Check out what YDR staffers used for #brownbagyork

There’s a just a few days left to participate in the Brown Bag Challenge by either commenting on our daily posts or sharing a photo of your lunch by using #brownbagyork.

We asked some of our YDR staff members to share photos of their own packed lunches. Here’s the roundup:

You might not even scroll through the rest of the feed after this one. Our political reporter Ed Mahon's son, Ben, stopped by for lunch one day.

You might not even scroll through the rest of the feed after this one. Our political reporter Ed Mahon’s son, Ben, stopped by for lunch one day.

Editor Susan Martin really filled up on healthy items earlier this week!

Editor Susan Martin really filled up on healthy items earlier this week!

Education reporter Angie Mason has chicken casserole for a late night shift. Yum!

Education reporter Angie Mason has chicken casserole for a late night shift. Yum!

General assignment reporter Brandie Kessler had leftover taco casserole - vegetarian style!

General assignment reporter Brandie Kessler had leftover taco casserole – vegetarian style!

Day metro editor Kate Harmon showed off this tasty sandwich and grapes.

Day metro editor Kate Harmon showed off this tasty sandwich and grapes.

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#Brownbagyork: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich isn’t just for kids

lunch

Packing my lunch each day for work really depends on what is available in my fridge or in my cupboards. It can be an adventure sometimes, and the results can also be a very strange combination of foods.

I don’t just pack for lunch. In a 9 hour work day I need to eat several times throughout the day to sustain my energy and productivity while working. So that means a snack either midway before lunch or after lunch. And there is one snack that is always my “go to” or “fall back” or even sometimes a lunch substitute.

brownbaglogoA peanut butter and banana sandwich! Two pieces of 100% whole grain bread, slathered with peanut butter, and a whole banana sliced into pieces. Delicious. I can never go wrong packing a peanut butter banana sandwich.

When looking for a healthy snack that will fill you up without slowing you down, look for none other that the PBB sandwich. This healthy sandwich packs a powerful nutritional punch. 40g+ of whole grain carbohydrates for energy. Continue reading “#Brownbagyork: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich isn’t just for kids” »

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Chase Your Happiest – You Are Not A Tree

I shared this last week on Lindsay Weighs In but I’ve got to share it again here, because I want you all to be chasing your happiest. Enjoy! 

It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony of day to day to life. To accept that even if you aren’t happy, that you’re happy enough, and that’s okay, right?

If you don't like where you are

I refuse to accept that.

I could have stayed overweight. I was happy enough.

I could have not tried to further my career by going to Grad school. I was happy enough.

I could have stayed in my old place. I was happy enough.

I could settle for just anyone to date. I can be happy enough.

Happy enough isn’t good enough for me.

You can stay in a job you’re not right for, or that you don’t really like. You’re happy enough.

You can stay in a relationship that doesn’t fulfill you. You’re happy enough.

You can choose not to chase your dreams. You’re happy enough.

So Many Trips Around The Sun

I’m a firm believer in that you only get so many years, so many months, so many days here on this earth, and that you have to do what makes you happy.

Not Just Happy Enough

Chase your dreams. Reach your goals. Fall in love, deeply and hard. Go after career goals. Raise a family. Find your perfect home.

Don’t settle for happy enough. Chase the HAPPIEST you can be.

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Better or worse: Make the healthy choice for your lunch

Better or worse: A personal apple pie might seem like a convenient item to toss in your lunch bag but it's loaded with fat and calories. One no sugar added pie has 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 9 grams saturated fat and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Opt for apples slices and peanut butter, instead. Half an apple with one tablespoon peanut butter has 170 calories, 11 grams fat, 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of filling protein. (Kate Penn — Daily Record/Sunday News)

Better or worse: A personal apple pie might seem like a convenient item to toss in your lunch bag but it’s loaded with fat and calories. One no sugar added pie has 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 9 grams saturated fat and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Opt for apples slices and peanut butter, instead. Half an apple with one tablespoon peanut butter has 170 calories, 11 grams fat, 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of filling protein. (Kate Penn — Daily Record/Sunday News)

Packing a nutritionally dense lunch is sometimes more challenging than it seems.

You forgot to pack a lunch the night before and hitting the snooze button one too many times has left you with little hope of eating anything healthy today.

It’s easy to throw $10 at a takeout lunch, but over the course of a year — or even a few weeks – the cost can add up. When we eat out, we’re also often faced with enormous servings and fatty options that can be gulped down in a hurry.

When you pack your lunches at home, you control the cost and the serving size.

There are simple ways to ensure you’re packing the best options, too.

Experts suggest a balanced meal. Continue reading “Better or worse: Make the healthy choice for your lunch” »

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#Brownbagyork: Take that break! Making sure you step away and recharge

Flickr photo by David Goehring

Flickr photo by David Goehring

Have you ever sat down at your desk at about 9 a.m., looked up after what feels like 15 minutes, and the clock says 5 p.m. instead?

Wait, what? How did eight hours go by so fast?

It could be our addiction to the screen. In Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte‘s book “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time,” she cites that when you add up time in front of the television, computer, smartphones and other devices, “one study found that screen time for American adults, not counting work on computers, can hit an astounding 8.5 hours a day, the most time sucking of any developed country in the world.” (pg. 239-240) Yes, this includes not at work. Continue reading “#Brownbagyork: Take that break! Making sure you step away and recharge” »

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Healthy cooking: Sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds


Pumpkin seeds are a great snack if you’re looking to fill up on some healthy nutrients without breaking your calorie bank. These simple recipes, both spicy and sweet, help add some excitement to plain pumpkin seeds.

Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash. 

One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc as well as plant-based omega-3s . 

One cup has just 285 calories, so a small handful will go a long way. Continue reading “Healthy cooking: Sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds” »

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#Brownbagyork: Pack inexpensive, healthy lunches your kids will eat

Arielle Fallon, age 4, bites into a pear from a Wholesome Tummies lunch (Photo by Paul Kuehnel)

Arielle Fallon bites into a pear from a Wholesome Tummies lunch (file photo)

Convenience comes with a price — even when packing kids’ lunches.

It’s easy to throw in a Lunchable and a snack bag of pretzels, but is it worth the cost?

For the most part, no, with items we checked out at Giant Food Stores, ranging from Goldfish crackers to sliced cheddar cheese.

Pretzels were the cheapest to buy in a 16-ounce bag instead of snack bags, while Oreo cookies were the only items cheaper to buy portioned.

But will kids appreciate items parents hand-packed more than pre-packed snacks?
Continue reading “#Brownbagyork: Pack inexpensive, healthy lunches your kids will eat” »

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The waaaaiting is the hardest part

You guys, Tom Petty totally gets me. Waiting is the PITS.

todoI am officially out of things I can do to prepare for my marathon this weekend. Miles have been logged, suitcases packed, all that’s left is getting on the freaking plane.

“You know Kate, you could spend some of that nervous energy scouting good restaurants around your hotel.”

Sorry friend, I’ve already created a vast listing that includes highlights of each eatery, as well as hours, website, and proximity to my hotel.

“Wow, that’s kind of…crazy. Why don’t you check the weather, get a feel for what race conditions might be like.” Continue reading “The waaaaiting is the hardest part” »

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#Brownbagyork: Packing for lunch on the go

As a photojournalist, my days are unpredictable. My schedule can completely change at a moment’s notice, and there are plenty of days when my car is my office. But I’m also the hungriest person I know, and need regular meals and snacks. Some photographers say they work better hungry…I just get angry. So I’ve become a master of packing lunches that can be eaten anywhere. If my car is going to be my office, I make sure it can be my lunchroom too.

If you’re on the go and don’t have access to a refrigerator or microwave, I recommend packing a bunch of smaller foods that cover all your bases. This is especially helpful if, like me, you can’t always sit down at the same time to eat one big meal. If I have a shoot that goes 5-7pm, I can’t wait until 7:30 to eat dinner. By then I will have raged out of control and smashed the nearest snack machine. So I might snack on some almonds and an apple while I’m driving to the shoot, and then grab my sandwich after.

A hungry Kate is a miserable Kate. I pack my lunch with filling foods that don't require a kitchen so I can eat on the go.

A hungry Kate is a miserable Kate. I pack my lunch with filling foods that don’t require a kitchen so I can eat on the go.

I work a 10 hour shift. Here’s a typical example of what I bring to tide me over.

Turkey sandwich
Apple
Yogurt
Granola Bar
Almonds
Carrots and Hummus
2nd granola bar or cheese stick

I use an insulated lunch bag, and pack it with freezer blocks to make sure the goods stay cold. I also bring any utensils I might need, like a spoon for the yogurt, so I can eat that wherever I am when I get hungry. I pack my sandwich and almonds in separate plastic containers so they don’t get smushed throughout the day. Continue reading “#Brownbagyork: Packing for lunch on the go” »

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#Brownbagyork: Staples to keep on hand to make packing easy

Use easy, packing-friendly containers when you're preparing your meals. PHOTO BY JULIE STEFANSKI

Use easy, packing-friendly containers when you’re preparing your meals. PHOTO BY JULIE STEFANSKI

By Julie Stefanski, dietitian with WellSpan

When was the last time you took to the road for a week-long vacation without even a single item packed?

Before a vacation, most people prepare by thinking about what to pack, possibly making a list, getting everything ready, and taking those items along to have the best trip possible.

In the same way- how well does your lunch turn out if you don’t think about it ahead of time, skip bringing anything from home, and just wing it as you go?  Probably not as healthy as it could be, right?

To change your daily lunch habits it’s important to come up with a game plan to make an effective change.  Continue reading “#Brownbagyork: Staples to keep on hand to make packing easy” »

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