Archive for March, 2006

Today's lunch was a winner. We had watermelon balls and red grapes, baby carrots, tomato-basil wheat thins with white cheddar cheese slices and a chicken cordon bleu wrap. Pretty well-balanced meal.

Wife says: The wrap was excellent – I wanted another one! Those crackers were tasty and when I got home I had some more. The watermelon was a little flavorless but I still ate it.

Dang melon – I won't be buying that junk again until it's in season. The wrap was pretty tasty – it had a nice honey mustard mayo sauce, some nicely seasoned grilled chicken, a couple slices of very thinly sliced ham and some provolone cheese. I had to agree with her on the crackers – for some reason I just wanted to eat a whole box of them.


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Yep, I skipped yesterday because I was sick. Just couldn’t muster the strength to make two lunches. And today I had it easy – I didn’t have to make a lunch for my wife because she had the day off. Cool. So I made my lunch this morning. Here’s the menu: Peanut butter (not the natural stuff, just can’t stomach that no flavor peanut cream – It’s all about Jiff!) and banana sandwich on 12-grain bread (the kind that sometimes tastes like I’m eating bird food, what with all the nuts and whole grains in it), baby carrots with cherry tomatoes, dried cherries, and vanilla yogurt with…get this, I had some cereal in the cabinet that no one was eating (too healthy I think!) so I picked out a bunch of the nut cluster thingies and put them in the yogurt. It only took about 10 minutes to pick enough to taste it. Yes, I’m an idiot.

I Says: Sandwich was nice – even on the bird seed bread, though I do recommend wrapping your sandwiches in some kind of plastic wrap to keep it fresh. I know, that means creating some trash, but I can’t sacrifice everything for the environment. The cherries were excellent, though I don’t like their steep price tag. Finally, the whole cereal nut cluster thing – total disaster. They got all soggy and tasted like soggy bread. No good. Did I mention how much of an idiot I am?

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So here we are – day three of my six month long task. I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s great having a quality lunch to eat everyday. The menu for today includes a delicious Caesar tuna wrap, seedless red grapes, cranberry trail mix, sliced cucumbers and carrot sticks with leftover dill sauce. The tuna filling is just a mixture of albacore tuna, fat-free italian dressing, fat-free garlic croutons and some salt and pepper. Best part: NO mayonnaise! I also packed Chocolate and Pecan Luna bar. Since I make lunch the night before, I was a bit worried the croutons would soak up the dressing and get all mushy.

Wife says: Today’s lunch was really good – I was even telling my students about it! I loved the trail mix and the croutons weren’t really that soggy. I was surprised at how much I liked the Luna bar. It wasn’t as good as a candy bar (was like a rice krispy treat) but good enough to eat all of it.

I figure it’ll take several weeks before I master this lunch box. It does have some limitations – only one container (other than the tiny dip container) has a lid, it’s hard to fit some foods in the well-defined spaces and as I mentioned above, I have to remember that this food will be sitting in the box overnight and half a day before it’s eaten, so I have to prepare and store the food accordingly. As time goes on I’ll probably try to get more creative as well.

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Lunch today was a bit more tasty than yesterday. On the menu: Swiss bagel with mesquite turkey, avocado, and tomato; pear slices; carrot sticks with dill sauce; crackers with sliced gouda. Pretty tasty lunch if you ask me. I decided to wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap to keep it fresh as well as the cheese and crackers – didn’t want the cheese to get hard.

Wife says: I cracked up when I saw how you had to cut the ends off the baby carrots just to get them to fit. I loved the dill sauce and I wanted more carrots to dip in the sauce! Next time don’t wrap the cheese with the crackers, they got a little soggy. Overall, a pretty good meal.

I’m not used to preparing a meal so that it meets certain dimensions and that’s what you pretty much have to do with this box. I’ll get better as time goes on.

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So here it is folks, my first Zen Lunch. Contents include: baked potato, sliced peppers, sauteed onions and pineapple with salsa (toppings for tater) and hard boiled egg with love notes written in non-toxic ink. As I was making this meal last night I realized that I didn’t have any room for the yogurt w/ mixed fruit that I planned to include, so I left that container out and just brought it separately.

Wife says: Lunch was good. I actually liked the onions with the pineapple, but I didn’t really use the salsa. Oh, and the potato was HUGE! I could only eat half of it and I only took a couple bites of the yogurt -just didn’t have room for it in my belly. Everyone was asking about the lunchbox and commenting on how healthy it was. The hearts on the egg? Yeah, I liked those too.

Funny world we live in when you get comments for eating a nutritious meal but no one blinks an eye when you plop a fatso burger and fries or a grease monkey slice of pizza on the table. Funny world indeed.

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With four books completed I thought it'd be cool to pull some lines from each one that I find to be a little enlightening or inspiring – just as the title of this entry would suggest. I'll continue adding to this post until they've all been read. Right on.

Life of Pi
"If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams."

"It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, If He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means for transportation."

"…when she first heard of Hare Krishnas, she didn’t hear it right. She heard “Hairless Christians", and that is what they were to her for many years. When I corrected her, I told her that in fact she was not wrong; that Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims."

"In these moments of peace, deprivation seems a strange sort of gift. I find food in a couple hours of fishing each day, and I seek shelter in a rubber tent. How unnecessarily complicated my past life seems. For the first time, I clearly see a vast difference between human needs and human wants. Before this voyage, I always had what I needed – food, shelter, clothing, and companionship – yet I was often dissatisfied when I didn’t get everything I wanted, when people didn’t meet my expectations, when a goal was thwarted, or when I couldn’t acquire some material goody. My plight has given me a strange kind of wealth, the most important kind. I value each moment that is not spent in pain, desperation, hunger, thirst, or loneliness. Even here there is richness all around me. As I look out of the raft, I see God’s face in the smooth waves, His grace in the dorado’s swim, feel His breath against my cheek as it sweeps down from the sky. I see that all of creation is made in His image."

The Traveler’s Gift
"…an interesting benefit of a person’s decision to charge, one that has been somewhat overlooked by scholars and historians, is the presence of a hedge of thorns. Mentioned first in the Bible, a hedge of thorns is the divine protection placed upon a person who is destined to make a difference. Until you have accomplished what you were put here to do, you will not – you cannot be harmed."

"There comes a time in every person’s life when a decision is required. And that decision, should you make it, will have a far-reaching effect on generations yet unborn. There is a thin thread that weaves from only you to hundreds of thousands of lives. Your example, your actions, and yes, even one decision that you make will literally change the world."

Don’t Think Of An Elephant!
"…when there is a discussion in your office, church, or other group, there is a simple response for someone who says, “I don’t think gays should be able to marry. Do you?" The response is: I believe in equal rights, period. I don’t think the state should be in the business of telling people who they can or can’t marry. Marriage is about love and commitment, and denying lovers the right to marry is a violation of human dignity."

"What is needed even more [than a new foreign policy] is a new kind of moral foreign policy, one that realizes that America can only be a better America if the world is a better world. America must become a moral leader using fundamental human values: caring and responsibility carried out with strength to respond to the world’s problems."

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Here’s where I’m at with this one – I found this sweet bento lunch box that my wife and I are going to buy for ourselves. Mainly because I have a hard time putting together lunches for myself everyday which means I eat jack all day and drive home knawing on my steering wheel. I’m smart enough to know it’s totally unhealthy but too dumb and lazy to do anything about it ’till now – so this is my solution.

Yep, I’ve become some kind of lunch box nerd, but hearing about this bento lunch box would make anyone get all sloppy excited like a five year old shopping for school supplies. You see, if you’re not familiar with the Japanese bento, it’s a box with little compartments inside. Kinda like one of those styrofoam party plates divided into three sections that you see at summer barbecues, except deeper. Well this lunch box has the same little compartments that are different sizes and all those cute little boxes are held within the larger box – so everything fits together nice and special like.

What really got me excited (as much as a 31-year old can get about friggin’ lunch) was this blog I found called the Vegan Lunch Box. Some mom is using the aformentioned bento box with her seven year old. She grabs a snapshot of the happy treats inside and explains what everything is. Gave me some great ideas for what to put in all the little dishes – though I’m far from being vegan and have no intention of ever moving in that direction, I do eat quite healthy and minimize my intake of red meat, sugar and processed foods. Everything in moderation I say. Once I purchase the lunchbox I may post something similar to the Vegan Lunch Box, though it will be more like the “Well-Balanced Lunch Box”.

Stay tuned.

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