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Comparison Lunching

Posted Aug 25 2010 6:24pm
Good evening class!

Oh, wait. Sorry.
[Sarah dramatically removes "teacher" hat.]

OK, there we go.

Hello! Today was yet another day at my new home away from home, also known as the school where I work. Seriously, I feel like I spend all of my time either at school, on my way to school, or on my way home from school, but you know what? That's just fine. Although I had a few sad moments today where I missed my old school in Virginia, in the words of Annie (from the musical), "I think I'm gonna like it here!"

Another thing I like? Overnight oats! I know I eat them every morning at school it seems, but they are just the BEST for keeping me feeling satisfied throughout the morning without being weighed down. Today I had a new version I will call Orange You Nuts for Cherries? Overnight Oats.
Pecans, Smuckers Orange Marmalade, and Cherries on top of the usual overnight oat blend (without a banana). I added cloves to this batch, though, because I know cloves + oranges = Christmas.
I also had a snack of some watermelon and cantaloupe that was near death. The Grim Reaper was practically leaning over my shoulder this fruit was so past its prime.
Confession: I eat fruit even when its overripe, bruised, and on the verge of acidity. My general need to reap benefit from all I sow (or in this case, purchase)---which some might translate as being cheap, but I like to think of as economical---means that I will eat every last bite unless it has potentially harmful mold growing on it. [And even then, I might cut around it if I'm feeling ambitious.] So, although I almost didn't, I did (eat all of this).
I have had lunch duty the past two days, and I will continue to have it until next week, which most people think of as an annoyance, but I have found strangely enjoyable. I have taken the opportunity to really get to know some of the kids and talk to them...especially about food! [Although the word of today, as I told them, was "etiquette" and we talked about appropriate ways to eat food, rather than the food itself.]

I must say I have been impressed by the food served in the cafeteria. While hot dogs might not be one of the healthier options, the buns on which they are served are very visibly whole grain. Also, today's sides were a choice of salad or cherry tomatoes with bell peppers. There was even a rumor that the kids could have hummus and pita chips! [One of the other teachers saw it, but I missed that joyfulness.] They did have a dessert of strawberry shortcake, but don't we all deserve dessert some(or all of the)time(s)?

My lunch was smorgasbord of greatness, although one of my team members came in and said, "What is that?" [Note: I thought she was referring to the camera I was using to take the photo, but no, she was looking at my food.] Well, Mrs. Team Leader (whom I adore, despite that sounding sort of snooty), I'll tell you.
That would be an EarthGrains Thin Bun [which I buy at Wal-Mart for those of you wondering about them], as well as some of my homemade Rosemary & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus , with a side of carrots and raw cauliflower.
Also a quarter of my layered veggie casserole from the weekend, and a Dr. Praeger's Italian Veggie Burger, heated up in the microwave (and falling apart, as you can see, but still very tasty!)
The casserole has yet to be named, but it looked like this originally:
I basically layered eggplant, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms, with some tomato sauce, feta cheese, and spices then baked it in the oven for an hour until everything was soft and scrumptious. It is a super simple and versatile meal that I promise to show you in step-by-step format soon! [Really once I can come up with a catchy name...]

Today was the "big reveal" about my blog to my teammates. I say that faux-dramatically, because I haven't really been trying to hide it or anything. [All the other new teachers know about it from the first day we met.] I usually wait until people ask before I say anything though. We hadn't been eating all together really until today, and since no one had commented about me photographing my snacks or breakfast before, today was the first time I had to talk about it.

They all thought it was interesting and fun (perhaps slightly odd, but oh well), and asked a lot about what types of foods I eat, etc. I find that people are accepting about being a healthy eater and having an interest in nutrition as long as you aren't trying to force it down their throats or anything.

My dear teammate is very intrigued and wants to read and follow the blog, as well as sign up for a lunch program so she can be healthier and lose weight for her daughter's wedding. She told me to take a picture of her lunch today so we could have a "before Sarah" and then "after Sarah" side by side comparison one day. :)
Leftover BBQ brisket and sausage (she'd already eaten half), with a Wendy's cup from yesterday (originally filled with soda, now water), pickles [which are near me in the photo because I ate them all :)], and banana pudding!
For comparison's sake, another teammate had homemade low-fat chicken salad made in a food processor and Ruffle potato chips.
She was embarassed, but I thought it wasn't too bad, really! It wasn't like she ate a whole bag of chips or anything....my goodness.

Do you ever feel like people become self-conscious around you when they know or find out you are a healthy eater [and/or have a food blog]?

That lunch today really filled me up...so much so that I didn't even have an after school snack! Post gym I wasn't even all that hungry. My stomach was not giving me any clear indications of hunger levels or what it was craving.

Until I remembered this deliciousness....
...bought on sale this past weekend at the lowest price I have ever seen! [Thank you HEB !] And of course my favorite way to eat yogurt is in a yogurt-y mess of a CFY .
The F(ruit) was a mix of strawberries, plum, peach, and pluot (or as we now know them to be: dinosaur egg), as well as some frozen blueberries for extra color.
C(ereal) was a mix of Kashi Honey Sunshine, All-Bran Bran Buds, and Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cinnamon Oat Crunch and Berry Yogurt Crunch [ from the freebies I was sent through the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program].
Just what the doctor (er...stomach?) ordered.

Off to watch Top Chef and then sleep, glorious sleep...
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