Making every lunch count

Let’s talk lunch today – and what better time to do so than What I ate Wednesday!

Not too long ago, still, lunch was hardly ever happening for me in proper fashion. I didn’t skip it per se but was constantly finding excuses to either make it consist of many small snacks or a huge pile of steamed vegetables. Lately, I’ve even been getting more daring with changing up my lunch pretty much every day and even creating my own recipes.


This might not sound huge for some but the possibility of a meal failure and – the horror – “wasted” calories kept me from experimenting in the kitchen. That meant I was eating the same few staple meals over and over again. All for the sake of “feeling safe”. Granted, I do still need to work on some of my other meals and snacks but for now I’ll make every different lunch count as a step forward in recovery.

Asparagus quinoa II

Breakfast, however , is something I usually settle with and change up only once every blue moon. Don’t fix what isn’t broke, right? Seeing Michelle’s recipe for Apricot Baked Oatmeal, though, I decided it was time to test a new breakfast. Being a little rebel in the kitchen I didn’t follow along her recipe exactly but used it as a guideline mixing it up with other ideas found online.  While my blueberry baked oats were a long-time favourite these didn’t win me over completely. Not that they were bad but I prefer my oats a bit creamier  – some might say almost soupy 😉 – and that’s obviously not what these are meant to be. Still, adding apricots to oatmeal is a great idea worth giving a try.

Once again topped with nut butter and drowned in soy milk post-picture.

Once again topped with nut butter and drowned in soy milk post-picture.

In case you wondered after my last post: yes, polenta did indeed make another appearance. If you’re following me on Twitter you might have already seen me declaring my polenta success on Friday. Success? Yes, absolutely. The secret? Cheese.  I’d been hesitant to add it before – calories, sigh – even though I remembered my former favourite polenta dish having been a cheesy one. On a mission to challenge myself I did add cheese and  … delicious. I might have even gone so far to declare it one of the best lunches in a while. Well, had it not been for the stellar ones to follow come the weekend.

Cheesy polenta

Third time’s a charm.

As mentioned above I’ve actually gotten more adventurous creating recipes myself. One of those that I’d dreamed up in my head and finally put into practice were Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce Speltberries. Just as good as I’d imagined them – yet more proof it’s worth daring a little kitchen experimentation.

Red Pepper Cream Speltberries

No, I haven’t forgotten about my tease regarding last weekend’s baking shenanigans. There you go: Oreo-stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies – and yes, they’re vegan.

Oreo brownies

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today:  Seeing pictures of a friend’s first ever own apartment – so excited for her.

Which new recipes have you tried lately?

Do you enjoy creating your own recipes?

27 thoughts on “Making every lunch count

  1. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the polenta with cheese! As you know, I always add cheese to mine, as I believe it transforms the humble grain from “ehh” to amazing. Your roasted red pepper cream sauce looks absolutely incredible; can I convince you to share the recipe? Please?! 😉

    Your thoughts about stepping outside your comfort zone during lunch really resonate with me. During the depths of my ED, I rarely ate a proper mid-day meal either, and if I did, it was always one of 2-3 super safe options. The thought of “wasting calories,” as you put it, was unbearable! Taking baby steps was key for me, and now I’m much more willing – even excited about – being adventurous. That said, I still tend to stick to my favorites most days of the week. 🙂

    The Oreo brownies look knock-your-sock-off amazing. No more teasing allowed, missy! Sending huge hugs your way! xoxo ❤

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      It was actually your comment that gave me that much needed final push to dare adding cheese to my polenta so thanks for that, Sara!
      Yes, I’m getting excited about being more adventurous in the kitchen with every baby step I take, too. No more sticking to the same foods all of the time.
      I’ll make a note to write down the recipe for the roasted red pepper sauce and post it soon.
      Sending hugs back <3!

  2. Caitlyn says:

    Looks awesome! It took me awhile, once I got into the real world this year, to come around to eat lunch. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to eat and what kept me full. Those brownies sound right up my alley 🙂

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Finding out what works for me and what doesn’t was tricky for me at first, too. The longer I’ve been at it, though, the easier it gets. Great to hear it’s been working for you, too!

  3. Emily says:

    Yay! Good for you for changing things up. It’s fun, right?!
    I tend to get stuck in food ruts too, especially with lunch, but I’ve been that way since I was little. I find something I like and eat it every day until I’m bored, then find something new. I definitely could use some more variety though!
    And you’re killing me with the picture of those Oreo Cookie Dough Brownies- I’m drooling!

  4. Tiff says:

    I don’t make a ton of recipes on my own, but I like whipping up a few new creations now and then.

    Pass me those brownies!!! 🙂

  5. Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie says:

    Good for you on challenging yourself at lunch! I have to admit, I’m usually not so creative at lunchtime but I’ve been trying not to rely on salads every single day and switching things up every few days if I get stuck in a food rut.

    I’ve been experimenting with a lot of raw recipes lately and I’ve been pretty successful with both a raw French toast and raw pancake recipe!

  6. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    I remember being pretty terrified to experiment in the kitchen as well. You’re right… the thought of wasting calories on a meal that I didn’t enjoy was just too much to bear. But eventually, as I began to progress further into recovery and realize that there was so much more to life than food, my meals no longer held so much weight and I wasn’t so afraid of not liking what I ate. After all, it’s not like it’ll be your last meal ever, right? But I think it’s awesome that you’re doing some more experimenting 🙂

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      It’s so true that none of those “failed” meals will be my last ones and truly freeing not to regret every single bite I didn’t enjoy as much as I’d hoped. Thanks for your support once again – it has really helped me!

  7. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says:

    I used to do the SAME Thing with lunch and dinner! I’d end up with a huge pile of steamed veggies and “safe” food and I was never satisfied!! I’ve relaxed a lot more, and I’m having way more fun in the kitchen 🙂

  8. livliveslife says:

    Oh my goodness, you seriously have some of the best looking food in the blog world! Yum. I saw that recipe for baked oats, and I might give it a go – I like my oats more solid than soupy. Just personal taste, I guess!
    I’ve never had creamy polenta before, but I really want to. Adding cheese to anything like that is a good choice! 🙂
    Whoa whoa whoa. Do you have that cookie brownie recipe somewhere?? I need it in my life. Those look incredible!!

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Aw, thanks, Liv! If you like baked oats definitely give the recipe a try – apricots are a great add-in.
      I got the brownie recipe from a German blog so I can’t publish it one here. In case you’re interested, though, I could either give you the link – Google translator should work in a pinch – or translate and mail it to you.

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