of my later workdays (I stay at the office until 7 pm) so I usually wake up a little later and enjoy my coffee while catching up on some work in the morning. It’s a beautiful day in the city, so I head out for a run before heading into the office. I enjoy working out in the morning, so I always take advantage of my later workdays to fit in some morning activity. I head into work and eat breakfast around 10:30 am. I find, especially when I exercise in the morning, that this is when I get hungry. Breakfast today is a Whole Wheat Banana Yogurt muffin that I made over the weekend, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for some added protein.
A few hours later I squeeze in a fast lunch in between appointments. Today I brought overnight oats. It’s my usual breakfast during the week, but I find it makes a satisfying lunch too, especially after a busy weekend when I didn’t get as much time to meal prep as I like.
Lucky for me, my boyfriend is off work today and dinner is ready when I get home. Tonight we are having a Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Sausage and Greens, recipe courtesy of my New York Times Cooking subscription. It’s delicious and filling, and best yet made lots of leftovers for tomorrow.
I go for another run this morning (got to appreciate this Indian summer while it lasts!) before heading to work to eat my usual overnight oats for breakfast. I keep things interesting by using seasonal fruits (figs today) and switching between nut butters or chia, flax, or hemp seeds. Lunch is just leftover soup from last night.
Tuesday nights are tough because I stay at work until 7 pm and then have to be back in the office by 6:30 am the next morning! Which doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking dinner when I get home after my commute. I think it’s important to have an arsenal of fast, easy, and healthy meals on-hand that are perfect for busy weeknights like this. Eggs are my personal go-to. Tonight I whip up a quick scramble with spinach, mushrooms and green onions. I make one of my favorite Dr. Praeger veggie burgers to go on the side and top everything with avocado and plenty of hot sauce. It’s perfect.
I’m up at 5:30 today and get into the office early. I try to hold off eating breakfast on my early days until I’m actually hungry, usually around 7:30-8 am. Lunch usually doesn’t happen until closer to 1 pm, so the longer I wait, the better to avoid getting super hangry. I didn’t really feel like stew again today and I need groceries anyway, so I head to Whole Foods on my lunch break to pick up a salad and get what I need to make dinner tonight. I load up on lots of colorful cooked and raw veggies from the salad bar, and throw in some wheat berries, chicken salad and hummus for the fun stuff. After work, I head to a yoga class at 6 pm. I signed up for a week of free yoga at a new studio close to my house. A lot of exercise studios will offer free classes to newbies, so it’s a great way to try something out before committing! For dinner, I use the groceries I bought to assemble one of my favorite quinoa kale salads.
Thursday is typically a hectic day full of appointments. Happy I have my overnight oats for breakfast and leftover kale salad for lunch to keep me going. I hit another yoga class after work but don’t really feel like cooking again tonight (it’s too hot). I decide to get Greek food takeout from a local favorite Souvla. I usually try to limit eating out during the week (both for health and money reasons) but usually let myself have one takeout meal a week. I also like this place because they have reasonably healthy choices and the portion is large enough to save for leftovers. I get a kale salad with chicken (my usual order) and put away half for lunch the next day.
I think you can guess what breakfast and lunch are today. When I get home from work, I go to my favorite pilates class, and then spend some time making cupcakes for a friend’s birthday party on Sunday. When my boyfriend gets home from work, we decide to go out for dinner to take advantage of the warm night. We walk to a nearby pizza restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine while we decide what to order. We end up ordering a large salad, broccolini side dish, and mushroom and sausage pizza to share. When we eat out together, we often try to order at least one healthier item and one more fun item to share. This way we both get plenty of veggies, but also don’t leave feeling deprived. Tonight, we both mostly enjoy the veggies and take home about half of the pizza as leftovers.
Saturday morning I head to pilates again late morning and then my boyfriend and I cook eggs with toast and avocado for brunch. In the afternoon we head to a streetfair in my nearby hometown. My boyfriend gets a beer to sip on while we explore the fair, and I feel obliged to help him drink it.
We start to get a little hungry as we walk around, but I know we have a big dinner that night to celebrate a friend’s birthday so I don’t want to eat anything too heavy. We decide on oysters, which make for a satisfying and protein-rich mid-afternoon snack. Dinner is at a Thai restaurant in the city later that night. The meal is served family-style and all the choices are a little overwhelming. I order a delicious glass of white wine to go with dinner and load up half my plate with papaya salad and green beans. I also sample a few of the other dishes that look the most appetizing, including some Pad Thai, one of my favorites. I try to pace myself at social events with both food and drinks, and always drink lots of water in between. It turns out to be a fun and satisfying meal.
Sunday morning I go to a half-spin half-pilates class and then walk to meet my boyfriend at the farmer’s market where we load up on fresh fruits and veggies for the week. I try to make it to the farmer’s market as often on the weekends as I can. I find the fruits and veggies are usually so much more delicious and often cheaper. When we get home, we use our spoils to make a quick tomato, arugula, and cheese omelet for brunch, and then I finish frosting the cupcakes for my friend’s birthday picnic.
I’m still pretty full from brunch when I get to the party, so I drink water and socialize first. Later in the day, I build a plate with a couple finger sandwiches and a few of the appetizers including some cheese, crackers and fruit. It’s not the most nutrient-packed meal, but sometimes you just have to make due. And of course for dessert one of the delicious cupcakes I made.
After a weekend of eating out, I’m looking forward to a home-cooked dinner tonight. When I get home from the party, I run to the local grocery store to pick up a few things. I make a Pumpkin Chickpea and Kale Curry (also a NYT Cooking recipe) for dinner and enjoy it over cauliflower rice. I’m already looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow.