Return of the…Star Wars Franchise? What?

Stunned. Couldn’t actually believe it. George Lucas sold the beloved (well, mostly) Star Wars franchise for 4 billion dollars to Disney. Wait, what? You’ll have to repeat yourself. Took about twelve news reports until the news finally soaked in. The franchise I grew up with and became obsessed with , those amazing three movies, (and then those added 3 rubbish) are continuing. Images of Mickey Mouse with lightsabers and more creations like Jar Jar keep popping up in my mind. Vader, you said it. My first thought was just…let it die. Or rather let it live on in a semi-untarnished memory. At least of the originals.

I couldn’t believe Lucas would sell out like that. Well, that isn’t true, because look at the prequels. I’m just surprised because it came out of nowhere. Disney? Hmm… Please don’t serve us another set of bad, childish movies with painful writing. Don’t do the Princess-y Disney, do the darker and more complex movies you’ve been coming out with. With a looming 2015 release date, us Star Wars fans are left to sit with endless “what if’s” and imaginations of further franchise destruction.

But wait. Finally stumbling past my shock and disappointment, some friends pointed out a few things which I tend to forget. Disney recently bought Pixar and Marvel, two of my favorite companies. And the movies that have been coming from them? Brilliant. I absolutely loved the Avengers, I bought it on Blu-Ray/DVD as soon as it was available. For some reason, the thought of ‘Disney’ just brings images of cartoony corniness–something Star Wars needs to move away from. Which was why the news was accompanied with immediate stomach-wrenching dread. But, very good example, look at movies like the Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and so forth. All movies I thoroughly enjoyed. And they came from Disney. As did Pirates. So there’s a shot. 

(what a weird picture)

This Kathleen Kennedy woman (who is taking over Lucas Films) seems like she’s got a lot to her. She’s produced tons of films which have collectively won 120 Academy Awards–that’s not a bad record. There could be something to this. However, in that article, she mentions Lucas as Yoda, something he absolutely strayed from as we all know–that is not a good sign. Still, as my dad pointed out, it could be a political move. She’s got a good record. She could make something out of it.

All I hope is that they follow the books of the Expanded Universe that so many brilliant fan-authors have created. There is such a rich universe filled with captivating stories, complex characters, and a certain depth to it. I know it’s hard to match that, because they’re books, but it’s a beautiful model to follow (well most of them…not the one where Lando had a dog–a dog, really?!). I just want Kennedy, or someone close to her, to have a deep knowledge of those books and the ability to relay them into some new movies. You could do so much. Mara Jade? Yes, please. Han and Leia’s childrenAwesome. The New Jedi Order? LET’S SEE IT! Okay, now I’ve gotten myself amped up for things that probably won’t occur. But if you’re a fan like me, you understand. Imagine if Luc Besson or Joss Whedon wrote or directed it.

“IT’S A TRAP!!!”: How The Star Wars Expanded Universe Is Going To Steal Back Into Your Heart

Overall, the dread has seeped out some and there is a dull excitement–maybe not even that. Curiosity, I suppose. Will wait on more details. How do you feel about it?

Back to Back… and Biceps… Yet Again

It’s another cover of one of our workouts, which have been getting a little bit better… I hope. It’s been very challenging balancing working 7 days a week and still finding time, with gyms not being open 24 hours, to work out and work out well. Furthermore, it’s been most challenging to not neglect any body parts. Ideally for me, aside from cardio workouts and recreational workouts, I like to focus muscular isolation workouts on legs, core, chest, triceps, biceps, back, forearms, and neck. Combinations can be made freely, but again, ideally once a week with proper rest is a good start… twice a week when we’re in killer shape. Never more than that, especially with strength training.  We’ve been struggling with hitting every body part on a good reliable consistent rotation but back and biceps are rarely missed because of their size, and for now, their role in climbing. So here is my coverage of a decent pull muscle workout.

We hit the gym around 9:30, a little late, we like to get there around 9, and I put some Tiger Balm and Tiger Balm Muscle Rub on my upper body pull muscles and joints. Prior to coming, on an empty stomach, I took 1.M.R. A pre-workout supplement, one scoop a day before my muscle workouts, for nothing else. At 9:37 the fun began, on a day where I was feeling pretty good, a little sore throughout the body, especially in the lower back, and my cold I have now hadn’t hit me yet.

(by the way, as a foreword, before you ask about rest or reps, it’s minimal rest and every set is to failure, seriously)

9:37: Super set 1: (4 super sets)

a. Alternating pullups and chinups

b. Seated d-bell lat flyes (it’s the proper spelling, seriously, but I don’t care how people spell it, Alana did standing)

9:47: 2 (4 super sets)

a. lat pull downs (narrowing grip every set)

b. seated hammer curls

(during this set, while we were swapping equipment because two pieces for two people is more than fair, some gym jerk decided to try to take our incline bench, so I told him to beat it and he did. I was polite)

10:01: 3 (4 super sets)

a. low seated cable rows

b. incline pinky offset curls (have your pinky be touching the head of the d-bell, so the thumb is around the middle)

10:17: 4 (3 super sets)

a. kettle bell sumo romanian deadifts

b. back extensions

And then around 10:30, we bouldered for about 20 minutes until my forearms felt like they were about to split. Typically, we get kicked out of the gym, but that day we left a couple minutes early. If you ever get that sensation, just stop.

So now, the reason why I wrote this post was to dedicate a section to bodyweight or near bodyweight lower back exercises. While sometimes I work out lower back with back or legs, it really could be classified as core. Depending what your weekly split is, you can cater your lower back workouts to match those days. For instance,

If you are trying to do lower back with legs, deadlifts and squats are great exercises to focus on good form and strengthening your lower back. Whether it is a romanian dead lift, straight leg, front squat, olympic squat, etc you should focus on good form! If you squat 600 lbs for 1 rep and your back isn’t straight, I don’t count it. You can, but you’re lying to yourself.

You can also use the back extension apparatus that is actually a glute/upper hamstring piece of equipment. Hit a few birds with one stone. If you’re doing shoulders or back, kettlebell swings are a great workout for lower back. But if you’re trying to work body weight, lower back is a great group to focus on with your core.

Back extensions on the apparatus are I think the most convenient one here. It is bodyweight and weight can be added, but it requires a piece of equipment, and if you don’t have it just do…

Supermans – laying stomach down, extend your limbs outwards and slowly or quickly contract upwards, then slowly or SLOWLY stretch back downwards to the floor. Thirty reps is a great goal for body weight exercises, especially for your core.

Any deadlift can be done bodyweight. Single leg are the most challenging and if done improperly can hurt your lower back a lot more. I recommend a straight leg romanian deadlift where your only pivot point is at the lower back. Rep it out again with the same execution as the superman.

Never, in any circumstance, bend your lower back or arch it towards your stomach. Try to keep it tight, keep it straight and if anything, but try not to, arch it away from your stomach.

Do a plank, and a side plank on each side. Planks are arguably if done correctly the best core exercises and this includes your lower back. Do not overlook these. Do them for as long as you can maintain proper form, and when form deteriorates, rotate onto your side… or rest! Then repeat.

If you have a stability ball, you can do reverse extensions where you bring the ball into your chest with your feet on it. Keep that spine straight and try to rep it out. I usually shoot for 20.

Don’t forget about bridges. These will be used in some yoga classes. It’s kind of a reverse plank, with your back to the ground.

And on that note, consider yoga poses! Cat pose, cow pose, cobra, scorpion, chattarangaaaaa (or however you spell it). These are difficult glorified stretches that can really work. Just make sure you don’t only do these. I have a thing against just doing “static stretches” but I understand yogis that these aren’t JUST static stretches so stay back.

Any questions?

Yes, That’s a Beautiful Pumpkin–But Don’t Throw Out the Seeds!

Yikes, what a long title. Anyways, I’m here to bring you something that could be possibly even more amazing than carving a pumpkin…its seeds. As some of my friends may know (cough LENA), I absolutely love pumpkin seeds. In fact, I love them so much I can eat a whole container of them (sorry, Esther). The flavor of it, the grittiness, the amount of protein in the middle. There’s no downside (at least for me, but Chris doesn’t like how long it can stay in his mouth).

Indeed, it’s a great protein source. Did you know that one ounce of pumpkin seeds can give you 9.35 grams of protein? Not bad! Well said, Watto. And it is so easy it’s not even funny. We carved our pumpkins with paring knives (that was the hard part) and then I gutted them. I have memories of my dad letting my brother and I draw faces on our pumpkins, he would cut it, then let me do all the dirty work of grabbing its seeds and goo. And I loved it. So of course, I was the one to do it this time. But I was not going to throw them out, oh no! I collected all the seeds from the two pumpkins and prepared them. All in all, it took about an hour. However, 40 minutes of that was cooking time. The rest is easy.

What You Need:

  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Melted butter (or oil)
  • Salt

First, set the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, get all the guts of your pumpkin(s) and place them in a strainer. This will take the most work. Have a light flow of water running over the strainer as you pick the seeds from the gunk and place the gunk in the sink.

Once you have all the seeds by themselves, place them into a small mixing bowl.

Place the melted butter into the bowl with the seeds (I used about 3/4 of a tablespoon) and mix around.

Then, shake plenty of salt into the bowl and mix again.

Spread out all the pumpkin seeds as flat as you can on a baking sheet. Then place in the oven from 20-40 minutes (depending on your oven and how many seeds you have) or until golden brown.

And that’s it! Serve and enjoy. I won’t be able to stop munching.

(Nymeria loved eating all the bits of pumpkin dropped on the floor)

Help! I’ve Been Infected with K-Pop!

This article was planned months ago. I mean it! I say that because since then K-Pop has entered our maintstream culture. Not sure what I’m talking about? Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” (pronounced kang-nam) blew up a few weeks ago. His song is actually a satire of a rich part of Seoul in South Korea, about the rich having an empty lifestyle. No matter, his dance moves and catchy song caught on. He was on SNL, Ellen, and so forth. He signed an American contract (with the same guy that manages Bieber). You can see his video below.

It’s a fun song, and it will become addicting. And always fun to try those dance moves. However, I was converted to this K-Pop (Korean Pop) much earlier than this song came on the air. And I’m guessing you might have an idea you could’ve possibly introduced me to such music…coughChris. Yes, ladies and gents, it was Chris who introduced me to this at-first strange and-then addicting music.

I’m going to focus on BIGBANG, a five-man group that we listen to most. Okay I’ve got to admit, and he knows this, I thought it was the most annoying music at first, lots of tech and pop-yness. Not my favorite thing. But I kept listening as Chris always played it and it slowly grew on me like a strange Korean tree moss or something. I caught myself seeking out the songs that I liked the most and their music videos…wow. Blow our silly American ones out of the water. And they actually have good voices. Weird, right?

So in BIGBANG, we have G-Dragon (the leader), Daesung (we call him the Voice, best voice), T.O.P. (the model, has an awesome deep voice), Taeyang (the dancer), and Seungri (the random one, we say).

From left right: Daesung, G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., and Seungri

They’re pretty great, always tons of different styles, and they really love each other and have that great chemistry. Chris can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe G-Dragon wouldn’t do one song if their producers didn’t give Seungri a solo album. They’re just great like that. And it’s really interesting, in South Korea, they find these great singers when they’re young and put them into a music-type academy and eventually end up either pairing them together, creating groups, or pushing them out solo. It’s fascinating. 

And they are GREAT workout songs. Seriously, I always get incredibly pumped and end up having a fantastic workout. My personal favorite workout songs are “Still Alive,” “Tonight,” and “Fantastic Baby.” But for you to understand their awesomeness, you need to watch the videos (especially “Fantastic Baby” which by just watching makes you want to get ripped). See them below

Sadly no music video for this yet

Just awesome beats and pump-up song

WATCH THIS ONE! And try not to get pumped up (around when Taeyang starts)

And if you’re like me, it’s annoying when you start listening. But give them a chance, seriously. They’re a great group. And they don’t only do up-beat songs, they have tons of love songs as I’ll share below.

“Blue”

“Monster”

K-Pop is a very strange thing, but it’s turned out to be fun and interesting. Something I now listen to on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Work Those Push Muscles: Chest and Triceps Workout

So there are some workout match-ups that tend to be our favorites. One of those favorites is the sweet chest and triceps pair. It’s a great combination and leaves you exhausted afterwards (my arms are very upset with me now that I am typing). So Alana, you’re probably saying, why is it a good combination? Lemme spit some reasons at ya (not literally, come on).

Triceps brachii, large arm model - Muscles of ...

Triceps brachii

1. Convenience: being able to do your chest and triceps at once can really open your workout schedule. This is especially for the people who tend to try to workout every day or every other day. It gives you a few days to work on other muscle groups without worrying about overworking those muscles. Because ultimately, that will lead to injury. And that’s a no-no.

2. Effective: you’re going to get a much better chest and triceps workout if you work them together. If you’re doing it properly, every chest exercise you do will work your triceps a bit and every triceps exercise will work your chest. That’s just how our body works.

3. Power: it makes you feel huge. Think about the strength, effort, and power that goes into benching.

Anyhow, there’s a few reasons for you. Now let’s get to our actual workout. We have a few pictures for you of yours truly.

1. We started out with a super-set (one exercise after the other, no rest) of push-ups and triangle push-ups, working our chest in the first and triceps in the latter. You don’t need any equipment for this, so no excuses! Go until failure.

2. Our next super-set was incline chest press and incline pec fly. This really requires good strength and power (especially chest press). Unforunately, no pictures of us doing this. For chest press, you sit on the inclined bench, and push your arms straight up.

For pec fly, get in the same seated position. But start your arms out, like you’re going to give a tree a hug, and bring inwards (you tree-hugger!).

3. For this we didn’t do a super-set, because we wanted to spot each other for bench press. Personally, I’ve lost a lot of my strength, and can’t bench nearly what I used to (you’ll see low weight in the picture, the bar = 45 lbs). It’s just good to be there and spot for each other to get the weight up and getting help getting it down. We did decline bench press. Go for a good weight and, as usual, go til failure.

4. For our last super-set we combined triceps cable press and double-hand triceps extension. This really killed our triceps (in a good way!). For anyone uncomfortable with triceps exercises, I find that the cable press is an easy pathway to get comfy with working those triceps. You position yourself with the feet shoulder-width apart, facing the cable, and press down the steel triangle or horse rope down and bring your arms back to 90 degrees.

For triceps extension, grab a good weight and place behind your head and do vertical raises.

5. And lastly, to end our muscle workout, we did a cable cross-press. This will get a good pinching burn in your chest and triceps. We juiced out the rest of our strength through these. Always go to the end of your workout. Never stop pushing. Unless you feel sharp pains, THEN STOP. Stand away from the cables, grab each cable in each hand and cross over your hands.

For this entire workout, we did four sets of everything and pushed to failure. It could range from 8 to 100, it’s up to your body and your strength. We ended it with some excellent twenty-minute bouldering where Chris finished a new route that had been challenging him for weeks!

Please let us know if you have any questions! Cheers!

And After the Presidential Debates…

I’m still sticking with my man Barack, and it’s not because I think he’s an amazing presidential candidate… it’s because I would vote for whoever has the best chance of making sure Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do not win. If it was someone from the Green or an Independent party, that would work fine with me… just not those two. I’m not voting based on who I think can turn around the economy. In this post, I’m not even going to get into depth about political agendas, policies, plans and all that complicated stuff that just breeds lies and unfulfilled promises.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I simply cannot vote for a narcissistic liar and a narcissistic liar who cannot relate to the majority of the population of the United States. I don’t mind that Paul Ryan has a normal degree from a so-so institution of higher education. Actually, it’s the only thing that I like about him. I don’t like his pictures of him posing with his backwards hat and poorly built arms. I don’t like the fact that he lied about his marathon time (I believe he said it took him about 3 hours when it was realistically around 4.) If he lies about that, I don’t trust anything he says, so I would clearly never vote for him.

As for Romney, I simply cannot stand the guy. He has no concept of human rights and equality. There is a separation of church and state in this country and he is a religiously-driven man. He claims that he recognizes all religions and the religious freedom in this country, but then immediately says we are all children of the same God. He claims that he wants to give better job equality to women, but won’t let them decide whether they can control their own bodies all of the time. And don’t get me started on his view of gay rights. His smile is fake and evil, he doesn’t care at all about the middle class, and just wants to keep his riches rolling in so he can afford to send his 18 grand children to college. He has no concept of foreign policy, which unfortunately wasn’t highlighted enough last night. I wrote two of my theses on diplomacy and conflict resolution, and the man has no grasp of diplomacy. It’s ridiculous how many people he can offend in one debate. How many tens of millions… hundreds of millions… a billion people he can offend in one debate. And he just lies about way too much. Lie after lie after lie.

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Romney

So I don’t care how many accurate statistics relating to the economy he throws out. He doesn’t know anything about struggle. We were nearly living on credit cards, almost dead broke, struggling to find and keep jobs, and we see Obama and we still see change and hope. And while I doubt Mitt actually wants to help us, his plans could help the economy, but they might make it worse. And I would never throw my morals and values away for the small chance that his hidden agenda might lower the price of gas. That is not worth it. I will not let gays be denied their rights, women be denied their choices, and good people be denied the opportunity to continue helping other people, just so I can pay a buck less at the pump. That’s not worth it. Sorry Mitt, someone like me would never vote for someone like you.

But really, Barack was right when he called you out on the military. Are you trying to compensate for a lack of security? You might have thought your privileges growing up made you the best, but in the world stage, you’ll need a lot more than that.

The Most Important Meal of the Day: EAT IT!

There’s a problem in this culture. For as much as we over-eat, so many of us do not eat breakfast. What’s the deal with that?! Meals are always something to look forward to in my day. Maybe because I have a slight obsession with food. Whatever. I’m here to tell you to EAT YOUR BREAKFAST! Just eat something: oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, trail mix, bagels, fruit, something.

Why?

Well, boys and girls, let me talk a little about metabolism. You want a good, high metabolism. Why? Because the higher your metabolism, the faster your food is digested and nutrients absorbed. It means your body works faster and better. You see a lot of people with high metabolisms are usually thin, even though they seem to eat a normal (or more) amount. It’s either genetics or they know how and when to eat.

Structure of adenosine triphosphate, a central...

Structure of adenosine triphosphate, a central intermediate in energy metabolism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you don’t eat breakfast, (just literally breaking your fast) your metabolism won’t wake up. For it to boot up and start trying to make you have less fat, you need to give it something to start on. Otherwise it’s going to be very slow. And when you do finally eat lunch (which is usually bigger than breakfast), your metabolism will be slowed down at that point and you won’t absorb nutrients or digest as quickly.

We like to go big on breakfast when we can. This is (not necessarily our typical) our ideal breakfast: whole-wheat Kodiak pancakes (or waffles), eggs, whole wheat toast with jam, Morningstar Sausage Links, and a big fruit salad. Sounds like a lot? You can bet our metabolism is going to be booted up from the start? And yes, I usually can’t finish everything so Chris gets to clean my plate.

Not in the mood for a big breakfast? When I don’t have a lot of time before work and Chris is still asleep, I’ll usually make oatmeal, or greek yogurt with fruit and nuts, or an egg on toast, etc. Those all have plenty of protein and carbs for me to last until lunch or snack time.

Whatever you do, just eat something. Even if it’s just an apple as you run out the door. I promise, it’s worth it and your body will thank you.

BONUS KITTY PIC 

Give Your Body [SPECIFIC] Love

Weird title, right? For me, love has a lot to do with health, especially when it comes to one’s body. And it’s very important to love your body. And a way I do that is giving it great workouts. Why do I say specific love? Let me tell you.

A lot of people who aren’t really into fitness or go to the gym as a chore, typically do total-body workouts. Meaning that they will try to work each part of their body (from back to chest to legs, etc.) in one workout. And if you do that workout properly and hard enough, each and every muscle group will be sore.

So I have a question. What are you going to workout the next day if all body parts are sore?

Which is why I say SPECIFIC! You don’t have to be a meat head, a fitness buff, or even in shape to split workouts up properly. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective each workout will be. Usually spend 45 minutes on a total body? Imagine 45 minutes spent just on your legs. Now there’s some defined calves.

And specific doesn’t necessarily mean one muscle group each workout, it could mean two or even more. Usually, we split our workouts into two muscle groups each. For example, yesterday we did back and biceps. Another day we would do chest and triceps. Another day? Shoulders and forearms. Legs we usually keep by itself because there are several large muscles to work (calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc.) And so on and so forth. I think you’re getting it. If you want, you can even split it into upper body and lower body workout days. But that will only work if you’re only working out 3 or so days of the week.

By the next day, you’re going to be sore in whatever you worked out. And by the second day after, you should be even more sore. But soreness to me equals happiness, because I know that muscle group is getting stronger. I’ll keep using us as an example. So we worked our back and biceps last night (great workout by the way), which are going to be sore today and tomorrow. Thus, tonight we will most likely work out chest and triceps, core, or something else.

There are so many pros to this way of working out and a very slim amount of cons. The specific muscle groups will get stronger by isolating them, they will develop more quickly, gain endurance, and toning. You will not have all body parts feeling sore and tired thus preventing a good workout.

You have the ability to isolate your workouts. Do it! I hope you can now understand how much better it is. AND it also makes it easier to plan out your workouts, thus making it easier for you to actually workout. I find it’s always easier to follow a workout plan (even if I’m feeling meh that day), because it’s written down what I’m going to do. Trust me, just try it.

Tell us which muscle group is your favorite to workout!

Sunday Movie Day 2: Special Halloween Edition

So I know that Halloween is still a few weeks away, but it’s one of those holidays that is worth thinking about, if not celebrating, for more than one day and one night. Or half of one night depending how protective parents are of their children, or just how they dictate the celebration of Halloween.

So, in our ideal weekend fashion, we drove our 20 miles ( I’m sorry Earth :( ) to the better AMC theatre in the area. We saw the 9:40 showing of Hotel Transylvania and the 11:45 showing of Frankenweenie. Here are some quick reviews: But first, let me tell you that we guiltily spent more money, almost, on snacks in between movies, than on our tickets. Nearly 20 dollars for some very greasy waffle fries, a small bag of Reeses Pieces, and a small bag of popcorn. It made us feel bad, mentally and physically. Lesson learned? Doubt it.

Hotel Transylvania: I know, we knew, what the critics said and that it has a pretty bad score on Rotten Tomatoes. But when have I ever cared what the critics say? Sometimes, I love bad movies, because they can be very entertaining. Let’s just say that I’m open to anything. So, the voice acting cast was stacked… Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, and there were definitely others I forget. It was super cheesy and I’m sure all of the kids in the audience loved every bit of it. I enjoyed most of it. It was no How To Train a Dragon or Shrek, but it tried to do the same thing more or less and still entertained although it lacked that lasting impact which is why it probably didn’t do too well with the critics.

Nevertheless, we had our eyes glued on the screen the whole time. Good animation, voice acting, a cheesy but cute story, and every monster you want to remember a few weeks before Halloween. How much I enjoyed it? A lot. But as a movie, if I were a critic… probably a 4/10. You know what… it actually accomplished more or less what it was trying to do so I’m going to give it a 5/10. It wasn’t trying to win any awards, just put some smiles on little faces.
Frankenweenie: If you didn’t know Tim Burton directed this before stepping in the theatre, and he wasn’t in the credits, it wouldn’t take any movie fan more than two minutes to figure it out. The puppets, the soundtrack, the feel is completely Tim Burton. Again, to consult the critics, this one has very positive reviews, but Alana and I both enjoyed this one far less. It was Edward Scissorhands, The Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas… just not as good. Well maybe as good as the Corpse Bride, probably better in my book, I saw the latter in theatre long ago. Danny Elfman does a great job on the score as always, and the voice acting fits the dark feeling. There is plenty of wit behind it, but it tries to accomplish too much and some of the messages get slightly blurry, especially for young children, who can see this movie. It is not graphic or nasty. And it has good messages. To be fair, it was a fun adaptation of the Dr. Frankenstein stories. A little different. Also, a 5/10 in my book. I don’t always agree with the tomatometer.
We would have also seen Paranorman but they decided to release it in August… I’d love to know why. To avoid competition? Not worth it if you ask me. Oh well, we have our pumpkins soon to be jack-o-lanterns, candy dish of candy corn, and window decorations but we still need more! Get in the Halloween spirit if you want to, we do!

Save Money and Devour Nutrients: the Grown-Up Lunch Box

For a little while now I’ve wanted lunch boxes like this: 

Or this

Anyways, putting my lunchbox fantasies aside, I wanted to let you know how easy it is to save money at the very same time you are devouring nutrients and getting good calories. Another healthy article? I know, I know, I’m sorry! But it’s really easy, again, like I was saying before. Then, I was talking about general meals and putting little effort into making them healthy (not hard). But now, I’m talking about bringing your lunch to work. 

Are you one to usually buy lunch? Let’s stop that. No need to waste money, and especially to waste it on bad food. It’s so important to know what is in the food you are eating. Preparing your own meals is the perfect way to do that. Don’t have time in the morning to pack a lunch? Do it the night before. I promise it won’t get bad. Making this effort could really save your eating from junk food to health food. Again, go to the market and get the veggies and fruits on sale, meaning they are in season. There are so many things you can do that take 5-10 minutes. Let me show you some lunches I pack.

Here we have a guacamole, spinach, tomato, and morning star chicken sandwich. Healthy ingredients, protein, veggies, and grain right for you. Whole-Wheat bread. Easy. Took Chris about 5 minutes to make for me. I ate this with an orange and some yogurt-covered raisins. 

This is my most frequent lunch meal. We have a huge thing of organic spinach in the fridge and we use it for almost every meal. I chop up whatever vegetables we have (this one has red pepper, cucumber, avocado, and tomato) and throw some morning star protein in as well. I use my cousin’s wonderful Balsamic Nectar and throw in a little oil too. Don’t feel full from salads? I always do from mine. Add protein to it or a healthy fat like avocado. Eat an orange or an apple with it. 

Here’s another good example of a usual meal including other things that accompany my main dish (salad or sandwich or leftovers). I always add a fruit and usually some kind of carb (here is my Grandma’s featured trail mix!). That sandwich is spinach, hummus, morning star, and tomato. I have a big thing of water that I keep by me at all times to constantly drink up. 

And here’s an example of other foods that accompany my salad or sandwich. I don’t know why that apple looks so freakishly large, bad camera angle maybe. I will usually have the apple and raisins with my main lunch meal, and then eat the Clif bar a few hours later. I can’t eat much at one time, but I get hungry quickly so I usually eat every three hours if possible. 

So there you have it. Examples of easy, simple, quick-to-make lunches to bring with you every day, no matter where you work. You don’t even need to refrigerate it. Just try it one day. You’ll find it very rewarding, I promise, and you’ll want to do it every day. You’re making yourself a nutrient-packed meal that will make your coworkers feel bad about themselves.

Tell me what lunches you bring to work! Enjoy :)