Back to school season is a busy time for kids and for parents. Between juggling a full-time job and working around a new schedule, eating healthy isn’t always a priority – even though it should be. When you eat well, you feel well and this is certainly the time of year where everyone could use a bit more energy.
But for those of us who spend most of our days in an office – how is it possible to eat healthy at work? It just takes a little time and a little planning. The time investment is worth it though. The way we eat has a major impact on not only our health but also on our productivity.
Today, I’m sharing a few ideas on how to stay healthy and energized at the office.
Here are 5 Tips for Eating Healthy at Work:
1. Eat breakfast, or take it with you.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can affect your performance for the day. If you don’t have time to wake up early to eat breakfast before work, then pack your breakfast the night before and take it with you.
Here are a few breakfast-to-go ideas:
- hard-boiled eggs
- fresh vegetables
- fruit with nut butter
- breakfast patties
- spaghetti squash breakfast cups
- prosciutto egg cups
Temptation is all around us and the workplace is no exception. It seems like someone in the office is constantly celebrating a birthday or bringing in baked goods “just because.” You can still wish them well without sampling a huge slice of cake. And, I know it seems like donuts and pizza are the foods of choice when it comes to morning or afternoon meetings, but you don’t HAVE to eat these fake foods. Be prepared and always have emergency snacks on standby.
3. Keep healthy snacks at your desk.
Snacks are my weakness. I used to always keep a candy bowl at my desk – it was how I got to know people when I started a new job. I’d fill it up with lindt chocolates and jolly ranchers and I’d quickly become a favorite in the workplace. Problem is… I’d end up snacking on about half the candy myself. I’ve since ditched the candy jar for healthier snacks, which comes in especially useful about mid-afternoon, when I get a junk-food craving. Now, instead of walking down to the vending machine, I open up a drawer in my desk.
I go so far as to keep a small blender (nutri-bullet) on my desk to make smoothies if I’m really feeling hungry. Sure, a couple co-workers tease me (lovingly… I think) because of the noise the blender makes, but hey, a little embarrassment in exchange for health isn’t a terrible deal.
Here are a few healthy snack ideas:
- almonds, walnuts, pistachios – any nuts
- fresh or dehydrated fruit
- healthy homemade snack bars (lara bars)
- green tea
4. Stay hydrated.
Drinking enough water throughout the day can help you stay focused and can also help reduce stress. Being dehydrated can leave you feeling tired and hungry. A little tip, add chia seeds to your water to add fiber; it’ll help keep you full, longer.
How to drink more water:
- set several alarms throughout the day as a reminder
- add fresh fruit to flavor water
- bring a water bottle to work and see how many times you can refill it
5. Pack your lunch
Pack your lunch and plan your meals. One day a week, take a couple hours to do prep work (chopping veggies, cooking food). You can also cook an extra serving or two when making dinner and take your leftovers to work with you.
Here are a few easy lunch ideas:
- cook a chicken in your slow cooker for lunch meat throughout the week
- chop veggies in your food processor and eat as a salad or add to chicken/tuna salad
- wrap prosciutto around something (fruit, egg, avocado, anything)!