The workplace certainly has potential to be a healthy-eating disaster. Maybe you have your lunches catered, or weekly office birthday celebrations leave a wedding-size cake tempting you every time you step into the kitchen. Add the everyday stress of work and deadlines, and it can take a lot of dedication and willpower to stay on track Monday through Friday.
But don’t you worry, our 9-5 friends! In part-4 our Active Office collaboration, Fitness Expert Monica Nelson shares her 5 ways to eat a little more healthy at work.
1. Eat breakfast at home.
A healthy day of eating at the office starts at home. Be sure to set your alarm early enough to give yourself time to prepare a delicious and healthy homemade breakfast. Great choices would be anything from a smoothie, avocado toast, an egg, yoghurt and fruit, and the list goes on. Having a nourishing and satisfying breakfast will fuel you up with nutrients so it’s that much easier to pass on the donuts in the kitchen. The best part about it is that you’ll save money (and who doesn’t love that).
Breakfast frittatas are a great go-to because one recipe will yield 4 days of delicious and filling meals to start your day. Here’s a few options to get you started:
2. Drink less coffee.
Hear me out as I am a coffee lover myself. Coffee is the most commonly consumed beverage at the workplace but I suggest you keep your java-drinking to 1-2 cups a day. Why, you ask? Coffee is addictive and is the culprit for that mid-afternoon crash you hit. If you are adding cream and sugar or getting the fancy coffee drinks on top of it, you are just loading up on unnecessary sugar, calories, and fat.
3. Follow the 4-to-1 healthy lunch rule.
What I mean by this is make your healthy lunch at home 4 days of the week and leave 1 day to have lunch out with your co-workers. This will insure you are eating healthy most of the time and guess what, you’ll also save money too. When you pick a lunch spot, go for one that offers healthy choices (I like to check the menu out online ahead of time). Also, if your lunch is quite large, ask for a to-go box and save half for dinner. We’ve all overeaten at some point or another and it never feels great, especially when you have to sit down in front of a computer for another 4-5 hours. So remember to slow down, be present and enjoy the conversation, and stop eating when you are full.
Here are some other tips when it comes to eating more mindfully.
4. Say NO to desktop dining.
We’ve all been guilty. You get on your computer and take bite after bite only to realize your delicious meal is all gone and you weren’t able to enjoy any of it! By avoiding this bad habit, you will eat less, you’ll actually enjoy your meals and snacks, and you will give yourself a chance to recharge. Eating away from your desk will also give you the perfect excuse to get your body moving and blood flowing as well. Maybe you can eat your lunch outside, close to nature or in a quiet place where there are no distractions. The more you do it the easier it will become to leave the computer and stay mindful.
One more huge reason why you should also say no to desktop dining is that your desk can create a field day for bacteria! Did you know that your desk is 400 times dirtier than a toilet? The phone is the dirtiest, your desktop is next, and your mouse and computer follow. Doesn’t make it sound that appetizing, now does it?
5. Snack smarter.
Be prepared for when hunger strikes with these 10 Snacks for the workplace:
- Fruit: apple, orange, grapefruit or banana, for example
- Nuts: keep it to a handful (1/4 cup) of varieties like pistachios, raw walnuts, raw almonds, Brazil nuts
- Rolled oats – have a 1/2 cup with fruit and milk for a quick and easy breakfast at the office.
- Teas; Peppermint, Chamomile, Green Tea are all great and stress relievers for whatever can come your way.
- Grape Tomatoes: a sweet afternoon treat
- Snack Size Popcorn. This is when you feel like you could eat endless amounts of potato chips.
- Dark Chocolate: A small amount of good quality dark chocolate goes a long way when your sweet-tooth co-worker brings in those cookies or donuts.
- Nut butters; 1-2 tbs. of almond, sunflower, cashew, peanut butter, etc. quickly satisfies when hunger hits! They’re also the perfect topping for celery.
- Whole Food Bars. Say NO to candy bars at the office! My top choices are Kind Bars. They are gluten free, low sugar, and you can pronounce every single ingredient.
- Dried Seaweed Snack. These are great for again when you do NOT want to inhale an entire bag of Potato Chips.
If you have a fridge – great! That means you can bring in some of the following:
- Veggies like; celery, carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers and cucumbers.
- Fruit is great too. Think strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries.
- Keep a fresh container of a low-fat hummus, low-sugar yogurts, and prepared salads.
- Keep 1-2 lemons to have to add to your water and tea too.
So with these great tips you can always eat healthy at your workplace. What is your favorite tip to stay healthy and mindful at work?
Monica Nelson is a personal trainer, chef, accomplished athlete, model and much loved health and fitness expert based in LA. She inspires her clients to look and feel their best with her life motto: EAT WELL, STAY FIT, FEEL GREAT.
One of her greatest passions is cooking and the talented Moni loves to whip up healthy and decadent meals for her readers to enjoy. On any given day you can find her being creative in the kitchen, training her clients in he park, at the beach, out for a bike ride or catching big air on her snowboard.