a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Jan, 2016

Back to lunch

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I was going to throw in the towel on my Daily Lunches project on January 1. My meals were a little bit sad and I really didn’t have the energy to pull it together. I really wasn’t feeling it anymore. I was boring myself. I was in Total Lunchtime Limbo for a while but I kept slogging on. Just as I was going to call it quits I looked through the Flickr set of all my accumulated lunches and I thought, THAT IS A LOT OF LUNCHES LADY.

And then I took the time to look through a few that included lunch with friends and family in fun places:

July 24 #dailylunches - a picnic at High Falls in Algonquin Park

November 21 #dailylunches - vermicelli bowl at the Spring Roll House

November 28 #dailylunches - chicken nachos at Churchill's

This project isn’t about food, it’s about me, and collecting the memories that go along with each meal no matter what.

It is a self-indulgent project, but the way I see it, just because I was suffering a mental low doesn’t mean I should abandon it. In fact, that was part of the deal I made with myself when I started. It had to be an honest look at what I was eating every day whether it was healthy, junky, pretty, or ugly.

I’m not objective enough to step back and speculate about what my lunches say about me. What do other people eat for lunch every day? I really have no idea. Do people generally take the time to make a lunch or not?

When it’s taken as a whole, the Daily Lunches project takes on more significant meaning. It’s a visual journal, it’s a recipe book, it’s a slice of history that hasn’t quite become historical. (Think about this for a moment. Would you like to see what your grandmother ate every day? I would!) And so, with that, I’ve decided to keep this collection going a bit longer.

This was one dish I made recently that some of you might appreciate:

January 10 #dailylunches - black bean and sweet potato bowl, part two

This lunch is a keeper for sure. (It’s based on this recipe.) I made the black bean “base” salad – with the dressing – the day before and added different toppings over the next couple of days. You could probably add a grain in there too, such as quinoa. Avocado, cilantro, tomato, chopped lettuce, diced peppers all made great additions to this. It was filling, and healthy, and full of flavour.

Now to figure out what to eat today… ;)

4 Responses to "Back to lunch"

1 | Lynn

January 13th, 2016 at 3:34 pm


Sad to say, as someone who works from home, I almost never take time to make and eat a lunch. I usually get hungry around 11 a.m., wander into the kitchen and grab a banana and a yogurt, and eat it in front of my computer. I’ve always admired the way you really take time out of your day to take a moment, not just to eat, but to rest and reflect and really think about what you’re eating and sharing. Glad to see you’re going to keep it up!

2 | Katie

January 13th, 2016 at 7:53 pm


Hi Andrea,
I am glad you will keep this going. It reminds me to eat for myself, enjoy food, practice mindfulness, and share. It is good accountability for you, and me! Thank you!

3 | andrea tomkins

January 15th, 2016 at 10:28 am


Thanks guys! I appreciate your comments and support. It’s been an interesting little project so far and I’ve learned a few things about myself. I think it’s improved my eating habits as I’m less likely to eat over the sink… although I do sometimes eat at my desk. (Although I try hard not to!)

4 | Tarah

January 16th, 2016 at 6:01 am


As you already know I love your #dailylunches posts! And they have definitely inspired me over the years. For example one of my 2016 resolutions is to batch book a high protein vegetarian dish on Mondays to eat for lunches during the week. So far I’ve made a Greek chickpea salad and a 5 bean salad. After reading this post I’m going to make this salad for this coming week!

Keep them coming! I will be following.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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