The 5 Secrets to Healthy Eating at Work
I love this topic. For some reason we struggle when it comes too healthy eating at work. I don’t know if it’s due to us rushing around trying to do a million things at once or if it’s because we don’t prioritize our own health. We spend 8 hours working, sometimes more, every workday. That is a huge chunk of our time and we will generally have one lunch and two snacks during the course of the day. So, if you are not eating properly at work and instead focusing on fast, processed and cheap food your diet will quickly become, well, cheap and processed. Not exactly what were looking for.
I love helping clients come up with new exciting food ideas. Once you get past the mindset of “there’s nothing to eat” and “ it’s too much work” you can start thinking about ways to prepare quick easy easily transportable meals.
- Make use of the resources at work
Now a lot of us at work have the use of a fridge, a microwave, and even a toasted sandwich maker available to us. We no longer have to pack lunches that don’t need to be chilled. Think outside the box and start taking homemade soups that can be heated and slices of bread or wraps with different filling options that can be toasted. I also encourage you to take different drinks to work. Try bringing a selection of teas that you leave in your desk. Think chamomile, mint, peppermint and rooibos, all which offer therapeutic benefits as well as tasting great.
- Leftover’s, leftover’s, leftover’s
There is a secret to having cheap work lunches and its called leftovers. Stop visualizing an unappetizing slice of meat and sad looking salad and start thinking falafel wraps filled with vegetables and homemade tzatziki, pad thai with fresh lime and cacao chocolate mousse for a treat. I think you get the idea. I always try to make a dinner where there is enough for both Matt and myself to have the next day. If you can’t use the whole meal, try working with elements of it. Salads can be easily made with a mixture of grains, protein and a whole variety of vegetables. Add a dollop of cashew cheese or pesto and you’ve got a delicious lunch in less than five minutes. I also love cold pasta salads, burger patties with a side salad and a curry and rice.
- Get creative
Office lunches can be exciting and tasty while also being good for you. Forget those afternoon slumps and 3pm biscuit cravings. Once you switch to a whole foods approach your body will get all the nutrients that it needs and it will no longer crave those fast foods. Put some effort into new meals you can make. Try looking through cookbooks or head over to my “nourish” and “vege/vegan” pinterest board for inspiration.
- Always have healthy snacks in your desk drawer
Now that you have got the main lunch/meal sorted, let’s move on to snacks. I’m a firm believer in eating every 3-4 hours. This ensures that you don’t inhale a whole bag of chips or get so tired you’re reaching for cup after cup of coffee. The way I see it is, snacks are delicious, they are easy to make in bulk, plus they are a great way to get nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables into your diet.
My favourite workday snacks include:
- My bliss balls
- My trail mix (make enough for one week and store in a mason jar ready to eat)
- Vegetable sticks with hummus or guacamole
- Smoothies (make a different one each morning and store it in a mason jar)
- Bananas, apples, pears, grapes (all easy to transport)
- Homemade muesli bars
- Homemade pop corn covered with nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt or maple syrup
- Rice cakes spread with almond butter and slices of cucumber
- Plan ahead
I make sure to always plan my lunches and snacks for the week, even when I have a home based week seeing clients. Just knowing that I have a healthy lunch all ready prepared by me, makes my day so much easier and stops me wasting time trying to figure out what I’m going to eat or make. All it takes is half an hour of planning on the weekend. When you are writing your supermarket list, write down your lunch meal ingredients as well. If you make sure you have leftovers from most of your meals, you will not need to come up with too many other options.
So you see, eating healthy at lunch isn’t this huge issue we all keep making it out to be. With a little planning and prep work you can have your whole workweek all set out for you. You will save money and your health will benefit.