Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breakfast and Lunch

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I’ve long threatened promised to share more of my eating habits, but a food blogger I’m not and so I’ve refrained. Then I figured, that’s just plain silly; I may not have a pretty kitchen (quite the opposite, though we’re working on that part) or great light or any styling tools—and the majority of my meal photos are not taken with my DSLR but rather, simple iPhone snaps to document what I ate—but that’s all the more reason to divulge how me, just your average non-chef, keeps a relatively healthy and balanced lifestyle amid all the dining out and travel. Right?

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably under the illusion that all I do is eat fattening food at restaurants in Nashville and on the road (occasionally, yes, but that’s not really the norm). If you follow me on Snapchat (LunaticAtLarge), then you probably think that we eat pretty healthy when at home (this is a more accurate depiction of our real life). Since leaving my part-time office job, I’m now back to only eating out one day a week on average; the rest of the time, SVV and I are cooking up a storm in our little 1800s kitchen.

And while I haven’t done full-blown Whole30 since September, SVV and I switched to a mostly Paleo diet two years back. It makes cooking much easier, and I definitely feel better. Here’s a peek into our at-home eating style:

What We Keep in the Fridge/Pantry

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

I find that Trader Joe’s has a lot of great superfoods, quinoas and other staples for my pantry, but I really only make it there once a month (if that). Instead, we order many of our more regularly used ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes in bulk from Amazon—we’ve pretty much done away with anything with preservatives, and the only real non-perishables we keep stocked are things like coconut milk that we go through pretty quickly (we also make our own coconut milk from unsweetened flakes if we have the time).

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

Of course, cooking with all fresh ingredients means a lot of trips to the grocery store—we probably go two to three times in a normal week—but we’re fortunate we have a decent, if small, supermarket just two minutes from our house by car.

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

What We Grow

  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemongrass
  • Grapes

Additionally, we have blueberry plants and fig and kiwi trees we planted last spring; they won’t fruit for another year or two, but we’re really excited for when that happens. This coming spring, we also plan to add ginger, kale, thyme, turmeric and dill to our garden. SVV has a certain knack for growing things, and I absolutely love weeding (I know), as well as picking ingredients fresh from the yard for dinner (or cocktails), so this has been a fun addition to our cooking adventures.

Kitchen Tools We Can’t Live Without

  • Juicer. I used our wedding gift cards to buy this bad ass juicer six years ago, and it’s the best $150 of someone else’s money I’ve ever spent! I find that often the only way I get enough veggies and fruit is by juicing them, so this tool gets a whole lot of use in our house.
  • Mini-food processor. We have a KitchenAid stand mixer, we have a KitchenAid full-size food processor; we rarely use either as we’re mostly cooking for just two. So last year, SVV bought this little guy, which is far easier to clean and makes the perfect portions for us.
  • Mason jars. I used to purchase expensive juice cleanses until I realized I could make big batches of juice all at one time, then store them in mason jars to drink over the next three to four days. Game changer. (They also double as barware.)
  • Herb keeper. I’m one of those people who thinks cilantro should go on everything, so when SVV discovered this method for keeping our herbs fresh for, literally, weeks, I wanted to marry him all over again.
  • Sturdy plastic storage. This is clutch to us batch-making meals for the week; we’re partial to SnapWare, which holds up well in the washer and comes in a multitude of sizes.
  • A personal cooler. If you take your lunch to work, it helps to have a cooler handy to take all your fixing along with you. My co-workers used to joke that I was harboring organs in mine, they were so used to me showing up with a cooler in hand!
  • Onion chopper. The easier things are to make, the more likely I am to do it, which is why this little guy does the hard onion chopping for me. Tip: You can use this to chop garlic and other veggies, too.

How We Prep

We’ve found that what works for us is setting aside Sunday afternoon and evening to food prep for the week. This entails making things in batches—black beans and onions in the crock pot, quinoa, juice, some sort of meat, veggies like roasted carrots—and storing them in meal-sized Tupperware containers. Advance prep has been clutch for both of us: He no longer eats fast food like the rest of his office does every day for lunch, and I no longer skip meals because I’m too lazy to cook during the day.

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

Where I Find Recipes

Tried-and-True Breakfasts

For me, breakfast has by far turned into the easiest meal of the day. Many times, I’ll have juice that I’ve pre-made, but I’m also a fan of any egg dishes. A few I’ve found delicious and fulfilling:

  • Orange, Carrot and Cardamom Juice (tip: I make this in bit batches and store individual juice servings in Mason jars)
  • Fried Eggs over Black Beans, Mashed Sweet Potato, topped with Cilantro and Sriracha (tip: we pre-make the black beans)
  • Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (tip: I microwave instead of bake them)
  • Two Fried Eggs and Bacon with Sriracha (couldn’t be easier)

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

Easy-Peasy Lunches

  • Sonoma Chicken Salad (we make our own Whole30 mayonnaise)
  • Egg Salad (using the aforementioned Whole30 mayo)
  • Quinoa Bowls (if you have pre-made quinoa, you can add anything you like to this, much like a salad)
  • Roasted Vegetables (go-tos: Brussels, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes)
  • Burger Salads (ground beef patty over a bed of lettuce and a homemade chutney on top)
  • Greek Yogurt Bowl with Granola and Super Seed Blend (can buy this online or at Trader Joe’s)

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

You can find more of my favorite healthy meals over on my Pinterest page; I have quite a few food boards divided up by topic where I save Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, smoothies/juices and just everyday recipes that sound delicious.

More tips to come in future food posts, but I’d love to know what your go-to breakfast and lunch dishes are. I’m always looking to expand my repertoire of meal choices!

Eating Healthy: Tips to Breakfast and Lunch

*I am not a dietitian; these are simply tips, tricks and recipes that have worked for me. No brands sponsored this post; it’s truly a collection of what we use and what we love. I would, however, be grateful if you’d use the above Affiliate links if purchasing anything from Amazon, as every little bit helps keep this site up and running! Hosting fees aren’t cheap, y’all.

  • January 28, 2016

    love this list! now i’m craving beans & sriracha. how exactly do southern fatty recipes fit in this lineup, again 😉 ?? also, if you’re into sunday prep and easy/healthy meals maybe try Cook Smarts — meal planning service for $8 a month that has changed my life! it auto-generates meals/grocery lists for you and offers paleo versions of every recipe. it saves me a few hours a week for sure.

    • February 4, 2016

      I mean, he occasionally makes Brussels sprouts and kale salad 😉

  • January 28, 2016

    My breakfast is, almost always, 2 or 3 eggs (fried, boiled, or scrambled), 1/2 an avocado, and possibly a sliced tomato with salt. Dinner is mostly veggies and some lean protein, and lunch is typically dinner leftovers. We probably have taco salad every week (red leaf lettuce, ground turkey with onion, garlic, and green pepper, spiced with lots of cumin and chili powder), and then a bit of cheese, sliced tomato, sliced olives, avocado, a dollop of sour cream and some salsa. Sometimes I put chips on top, but mostly I eat as-is. Basically, it’s the Mexican-food version of your burger salad. 🙂


    • February 4, 2016

      Yes, girl! I love two fried eggs over mashed or cubed sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cilantro, a squirt of Sriracha and homemade black beans if I have some in the fridge. Guiltless huevor rancheros for the win! Will definitely try your taco version of our burger salad!

  • January 29, 2016

    Well you definitely have a healthier lifestyle than me and your pantry shows it. I have a lot of greens, but most of it spoils by the time I’m ready to prepare something healthy unfortunately.

    • February 4, 2016

      That’s always a problem we have to, Noel! Especially if you shop organic and things only have a shelf life of a couple days (and we live an hour from a Whole Foods so have to stock up the once a month we go!). I’ve tried to be better about this lately; if produce is on its last leg and we don’t have time to cook it, I’ll juice everything in one big batch and call it a day =)

  • January 29, 2016

    I don’t eat dairy and try to limit meat and gluten when possible, so I’ve found Minimalist Baker is a great site for recipes. I recently tried out a gluten free, dairy free banana bread.

    • February 4, 2016

      I don’t really do dairy either, other than the occasional sour cream or latte at a coffee shop, but man I could not go without meat I don’t think! Will check out this site for sure =)

  • January 29, 2016

    I love my mini Cuisinart food processor. Everybody wants a full size one, and believe me, I use my big one plenty, but the mini one is so great for chopping garlic, ginger, and other herbs. I hate mincing garlic with a passion.

    • February 4, 2016

      We used our full size one this week for the first time in maybe a year (to make cauliflower mashed “potatoes”) and…meh. I love my mini way more than the big guy!

  • January 29, 2016

    What a fantastic post! You do foodie blogging really well! I’ll bookmark this post so that I have all your food tips (including recipes) handy!

    • February 4, 2016

      Aw, you’re always so sweet! I think I’ll feel much better about it after we do our kitchen renovation this summer and have actual light and white countertops to work with! Right now, it’s so dim and dreary in there that the food just doesn’t translate in photos.

  • January 30, 2016

    That’s what I always make sure of – to have a healthy breakfast and lunch.

    • February 4, 2016

      Any favorite dishes you love, Clifford? Always looking to add to my arsenal of go-tos!

  • February 1, 2016

    I love this post thanks for the tips I trying to get in shape this year

  • February 2, 2016

    i think this post is very helpful for standard life style.

  • February 2, 2016

    I am jealous of your produce drawer! Cooking for just one, I feel like I have to limit my produce or else a lot goes to waste. I plan out my meals for the week and cook lunches on Sunday and also prep dinner parts for the week to make it easier to cook when I get home. This means lunches tend to be things that hold up well over the week – chana masala, three-bean chili, farro/quinoa bowls with sweet potato/kale/baked tempeh/sauce. And I agree, snapware is crucial to making good lunches! I just switched over to their glassware and I love it – nothing spills when I’m transporting to work!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • February 4, 2016

    I love that you have an balanced meal, easy to cook and from what I see in you pictures, delicious 😀

    I’m now curious what you have on dinner or do you have a schedule (something like “don’t eat after 6 PM).

    • February 4, 2016

      You bet, Linda! That post is coming within the next month or so, I just need to take a few more photos/put together some additional ideas. Scott and I have been doing a lot of recipe testing lately!

      I actually did an interview with a celebrity trainer that I’ll be posting this weekend and it has tips like “don’t eat starches at night” etc. so keep an eye out for that!

      • February 8, 2016

        Hello, Just logged in today and saw the interview 😀

        Waiting for your post about it as well 🙂

  • March 14, 2016

    This post is awesome and we are soul sisters yet again in so many ways — love to move, love to eat healthy greens… and love to finish the day off with dessert 😉

  • June 19, 2019

    I love the recipes you shared and the photos are so vivid and alive. I always want to start my day with a healthy breakfast and your recipes are something I wanted to try for a change.

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