Despite all my food talk and everything related to it, I try to balance it by going to the gym. A perk at my workplace is free gym membership at a very large, national chain. The facility (a block away from my office) is a super gym: it has three stories, a rock climbing wall, free towel service, warm wood decor in the locker room, a wall of televisions in the cardio area, a Olympic-size swimming pool, sauna, etc. I should be going every day right? In actuality, I make it at least two times a week although realistically it should be three. On the off chance I do go two times, I treat myself to Il Fornaio in the adjacent building.
Il Fornaio has several prestigous Italian eateries around the world including Rome, Seattle, Beverly Hills and of course, Irvine. But one advantage I love about the Irvine location is the to go Panetteria. Gourmet sandwiches, pasteries and their world famous bread is available for the worker bee on the go. After the gym I go for their custom tossed salads.
In the refrigerated bins, there is a choice of spinach, mixed greens or romaine salad prepacked in plastic bowls. The next step is to bring it to the person behind the counter chose up to five mix-ins which include mushrooms, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, hard boiled eggs, broccoli and a choice of salad dressing. All this for around $5. When I’m feeling especially famished, the sandwiches or custom pizzas or pastas are the best deal for a few dollars more. Everything is ready to go to either in the the lovely patio area or at the desk like I often do. Afterall, I only have an hour for lunch and my workout is about 30 minutes which doesn’t include shower time.