Eating Healthy At Work
Eating Healthy At Work
Its Monday morning. You just sat down at your desk. You packed your lunch today with the goal to start eating healthier and save some money. Then Susan from accounting walks by your desk carrying a box of fresh donuts from the bakery down the street.
Your mouth starts watering, you start to crave one of those delicious circles of sweetness. As you stand up to head towards the break room to grab one, you look down, see your cooler and remember this article and the tasty morning snack you packed because of it.
Sounds good right?
Sometimes all we need is a little reminder of our commitment to allow our willpower to override an impulse or urge.
We also have one little trick to share with you that will help stop your cravings for that sugary goodness you know you’ll regret eating 30 minutes later.
That’s the goal of this article. To give you some useful guidance and tips to make healthier decisions at work.
We spend a large majority of our lives at work. A full third of our time alive on this planet is spent in our workplace, according to the World Health Organization. Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you have to compromise, make poor choices and go out, or eat unhealthy, processed food.
It All Starts With Packing Your Lunch
The first thing you need to do is make a conscious decision not to sabotage yourself at work.
You would be surprised how many times I brought food to work and then end up eating something else because I just didn’t feel like eating what I had brought. This used to happen to me all the time. Especially if I made one big meal Sunday and tried to eat it at lunch all week. By Wednesday or Thursday, I just couldn’t eat it any more. I was bored. Just sick of the same meal.
Understand yourself and make sure you really pack a meal that appeals to you. That might mean spending an extra half hour or so a week in the kitchen to make a new meal for the end of the week.
Many times good intentions remain that. Intentions. You intend to get up early and pack a healthy lunch, but you hit the snooze too many times or get caught up doing something else and run out of time.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Waiting till the last minute is a willpower killer.
I have found that packing my lunch in the evening is much easier and can eliminate this issue all together. Find a few minutes at night to box up your dinner leftovers or prep up something new for tomorrows lunch.
What if you are someone that doesn’t like to eat leftovers or didn’t have enough after dinner?
Here are a couple links to some nutritious ideas for lunch.
- http://nomnompaleo.com/paleolunchboxes )
We recommend a more paleo approach to eating, buts its really up to you and what works best for your body.
Check out the recipes and pictures and find some that look good to you. Some people do best eating the same meal every single day. For me, that’s a big salad with some added protein, every single day. For you, it might be variety. Who knows.
Go to the store with a list of what you need and pick up the foods you need for your lunches.
Now that you have some high quality ingredients, it’s time to prepare.
Preparing your lunches over the weekend or the night before can save you a ton of headaches and rushing in the morning. Many people pick one day a week to to prep all their lunches. Sunday is a good one.
Here’s a picture of my wife’s lunch prep for the week (I eat a Big Ass salad every day, so I just make sure there’s lettuce, veggies and protein cooked up and then throw it together each night).
You can make a big dish of food and then portion it out for your lunch that week, or just pack up your leftovers from the night before.
If you have the money, you can pay for meal prep services, which can be a great time saver and option.
Don’t forget to prepare and pack a few healthy snacks to tide you over in case you do get some cravings or end up having to work late.
I pack three or four bulletproof collagen bars in my backpack and a big bag of nuts and some protein and vegetable powder. It might seem a little extreme, but I always have a snack that tastes great, satisfies my sweet tooth and is totally healthy. The collagen bars get me through a few hours when I’m hungry. If I have to stay late, I mix up some water, chocolate protein powder and add some chocolate Amazing Grass greens powder. This gives me some protein to stave off hunger, some veggies to get my micronutrients all packaged up in a nice tasting chocolate drink.
One Trick To Stop Morning Cravings
Eat a healthy breakfast before you get in to work. I can’t stress this enough. If your body is nourished with healthy whole foods, it won’t send the signals of hunger and cravings to your brain.
So many people think they can cut some calories by skipping breakfast. This is called intermittent fasting, and can work, if you do it correctly and have the right mindset. But for most of us, it just leads to us making poor choices.
A healthy breakfast with either some healthy fat, or fat and protein keeps you full for a long time. This is your secret tool to kill those morning cravings. It allows you to stand in front of that box of donuts and chat with your colleague without having to bring any of those circles of regret to your mouth.
For us, breakfast usually consists of one of two things – Bulletproof coffee or Bulletproof coffee plus collagen protein
When you get to work, you’ll be energized from the coffee, and if you’re drinking Bulletproof coffee, you’ll also be running high on ketone energy and feel full until lunch.
Some people find they do better with some protein in the morning. Just add some collagen protein powder, a raw egg, or some whey protein powder to your coffee and you are ready to go. You could also eat a cooked egg and have some coffee or tea.
Don’t underestimate the power of water and staying hydrated to fight off cravings and hunger. My favorite trick is to bring some tea bags and a big mug. Whenever I get hungry, I just fill it up with hot water, throw in a tea bag and sip on warm tea. It really helps with staving off the hunger.
Another good idea is to keep some non perishable snacks in your desk. Often times when we make poor food choices it’s because our brain tells us to eat immediately. When we get that signal we often reach for whatever’s closest and only later wonder why we ate that awful junk food. Stop the regret. Stock up your purse, work bag or desk with healthy storable snacks. We like nuts, low sugar or sugar free protein bars, jerky and whole fruit.
Avoiding Poor Choices
We all know that one person in the office that is the food “pusher”. They either have a bowl of candy on their desk and offers some to everyone that walks by, or brings in sugary snacks or pastries and thinks everyone needs to try one. Unhealthy temptations are part of life and the workplace.
We’re back to that conscious effort again.
Right now, make a conscious effort to resist the tempting sweet snacks that most people rely on. Practice politely saying no when you don’t want to eat something.
Another good tip is to try taking a route to your desk that avoids the break room, vending machines or the receptionist that always has a box of donuts or bowl of candy. Research tells us that if we simply avoid the junk food, we don’t get as many cravings for it.
Sometimes, eating out is unavoidable.
Know healthy places close to your office in case client, coworker, or boss wants to take you out. Either try to get to a place you know has meals that are healthy, or do your best in ordering wherever you are. We like to often order a big salad with fish or shrimp and just olive oil and vinegar for dressing. Or we order a large plate of steamed vegetables with butter and a burger with no bun. Be creative.
Often avoiding excess carbs is the best place for most everyone to start.
Replace the French fries with a salad or vegetables. Order the sandwich as a lettuce wrap.
So you prepared and packed your lunch and avoided the tempting offers of your local “pusher”.
Now its lunch time and you’re ready to fill your stomach.
Some people are tempted to just grab their food and start eating while getting ahead of the afternoon’s tasks. This isn’t usually a good choice. Often when we are distracted by TV or work we consume more food than usual. This is because our mind is preoccupied and we aren’t paying attention to our body.
Usually the best option is to take our food outside to eat or at least get away from our desk and our computer. At the bare minimum, turn off your computer screen.
I like to use lunch time to practice some mindfulness. While eating, really pay attention to each bite. Savor and taste each individual bite that goes in to your mouth. Notice how it smells. Notice the texture and flavor. Being mindful of the sensations and feelings in your stomach and body can help you know when you are full and what effect the food is playing on your overall wellness.
- Make a decisions RIGHT NOW to take action, be healthier and increase your overall wellness.
- Eat a good breakfast with high quality fats and some protein if that makes you feel better. Include as many veggies as you like.
- Pack a healthy lunch made with food you really enjoy eating.
- Bring healthy snacks to fight off cravings and the “pusher”.
- Add some water and green tea to your daily to help feel full and stay hydrated.