Balsamic Pulled Chicken Bento Box with Salad Eggs and a Green Salad
I changed jobs about 2 months ago. There are a couple of things that happen to me when I change jobs. My sources of stress change (not more, and usually less, but it’s quite different). There are always the early questions in any new job that everyone asks themselves; questions like “Am I going to get along with my boss/co-workers?” keep coming back over the first several weeks. More importantly than those questions, though, are the changes in your habits. You may no longer have the same people to spend time with during the day, the same lunch spots that you’re used to, and your commute might be different. These each are sources of stress to your system, and while the euphoria of a new job typically masks them, that will wear off eventually.
I mention this all because when I change a job, that means that I stop running to work. Why? Because I wear my work shoes on the commute for the first several weeks of any job. I don’t want my new boss or new co-workers to see me walk in to work with my Vibram Fivefingers while my First Impression is still being formed – it’s much easier to change later and start to use them after a few weeks than it is to convince someone that, while I am weird, it won’t negatively affect my performance. So, I don’t run to work for the first several weeks. No big deal, right? 5 miles is less than 20% of even a low week of my running miles. And in terms of time, it’s probably even less significant than that: maybe accounting for 5-10% of my workout time. I shouldn’t worry about it, right?
Wrong. Let’s keep in mind that workouts are not just quantitative, they should also be qualitative. And each workout has a specific purpose. I have strength days 1-2 times each week, where the purpose of the workout is to seriously stress my muscles, causing strength to build. I have speed workouts, where I run as fast as I can over a specific distance, stressing my muscles to build more speed. And I have endurance workouts, where I run for a long time, or do planks or wall-sits for a long time, to build my endurance capacity. And then there are meditative and stress workouts. You’ve had a tough day, and to let that stress go, you pound on a heavy bag for a while, or you go out for a bike ride for an hour. These are just as important, in a very different way, as strength, speed, and endurance workouts are. And my morning 1-mile is a meditative workout. It’s as important to me as eating breakfast. Do I skip breakfast occasionally? Yes. Should I skip my morning 1-mile occasionally? Yes. But there are always adverse affects when I skip it for several days, or more. It adds to my stress levels. Or, rather, skipping it reduces my capacity to handle stress.
So I’ve just settled in enough to start running to work again, and I feel GREAT! I started last week, but hadn’t had a chance to mention it until today. I couldn’t be happier!! My work shirts are groaning in distress, knowing that their brief respite from my morning runs to work have ended, and that they’re going to have to deal with my sweaty neck again. I know, it’s no fun to get to work with sweat inside the collar of your shirt. But it’s so worth it for my 1 mile stress preparation runs every day! Welcome back morning 1-milers!
Balsamic Pulled Chicken Bento Box; What you’ll need:
- Balsamic Pulled Chicken:
- 1/2 Chicken, pulled (skin on, slow-cooked, spiced)
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- Spices: Turmeric, Sea Salt, Ground Pepper
- Bento Box:
- Salad Eggs (I used Fennel instead of basil)
- Favorite Salad Greens (I used Baby Arugula)
- 2 sprigs Fresh Basil, chopped (use fresh basil; it’s a leafy green along with a herb)
- 1/2 cup Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium Yellow Squash, sliced (Zucchini works too)
- 2 medium Carrots, chipped
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Cook and Prep Time: 60 minutes (I did it all the morning of; extra cook time will be better!)
1. In a pot, add the chicken, several cups of water (so that the chicken is fully submerged) and the spices.
Note: I started the chicken even before my coffee in the morning, and let it cook for as long as I could.
2. Cook the chicken on Medium heat, about 5 out of 10, covered for as long as you can – but at least 45 minutes.
3. Prepare the Salad Eggs and the salad. Add these to the bento box (or lunch container of choice).
4. After at least 45 minutes of cook time, using a pair of tongs and a fork, shred the chicken thoroughly, leaving the shredded chicken in a separate bowl.
5. Add the balsamic vinegar to the bowl and mix the chicken thoroughly. Add this to the bento box (or other) lunch container. And enjoy!
- Do you have some daily (or most days) stress relief activity?
- Do you have a meditative workout?
- Do you have different kinds of workouts that you do on different days?
- Do you eat pulled-chicken?
- When you do a 3-piece meal for lunch, how do you keep them separate?
- What’s your favorite chicken meal?