My life has been creeping up into the realm of exorbitantly busy of the last few months. I went from working 2-3 days a week to full-time – 5 days a week – for the first time in my life! I know, I know, I’m a wimp.
When you’re trying to live an active, healthy lifestyle, work can sometimes get in the way. No more writing papers and reading stacks of books at home (my graduate school pattern) – no more painfully boring but totally unstructured unemployment! My typical days now looks something like this:
5 – 5:30 am – wake up, bike to the gym for either swim practice or weights with my husband. I’ve left the house for good at this point.
7:30 – bike from the gym to the BART station and take the train to work.
8:15-8:30 – stop at a cafe by the museum for coffee before heading to my desk. This is when I eat breakfast: at my desk once I get to work. I get there a tad early so I can relax for a few minutes with my coffee and overnight oats.
8:30 am – 5 pm: work! I always go outside for lunch, which I pack every day.
5 – 5:45 pm – BART and bike home
…till 9:30 or 10 pm – make and eat dinner; make my lunch and Lee’s lunch for the next day (usually interspersed with making dinner); gather my gym gear and work clothes for the next day; sit down on the couch for 5 seconds while I eat dessert; go to bed.
That’s my action-packed day (hah!). As you can see, 2 out of 3 meals and many snacks are eaten on the go. That means I’m really packing breakfast, lunch, and snacks every evening. I’ve become pretty efficient at this but there is always room for improvement. My breakfast, for example, is almost always overnight oats (made with greek yogurt and chia seeds + pumpkin this time of year and eaten with a banana). I get my leisurely bowls of hot oatmeal on the weekends. When pressed for time, however, it’s really nice to have a grab-and-go alternative for breakfast.
That’s where CORE Foods comes in! I met CORE at the DailyBuzz Food blogger fest in the fall. Their tiny little samples of wonderfully simple meal bars won me over right away. According to the CORE website, Each pack is one full bowl of raw oatmeal-to go. Oatmeal I don’t have to assemble or cook?! Sign me up! These aren’t you’re average sugar laden granola bars or protein bars packed with artificial ingredients either. CORE bars are made of what I’d actually put in my bowl every morning: oats, nuts, fruit…5-7 locally grown ingredients.
The company, which is a nonprofit, recommends drinking two glasses of water along with your CORE meal. That makes for a fully-fueled, satisfied belly for a good long while.
I sat down to my desk with my Warrior Meal, a banana, coffee, and water. I tried to eat the bar slowly and mindfully, as I tend to wolf-down things like this. The bar was good! I loved the chewy consistency and natural level of sweetness. I had a fantastic breakfast without the preparation and bulky container to transport. All three flavors were great and contained just the right amount of breakfast calories for me when paired with some fruit. They bars also held up well in my bag: no squished, melted stuff here.
An even better use for a Warrior Meal: breakfast on the ski bus on the way to Tahoe last weekend! I woke up starving after sleeping for the first half of the drive (4:30-6:30 am) and was so, so glad I’d brought my own, real-food breakfast. The Warrior Meal gave me much better lasting energy for snowboarding that the crappy bus-provided breakfast would have.
Since CORE bars aren’t loaded with preservatives, they store best at cold temperatures – at least in the fridge but the freezer is best. I’d like to add a box of these bars to my freezer for easy meals but I might have to get a bigger freezer first (mine is painfully tiny)!