Back in the swing of things.

by Jenn (eating bender) on July 7, 2008

It’s Monday and that means back to the routine for many of us, I’m sure! I don’t know about you, but the long weekend’s festivities had their effect on my energy supply, so I slept in a bit this morning – but I think it’s going to take a few days for me to get completely back in the swing of things :( Oh well, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been doing, so I’ll take droopy eyes in favor of fun!


It’s a miserably (er…wonderfully?) humid day in Chicago, where every minute spent outside is the equivalent of a minute spent in a steam bath with my nice work clothes on – lovely! I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain – but humidity definitely does not help boost my energy levels!

As a result, I decided to opt for cold cereal for breakfast. I added a little variety into this morning’s mix. I used 1/2 cup of TJ’s High Fiber O’s, 1/2 cup TJ’s High Fiber Sticks, and 1 cup of Nature’s Path Puffs. Big change, huh? Hey, don’t sell those fiber sticks short 😉 I also sliced up a banana and threw some TJ’s Nutz Over Raspberries and Chocolate trail mix on top.

It definitely feels like summertime outside, so I chose the bowl to match 😉 I’m really enjoying this combination with 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk. The fiber from the cereal is starting to keep me fuller longer, which is a definite plus!

After cooling myself off with the cereal, I was ready for some heat – in the form of Coffee Cocoa, not humidity!


As I said, that cereal really did hold me over well this morning – perhaps that extra addition of fiber really did have something to it? I ate super early – 6:45 am – and didn’t get start to get hungry until 10:30 am, which is pretty good for me! I decided on a Clif Chocolate Brownie ZBaR as a snack. As always, it didn’t disappoint me.


I was super excited for lunch today because 1) I actually packed it from home and 2) I packed it in my new lunch bag!

It’s the “Goumet Getaway” lunch tote from BUILT (click on this link here for more information)! I love it because it’s insulated and it flattens out completely when I’m done using it for easy storage. I was using paper bags and decided I needed something more permanent (and tree-friendly, right?) and when I found this guy ON SALE at the store last weekend, I knew it would be perfect!

My new lunch tote was also a good buy because it’s inspiring me to take the time to bring lunch from home! Today I brought a smorgasboard of different foods. I started out with 1/2 of a Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB + Banana sandwich on Arnold Flax & Fiber bread.

It was awesome – I haven’t had this combination in a while and I had forgotten how delicious it is! The bananas make it sweet, and the raisins in the PB give it some extra chew!

The next piece of the lunch puzzle was in the form of Soy Crisps that I got from Trader Joe’s last weekend. I love these chips because they are as light as air but still have quite a kick to them. I got the barbecue flavor, which I’ve had before and knew tasted great. I’m amazed by the number of chips you get for the nutritional value – about 18 chips for 120 calories. They’re a perfect accompaniment or snack, whichever you’re in the mood for.

I also had a medium-sized, juicy red pear – I’ve missed these too!!

The final component of my lunch was a tasty, teeny treat!

I’ve posted about the Whole Foods vanilla meringue cookies before. Well, I found some even smaller ones at Trader Joe’s last weekend – the serving size is 100 of these things! They are 1 calorie each, and although they are pretty sugary, they are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth at the end of a meal! I had about 50 of them – that just sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But if there is ever an opportunity to say “I had 50 cookies for lunch,” you can bet I will be there!


Lunch held me over really well – must have been all those cookies 😉 I started to get hungry again around 3:30 pm, so I pulled out some David pumpkin seeds.

I thought I would go to the gym after work, but I was just way too exhausted – I think walking so many blocks + the awful, awful, and did I mention awful humidity had something to do with it! Let’s put it this way – by the time I got home, I looked like I had just endured a hard workout! Oh well.


It was out to dinner for me and my mom again tonight. My mom really likes taking advantage of all of the eateries I have here that she doesn’t have back home – hence the “dining out” theme!

Tonight we went to one of our family favoritesWildfire. There are so many great dishes at this restaurant – but we tend to have old reliables that we always go to :) We started out by splitting a small spinach salad, which comes with egg, red onion, bacon, mushrooms and of course, spinach! Sorry these pictures are a bit dim – mood lighting, you know 😉 Haha!

They also have the BEST pumpernickel loaf I have ever had here – it has golden and regular raisins inside, and is always fresh out the oven! I had more than one slice, but here’s one to show!

For dinner, I got the chicken and portobello mushroom skewers. They come with a fantastic peanut sauce on the side – I can’t even fully describe how flavorful and rich such a simple dish is – YUM!

On the side I got a gigantic sweet potato!! I had about 1/2 of it with some of the brown sugar – I seriously must start buying sweet potatoes at the store because I just love them so much!!

I. AM. STUFFED. But happy, of course :) Now I’m off to read some blogs and get some shut-eye!

Sweet dreams :)

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 blueberryhil July 7, 2008 at 10:37 pm

That is the cutest lunch bag I have ever seen! I’ve been needing a lunch bag for ages…maybe I’ll get one as a back to school present to myself. :-)


2 Caroline July 7, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Yum! So many favorites: pumpernickel, sweet potatoes…and I LOVE that lunch bag. Polka dots rock!


3 Melissa July 7, 2008 at 11:32 pm

i love that lunch bag!!! mind i ask where you got it? i need to get one…i’ve been using my reusable small grocery bags as my lunch bag…LOL!


4 Allison July 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm

First of all, what a CUTE *summertime* cereal bowl! Eating on fun plates/bowls, makes everything taste better :0) Ah, I’m glad you posted about that lunch tote…I’ve been looking into those when school starts back, so it’s nice to know it’s a good buy!


5 Jill July 8, 2008 at 12:05 am

Everything looks so delicious! I want that restaurant, but would end up stuffing myself so maybe it’s best not. Peanut sauce is SO great, but best if it has peanut chunks in it, hehe!

Hope you feel better (and less humidity) tomorrow!


6 Heather July 8, 2008 at 12:14 am

Ahhh, isn’t our humidity awful right now? Today felt like I was walking through soup! Oh, and two questions: where did you get that cute lunch bag around here? and where is Wildfire in Chicago? I’m still kind of new so I’m always looking for new eateries to try and that one looked great!


7 lindzakins921 July 8, 2008 at 4:43 am

love the lunch bag!

that bowl of cereal has so many fun toppings i thought it was oats at first :)

looks like you had an amazing dinner too, the pumpernickel loaf looks amazing – that is one of my favorite kinds of breads!


8 MizFit July 8, 2008 at 5:12 am

I LOVE those built in NY bags!

in jealousy,



9 glidingcalm July 8, 2008 at 6:17 am

wowy! your dinner looks YUM-O! esp the chicken & sweet potato. You PB & naner sammy from lunch looks tasty as well! happy tues Jenn!!


10 Erica July 8, 2008 at 6:54 am

I think you’ve convinced me to try the soy crisps! My hair dresser was raving about them, but I have continued to buy the quaker mini delights instead. I think this week a change is in order!


11 VeggieGirl July 8, 2008 at 7:55 am

No worries, you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time!! :0)

Mmm, love your breakfast and lunch; and that sweet potato looks HEAVENLY!!


12 sweetsandsweats July 8, 2008 at 9:06 am

I adore your cute little lunch tote! Lately I have been using a small Timbuk2 tote as my lunch box (the world’s most expensive lunch bag!) but I can’t find anything that can hold all the food I pack. Is that a sign I am taking a little too much food? :)

And I am in love with meringues. After seeing those mini one’s, I may need to make a pitstop at TJ’s on the way home.


13 Jenn July 8, 2008 at 9:44 am

blueberryhil ~ I highly recommend this one – it’s the perfect size for lunch + snacks!

Caroline ~ I love polka dots too!

Melissa ~ I got mine from The Container Store – check out for locations. If there isn’t one near you, check out the BUILT web site which I linked to in my post above!!

Allison ~ I totally agree – I’ve become such a fan of plates/bowls/mugs…everything!

Jill ~ Peanut sauce with peanut chunks?! MMMmm…

Heather ~ Yes, the humidity is awful!! I got the lunch bag from The Container Store – they have one off the North and Clybourn red line stop. Also, Wildfire is downtown off of Erie Street – check out their website at

Lindz ~ Pumpernickel is definitely one of my favorite too :)

MizFit ~ Haha, yes they are awesome :)

Em ~ Thanks! Happy Tuesday to you!

Erica ~ I definitely like the soy crisps better than Quaker – get ’em!! :)

VeggieGirl ~ Thank ya :)

sweetsandsweats ~
Haha, there is no such thing as too much food 😉 Meringues rock!


14 Sarah July 8, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I had a Strawberry Poppyseed Salad from Panera today for lunch and thought of you : )


15 Jenn July 8, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Sarah ~ Aw, thanks for thinking of me :) I really wish the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad wasn’t seasonal – I would eat it all year long!!


16 arielle July 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I saw those cookies at Trader Joe’s and I was so tempted. I should have gotten them, dang. I would love to eat 100 cookies in one sitting.


17 oatmeal July 8, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Thos bananas look like marshmellows! Such a pretty bowl of cereal! I was hyperly excited when I saw that 😛

And ONE CALORIE SNACKS?! I think I just died and went to snack heaven.


18 chandra July 8, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Have I mentioned yet that I am super jealous you live in Chicago?? I LOVE CHICAGO. Next time I make it there to visit we will have to meet up!


19 Jenn July 8, 2008 at 10:24 pm

arielle ~ Next time. Definitely next time.

Carmen ~ One calorie snacks = a volume eaters dream!

chandra ~ Definitely! I would love a foodie outing!!


20 Faithless January 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm

WOW! I love the cute little lunch bag. I used to use an old hamdbag of mine as a lunch tote but then everything would get sqaushed (darn you public transport) now i use those little tupperware containers and everything stays fresh and unsquished!
Those mini meringues are so cute and delicious too. I always buy them.
But i can’t see myself eating 50 in one sitting, maybe 10? No more than 15!


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