a peek inside the fishbowl

27 Feb, 2009

Eating lunch

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

This was my lunch yesterday:


Not that exciting, I know, but I’ve been inspired to focus on myself and my eating habits.

Call it a midlife crisis, but this is going to be the summer I buy myself a two-piece bathing suit!

I’ve realized that if I don’t want to pig out at dinner I need to eat regular healthy snacks during the day. I used to pooh-pooh this idea but I’ve tried it and it really works for me.

I eat breakfast. I’ll have something mid-morning (like a boiled egg), lunch around noon, and then something in the afternoon around 2:00 (like a sliced apple with almond butter). In lieu of a second coffee (I’ve been drawing the line at one cup of Really Good Coffee in the morning) I’ve been brewing some green tea in the afternoon. (I finally found a suitable mug! I know this might sound bizarre, but I can’t drink it out of a traditional coffee mug and my Japanese tea cups were cute but too small.)

Around 4:00 p.m. I like to have a bowl of soup. This has worked miracles for me. It totally takes the edge off and makes me a happier person. I’ve tried a couple of different recipes, broccoli soup, carrot, one with chickpeas etc. if anyone has some fave soup recipes please share! (Marla posted a great one in the comments of this post.)

Come dinner I have one helping of the “main,” a small amount of carb, and will only have seconds if it’s the vegetable. (Related: I discovered this amazing sesame roasted cauliflower recipe the other day.)

I’m putting my foot down and not eating after dinner. This is a tough one because Mark is exceptionally good at making popcorn and it’s very hard to resist.

As for today, well, I am going to throw all this to the wind because there’s going to be an influx of baked goods coming into the house. But more on that later. ;)

13 Responses to "Eating lunch"

1 | The Veg Next Door

February 27th, 2009 at 8:56 am


That soup looks delicious! I love your new eating plan. It is advised to eat a bowl of soup before dinner to take the edge off. Keep us posted.

2 | andrea

February 27th, 2009 at 9:06 am


I’ve read studies about eating bowls of salad before dinner too. Apparently those who eat a salad before their main meal are less likely to want a second helping. Or eat half a baguette.

3 | Chantal

February 27th, 2009 at 9:08 am


I think you need to post the recipe for the soup in the photo cause it looks awesome!!!

It was great to meet you last night. I really appreciate the night out and the chance to meet you, Lynn and Krista. What FUN!!! Now that I have met my first live bloggers and lived to tell about it, I may just have to wander around Barrehaven till I find Dani ;).

4 | Vicki Thomas

February 27th, 2009 at 10:20 am


Sounds like you’re sticking to the clean eating principles. I’ve found great success with this “eating method”.

I don’t have a soup recipe but I do have a great salad recipe. My husband loves it and he isn’t much a salad eater….

Perfect for lunch or supper: Spinach, Apple, Turkey Sausage, Quinoa salad

– cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water – let cool
– I use the lean pre-cooked turkey sausages from M & M – very tasty and not full of nasty stuff – steam 6 sausages in a 1/2 cup of water then pan-fry in a small amount of olive oil
– let sausage cool and then slice into medallions
– core two apples and chop into smallish pieces

– in a medium bowl toss the cooled quinoa, cooled sliced sausage, apple, three or four big handfuls of spinach, and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

Dressing is up to you – we use the President’s Choice Blue Menu Raspberry Vinaigrette.

This is a great salad – filling, chock full of protein, goodness of spinach and the sweetness of the apples. The walnuts give an extra little crunch.

The salad will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

5 | Chantal

February 27th, 2009 at 10:42 am


Andrea, my sister just forwarded me a link to a local (Cornwall) company that makes reusable produce bags. Sorta like the ones you make. I would put the link in here but I know your spam filter would pick it up. Search for Stewardbags and you be able to find it. I know you like local and enviro, this meets both criteria.

6 | Karen at Virtually There

February 27th, 2009 at 12:22 pm


I love the idea of having some soup or salad before dinner to take the edge off and help eat less of the less-good stuff at dinner. I’m going to start to try that. I’ve been having a big apple before dinner which I also find helps a lot.

I have a great soup recipe I’ve been making a lot this winter. It is a broccoli carrot soup:

Take a head of broccoli and cut the florets into really small pieces. Peel and chop the stems. Melt butter in saucepan. Throw in some chopped onion, celery and garlic. Cook til soft. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and stir until absorbed. Slide pan off heat and slowly add 6 cups chicken stock, a bit at a time to avoid lumps. Return to heat. Add broccoli stems, some dried thyme and a couple of bay leaves. Simmer, covered, until everything is tender. Puree then return to heat. Stir in 2 large grated carrots. Cook, covered, about 10 minutes. Stir in florets. Simmer about 5 more minutes. Stir in 2 cups milk, salt and pepper. Heat without boiling. Serve with a sprinkling of shredded old cheddar.

So good! And freezes well too. My kids love it.

7 | porter

February 27th, 2009 at 12:50 pm


What is the lunch in the photo??? Looks great and I love how you garnish your food (of course hot sauce!).

I love this recipe ‘Minnesota Wild Rice soup’


I’ve made it countless times and everytime I serve it to someone new I’m asked for the recipe. I don’t use cream, I use skim milk (sometimes I skip this part of the recipe all together) and you don’t need to use so much butter at the beginning.

8 | The Veg Next Door

February 27th, 2009 at 4:27 pm


Salads are great too. When we order something like pizza I always eat a salad so I don’t pig out on the pizza.

9 | andrea

February 28th, 2009 at 1:20 pm


Thanks all for your recipes/tips/encouragement. :)

The soup in the photo above isn’t homemade (!), it’s organic sweet potato soup with comes in a box (900ml?). I just pour out a serving when I need one. It’s pretty good.

I like adding my own fresh ingredients (and hot sauce!) to prepared soups. The best is freshly chopped cilantro and avocado on black bean soup. Yum.

10 | vanessa

March 2nd, 2009 at 10:14 am


that cauliflower recipe looks great – roasted veg are much tastier and the odd fried sprout or carrot tastes much sweeter than a boiled one – sealing the outside in line with a steak also saves time & you don’t have to rest them like meat either !

11 | DaniGirl

March 2nd, 2009 at 12:13 pm


Hey Andrea, two comments not quite on topic: first, I love that bowl and plate! My old fave dishes are nigh on ten years old and I will need to replace them or at least supplement the set soon. Yours are gorgeous!

And second comment: unless you’ve ballooned considerably since last we met, I’m betting you’d look just great in a two piece already!

*waves to Chantal*

12 | andrea

March 2nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm


Hee hee. Thanks Dani. No ballooning here! And the recent influx of baked goods hasn’t taken effect on my waistline (yet).

The bowl is old Ikea. The green plate is Fiesta ware I picked up at a yard sale last summer. I have four lunch-size and four dinner size. Yippee for good deals.

13 | The American Homemaker

March 2nd, 2009 at 8:37 pm


Not eating after dinner is the hardest thing for me!

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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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