Chunky Monkey Protein “Milk Shake”

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As I’ve mentioned, Saturday morning is my favorite morning to experiment with breakfast! With gestational diabetes, most of my favorite breakfasts are a no-go, and I’ve been trying to get more protein into all of my meals lately. When my husband suggested we try to blend cottage cheese, I was extremely skeptical. But I’ve got to tell you, this “milkshake” we made is DELICIOUS! I have to admit, we have a really nice blender so it blender smooth and creamy. Yum! And it worked for my morning blood sugar read. Win-win! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Chunky Monkey Protein "Milk Shake"
Serves 2
A protein-packed treat made with cottage cheese instead of ice cream!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
361 calories
32 g
17 g
18 g
21 g
6 g
501 g
491 g
21 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
501g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361
Calories from Fat 155
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
27%
Saturated Fat 6g
32%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 491mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates 32g
11%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 21g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
20%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium banana
  2. 1 cup cottage cheese
  3. 2 tablespoons dark chocolate syrup
  4. 1/2 cup 2% milk
  5. 1/8 cup peanut butter
  6. 2 cups ice
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! You can sub lower fat cottage cheese or milk, if desired. You could also use almond milk or other nut butters instead of peanut butter.
  2. This recipe yields roughly 4 cups of milk shake, which serves (atleast) 2!
beta
calories
361
fat
18g
protein
21g
carbs
32g
more
SashAroundTheClock http://www.sasharoundtheclock.com/

GREEN Smoothie for St. Patrick’s Day!

Started my day off right with a paleo, gluten free, clean eating, DELICIOUS, GREEN smoothie!

Yum, yum, yum!

I started with 1/2 of an avocado….
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1.5 small apples, cut into chunks

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1 cup of spinach

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1 cup of coconut water

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Tossed it into my Ninja to-go cup and voila. A lovely grab and go breakfast! 

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Green Avocado Smoothie
Serves 1
A delicious avocado based smoothie!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
330 calories
49 g
0 g
16 g
5 g
3 g
594 g
285 g
30 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
594g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 285mg
12%
Total Carbohydrates 49g
16%
Dietary Fiber 15g
62%
Sugars 30g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
62%
Vitamin C
58%
Calcium
11%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. .5 avocados
  2. 1.5 small apples, sliced
  3. 1 cup spinach
  4. 1 cup coconut water
Instructions
  1. Put ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency. May add water for a wetter consistency or ice for a cold, blended consistency.
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calories
330
fat
16g
protein
5g
carbs
49g
more
SashAroundTheClock http://www.sasharoundtheclock.com/

Paleo Coconut Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup (Recipe At Bottom)

On TV, the pregnant lady gets to eat what she wants. She gets to have cravings and demand late night ice cream runs from her husband. This pregnant lady has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Which essentially means a very restrictive diet where I count carbs, measure my blood sugar four times a day, and have to be very careful about how much and what I am putting in my body at any given time.  Gestational diabetes and managing it can look very different for different people. Some people just have to count their carbs, and what the carbs actually are don’t really matter. Not so for me! A piece of white toast send my blood sugar sky rocketing, so essentially I have to eat healthy. Bummer. 😉 

A typical breakfast for me looks like:

Option 1: Yoplait Plenti – which is a pretty nifty little carton of greek yogurt, fruit, and whole grain oats. 

Option 2: 1/2 slice whole grain toast with butter, 1 scrambled egg, 1/2 cup berries 

These are the two breakfast options that seem to work well. But today is Saturday. Lazy, lovely Saturday. Whenever Jonathan and I are home and not busy on a Saturday morning, we usually cook some sort of delicious breakfast together. Like pancakes. Mmmmm pancakes. 

So we ventured into the world of paleo baking and decided to give an alternative pancake a try.

For the pancakes, we used Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes. We did find that the batter was way too loose, and had to add another 1/8th cup of coconut flour.

Then, we had to think about what we were going to do about syrup. This is where Chef Sasha got to be creative. I usually have fresh berries with breakfast or as a morning snack, so we had a giant carton of strawberries handy. 

We chopped up 9 strawberries, and threw them in a pot with 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon agave.

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I cooked that for about 5-7 minutes on high until the strawberries were soft, and then mashed them with a potato masher. 

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Once they were good and mashed, I reduced the heat to medium, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The water reduced and it was thicker, but not syrup-py. Then I removed it from the heat and let the natural pectin from the strawberries thicken it up. Voila! 

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The amount made is about one small mason jar. It was the perfect amount for a half recipe of the coconut pancakes, and fed two people. Honestly, it was delicious! photo1

Now, I won’t claim the pancakes were as good as your traditional, white flour, buttermilk pancakes. But for a healthier option, we were really happy with them! 

 

The pancakes were delicious, the topping was a great substitute for syrup, and the real win here is that at my 2 hour sugar check, my sugars were in good shape! Win-win!

Strawberry Syrup
Serves 2
A lower GI, healthier option for a sweet topping for pancakes, ice cream, waffles, or anything you want a yummy strawberry syrup!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
40 calories
10 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
151 g
5 g
6 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
151g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 40
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 5mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 10g
3%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
79%
Calcium
6%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 9 large strawberries
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tablespoon agave nectar
Instructions
  1. Cut the strawberries into chunks.
  2. Put strawberries, water, and agave into a small pot, and heat on high heat until strawberries are soft.
  3. Once strawberries soften, mash with a potato masher or fork until desired consistency.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, and let simmer approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy hot, or allow to cool before serving.
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calories
40
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
10g
more
SashAroundTheClock http://www.sasharoundtheclock.com/

The purpose of You Can, Tuesday! is to bring mid-week content that encourages, inspires, or teaches in some way, and to bring together a community of people who want to share their experiences through guest posts, linking up, and comments! Too often, I have heard, and used myself, the words "I could never do that" or "wow, that seems really hard!" I want to give love to our friend, Tuesday, as a day where we instead say, "I can!" or "I'd love to try!" and either share our stories of how we've done something or teach others how to do something!

You Can, Tuesday!: Hydrate with Infused Water

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Today, I am working from home and drinking pints! Pints of infused water, that is! Hydration is important at any time, but I am finding it is especially important:

1. during the summer when it is hot, hot, hot

2. When exercising, especially outdoors

3. When taking medication (like pain meds) that dehydrate you! 

That being said, sometimes my water just needs to put on its party dress, get a little pep in its step, have its flavor livened up!  So today, I want to encourage you to drink WATER, whether it’s plain or dressed up, and give you some ideas to get your creative juices flowing! 

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I’ve made three infused waters for today! Now, I like to make mine in a glass, the night before, and it’s good to grab on my way to work! It’s more economical to make a pitcher at a time, so the amounts below are for a 64 ounce pitcher. To do a glass, you can look at my pictures or just divide everything by 4 to get a 16 ounce glass.

 

cucumbermelon

Cucumber Melon:  

1 cucumber, sliced

15-20 melon balls

 

GingerCelery

Ginger Celery:

8 (big) slices ginger

2 celery stalks, sliced

 

mojito

Mojito:

 12-15 mint leaves, chopped

1 lime. sliced

 

 

How do you hydrate?

Do you have any infused water recipes or ideas?

What CAN you do, this Tuesday?

Share in the comments or link up your post! 

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#100 Happy Days: Days 21-30

Day 21

New ‘do!!! Love it! #100happydays #salondechriste#beauty #hair

Day 21, March 26th: I saw Brandi at Salon De Christe. She never, ever disappoints. I loved my cut and color!

Day 22

 

Enjoying time with these ladies! @picturecharity@carissaspeelman #100happydays

Day 22, March 27th: We had friends over, and I enjoyed spending time with these amazing ladies!

Day 24

Having a hilarious time with these great friends!!!#100happydays #friends #doubledatenight

Day 23, March 28th: Someone refused to make a silly face — can you tell who? We had an amazing double date night with our sweet friends, Nancy and Louis. We started with dinner at Sidney Street Cafe, and then went back to their place for games. I was so glad we had an opportunity to relax and have fun with them before their move to Chicago!

Day 25

 

So proud of my husband for taking a risk and quitting his job! Sending him off on a cycling trip with his buddy to celebrate! I got him that shirt for our anniversary, haha. #100happydays #hubby #cycling

Day 24, March 29th: With both Louis and Jonathan unemployed, the boys decided to go off on a cycling trip. Jonathan quit his job in order to pursue learning some new programming skills and I am really proud of him for being brave enough to try something new, and I am so glad that I am able to support him since he’s been so supportive of me through school and my job!

 

Day 26

Dinner date with @whelmingflood !! Love this great friend so much!! #100happydays

Day 25, March 30th: My great friend, Beth, kept me company while Jonathan was out of town. We both love trying new and interesting restaurant, so on that day, we tried Layla, and absolutely loved it!  The gooey butter baklava was out of this world!

Day 27

 

Guess who is going to be an Aunt again?? So excited for my sister-in-law and her family! #100happydays

Day 26, March 31st: My sister-in-law, Monika, announced (officially, and adorably) on Facebook that she is pregnant again! I absolutely LOVE being an aunt and I am so excited for her family!

Day 28

Bonus! My boss brought me Starbucks. Yum!!#100happydays

Day 27, April 1st: My boss loves me. Yum. Caramel macchiato.

Day 29

Look what I won at the work Easter egg hunt!#100happydays #easter #chocolatebunny

Day 28, April 2nd: Another makes-me-fat day at work 😉  We had an Easter egg hunt, and inside each Easter egg was a number that could be traded in for a prize. Mine was this chocolate bunny, filled with cookie dough… yummm.

Day 30

So full and so happy! #100happydays #celebritychefs#vegas #b&bristorante #food

Day 29, April 3rd: So, on April 2nd, we also flew out to Vegas! Our second day in Sin City, we had a dinner that really felt sinful!  We are at B & B Ristorante, owned by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  This was probably the best dinner of my lifetime. Every course was delicious, the service was impeccable. I could not ask for more from a dining experience!

Day 30

 

The sun was bright so we had some struggles not squinting, but we are having a fun day today!#100happydays #vegas

Day 30, April 4th: We went on a tour to Hoover Dam, and on the way we had a quick photo stop at the iconic Las Vegas sign. The tour was really cool and interesting, and I have more photos from Vegas and the tour, but this was my “happy day” shot because the sign was cool and I loved that we captured the fun of our vacation!

Recipe Round Up: Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Slaw and Butternut Squash Soup

paleo pork slaw and soup

 

I’ve been trying to keep my meals simple and focus on protein, veggies, and fruit. This lends itself really well to paleo recipes, so I wanted to share the recipes that I tried last night.

Last night, we had a grilled pork chop, with a stone fruit slaw and a side of butternut squash soup.

Here are the links to the recipes we tried, and thought were absolutely DELICIOUS:

Pork Chop and Stone Fruit Slaw

Butternut Squash Soup

Alysha’s Crispy Chicken Thighs & Veggies

Day 13

So this fine specimen of dinner is a creation of Alysha’s – and boy was it tasty!

And simple.

So I am going to share it with you:

Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

2 chicken thighs, skin on

2 cups brussels sprouts, washed and halved.

2 onions, sliced

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons Tony Chachare’s seasoning (or really, ANY seasoning you want!)

Cooking: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil. Make sure it is very hot – you can do this by doing the water droplet test (a drop of water should sizzle in the oil!). While the coconut oil is heating, rub the seasoning on the top and bottom of chicken breasts.

2. Once oil is hot, place the chicken skin-side down in the oil. It should sizzle. Throw in the onions around the chicken. Let the chicken cook about 5-7 minute or until skin is browned and crispy.

3. Flip the chicken over and let the under side cook about 2-3 minutes, so the chicken no longer looks raw.

4. Move the chicken skin side up to an 8×8 baking dish. Put onions around the chicken. Leave stove ON.

5. Put the brussels sprouts in the still hot skillet that the chicken was in. Saute for 2 minutes. Turn stove OFF. (I always forget to do that 😉 )

6. Put the sprouts in the 8×8 dish around the chicken. The chicken skin should not have vegetables on top or it will get soggy.

7. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Voila!

Here are some extra notes about this recipe:

  • You can swap out the seasonings for ANYTHING you want, and make the chicken whatever flavor your heart desires!
  • You can swap out the veggies! We did sprouts. We also did green beans. You could do just onions with the chicken for flavor, and then cook another veggie on the side or have a salad. the possibilities are endless!
  • This can easily be scaled up for a family by adding more chicken thighs and more vegetables, or scaled down for one.. or you could make six at once and have leftovers!  Reheats nicely in the oven!
  • You could do this without the chicken skin — its not as tasty, but it does make it a smidge healthier. I say a smidge because I built out this recipe in LoseIt and here is what I found

ChickenandBSproutsNutrition

Super filling and UNDER 500 calories!  This assumes you eat 1 chicken thigh, half a cup of onions and 1 cup of brussels sprouts.

  • This is gluten free, dairy free, and it can be paleo if you make sure to use a paleo friendly seasoning.
  • this was also inexpensive! We bought a big pack of chicken thighs. If I scaled out the costs of all the ingredients, this was under $5 per person!
  • In conclusion: healthy, tasty, easy, inexpensive, and able to modify for endless options. Sounds like the perfect dinner to me!

Spicing Up That Salad

I like to poll my facebook friends for ideas, suggestion and advice. I usually get an assortment of types of answerers – close friends, acquaintances, former classmates, people I forgot were even on facebook…. but this post was one of my most popular posts in awhile (popularity, of course, being judged by the number of comments):

Facebook poll: what fruits, veggies, or seasoning would you add to a salad to give it some kick? I don’t care for salad dressing or nuts, and trying to avoid dairy and processed foods. Any ideas?

So you can see, I explicitly asked for suggestions that would take my daily lunch to a new level, but without adding the extra sugars, processed foods, or other junk that is honestly calories wasted on a salad and better saved for dessert (oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of the gloriousness that was the pineapple upside down cake that I made for a coworker’s birthday today!)

The ideas ranged the gamut, so I thought I’d share some tidbits with you guys:

macncheese

Thanks for the warning – I will not be trying Mac & Cheese.  However, I do love STRAWBERRIES!

I paired that with this tidbit of advice:

kale and mint

And the end result was this beauty:

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What I had for lunch all week after asking for advice — It’s a romaine/kale blend (the kale is on the bottom, I should have tossed that a bit better) with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with mint and sat over night.

Yum!

Here are some other responses to my poll — some of which I may need to be trying in the very near future!

saira salad

Great ideas!  I love jicama. I usually just eat it raw. I never thought about toasted oats or barley!

Some other popular ideas on my facebook were:

  • avocados
  • pico de gallo / salsa
  •  fruit such as mandarin oranges, pears, craisins, and apples
  • herbs such as mint, cilantro, and basil
  • alternate dressing ideas such as lemon juice, balsamic vinegars, and tomatoes cooked with a touch of honey

All in all, what I am getting at is that your salad does not have to be plain and boring to stay healthy! There are thousands of combinations. We also don’t need to hide our vegetables under layers and layers of ranch dressing… gross!

And I was glad to see so many ideas and suggestions– and to maybe even inspire some of my friends:

gwyn salad

Anyone else having a salad this week? 🙂

Better Breakfast

The word breakfast literally means to break one’s fast. A fast is a time of not eating. So breakfast is literally the time of day where we give our bodies the nourishment that it has not received during our slumber.

You can argue that our bodies need less energy during the night, to which I would agree. But breakfast skippers (my former self included) find themselves not eating until lunch time. Guilty as charged. On an average night, if I went to bed around 11, and ate lunch at noon, that means I was leaving my body without proper nourishment for 13 hours! And by the time I ate, I would crave sugary, fatty foods. And lots of it.

So I started eating breakfast.

I have been thinking about breakfast a lot lately, and doing a bit of Google-research. I find study after study that says eating breakfast has no effect on health or weight loss. And study after study that says it does. So where is the truth in it?

I’ll put up a big disclaimer – I am not an expert. I did not conduct a study. But I can say this:

The studies that seemed to prove that eating breakfast didn’t matter did not control WHAT the eater ate for said breakfast. For example, both studies cited in this article, “Is Breakfast Overrated?” only seemed to control whether participants ate breakfast. No information is given about what was eaten.

In contrast, articles that were proponents of breakfast talk about high protein breakfasts, or low glycemic index breakfasts, and the effects on the participants. This website provides a list of studies addressing the importance of breakfast, if you’re interested: Breakfast Studies

I used to be a poptarts kind of breakfast girl. When I got into calorie counting, I nixed those, and breakfast all together as everything I considered to be a great breakfast ended up being most of the calories I would allot myself for the day. I don’t know what you eat for breakfast, but my typical breakfasts might have been:

– Poptarts on the go

– pancakes with syrup

– scrambled eggs with muffins

– eggs over easy with toast

Carb-laden goodness with a side of butter and sugar of some sort!

A Google image search for “typical American breakfast” pulls up pictures that have eggs, bacon, pancakes (with butter and syrup), a glass of juice, and a glass of coffee.

I did a poll on Facebook to see what some of my peers were eating, and some responses included:

– green smoothies

– oatmeal with peanut butter and/or banana

– chicken

– cereal

– a ham sandwich

– toast with peanut butter and banana

– just coffee

– And the closest response to the American “classic” : two eggs, an english muffin with butter and jam, and apple juice

The Case for a Better Breakfast

I used to fall asleep in class. I used to start my day with a sugar/carb laden breakfast, then a healthy-ish lunch, and I would still feel exhausted by 2. or I would skip breakfast and have a heavy lunch. Same result. Even if I had a “healthy-ish” breakfast – for a long time greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a squirt of agave was my go-to healthy breakfast!- i still ran out of energy and felt tired through out the day.

Then I was challenged to eat protein and VEGETABLES for breakfast. Gross, right? It really was, the first week. Once I got myself out of my American way of thinking about breakfast, it really changed how I approach my meals.

This website shows Breakfast Around the World, and I was surprised to see some veggies make a cameo on the breakfast plate!

Long story short, for the last few months I have been eating breakfast daily, and I typically eat a protein and a vegetable. I have more energy, feel better, and my weight has been creeping down. Just eating a good breakfast won’t guarantee weight loss, but it is a strong way to start the day — with the right nutrients so you have energy and can crack down on those cravings!

For ideas on how to add veggies into your morning meal, you can see what two of my favorite breakfast go-to’s are, as well as peruse Buzzfeed’s 29 Ways to eat More Vegetables at Breakfast.

Breakfast 1: Slowcooked Chicken with Snow Peas and BlueBerries 

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This breakfast eases the stress of morning food prep – I throw the chicken into the slow cooker the night before, and when morning comes around, I am awoken to the delightful scent of savory chicken. Throw it on the plate with some veggies and some blueberries, and you are all set!

Any slowcooker chicken recipe will work, but one of my favorites is below. It makes plenty for multiple meals, which is also a bonus!

1 can tomatoes

2 chicken breasts, 3 thighs

1/2 onion

1 tspn garlic powder

1/2 tspn onion powder

1 tspn italian seasoning

salt and pepper to preference

Toss in the slowcooker on low over night, and VOILA! Done!

Breakfast 2: Brussels Sprouts Power Bowl

IMG_2167

Okay, clearly my over-easy egg needs a little help. Gordon Ramsay?  Personal Lesson?  Just kidding! (but not really!) I’ll keep trying and if I get a better picture, I’ll edit this. 🙂

This delight is a little more work intensive, but it’s worth it!

2 ounces lean ground beef (or turkey!)

1/2 cup brussels sprouts, sliced into thin rounds (that’s the irritating part, but worth it!)

1 tspn coconut oil

1/4 onion

1/2 tspn paprika

1/2 tspn oregano

1/2 tspn red chili flakes

1/2 tspn garlic salt

1 egg

pepper to taste

Saute onions and all seasonings in coconut oil until tender. Add meat, cook until nearly done. add brussels sprouts. Saute 5 minutes. While sauteeing, cook an over easy egg. Serve egg on top. The yolk will taste so rich and delightful when it oozes out all over your breakfast!

Work day nibbles!

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I thought I would share an example of the food I am taking to stay full and away from the vending machine all day at work! What we have pictured for today is:
Half an avocado
Salad with romaine, cucumbers, bell pepper, homemade peach vinaigrette, and a sliced hard boiled egg
Almonds
Cherries
Cucumber, jicama, carrots, and green beans

Yummy clean eating snacks for my workday!