By Jenny Grace from Miss Grace’s Disgrace
Between working full time and parenting full time, food can really fall by the wayside, especially when it comes to feeding myself. I’m generally pretty good about feeding my son meals that more or less end up balanced, but when it comes to me? During the work day? You have got to be kidding.
Over the years I’ve gotten better about (a) remembering to eat at all and (b) having something on hand so it’s not just straight from the vending machine into my belly.
I rely heavily on the following strategies:
I always cook extra to plan for leftovers when I’m making family dinner. Tuesday’s dinner can be Wednesday’s lunch, and that way I don’t have to do an extra round of cooking for healthy eating at work. When I’m cutting up carrot sticks for my son’s snack? I cut up some extras and put them in a ziplock bag to take in the next day. Preparing my work food in conjunction with feeding my son has made it easier for me to plan my daytime meals, and consequently has made me a lot more likely to do it. I look ahead on my calendar for days I know I won’t be able to get out of the office for lunch, and plan accordingly. For days that I will be eating out, I mentally plan where I’ll go and what I can order. That way when I’ll need to pack a lunch, I’m not expected to have enough synapses firing to put together a lunch in the morning before work; I can just grab and go. And on lunch date days? I’ll have a plan going into it.
Keep Snacks On Hand.
I always keep emergency snacks at work. This is my number one key to keeping on track with my eating and staying away from the potato chips. I have a drawer stocked with non-perishables such as dried fruit (peaches and mangoes in my case), energy bars (I prefer Clif bars), and nuts, for quick protein fixes. Before I started in as the crazy lady with the snack drawer, I would hit late afternoon and just CRASH. Now I can stave off the energy crash, and the associated sugar and caffeine cravings, because I have something readily available to munch on. Personally I’m not very good at keeping food in the office fridge, although we do have one, and it’s definitely a good idea for dairy, fruits and vegetables. I have a really bad track record with forgetting perishables when the fridge is not my own, but if you have the presence of mind for this one, I think it’s a GREAT idea.
Drink water instead of…..everything else. I happen to love water, so this is easy, but I know a lot of people really crave flavored beverages, be they juice, soda, or what have you. I would say suck it up and drink water whenever you can stand to, and if you really REALLY need something different, just be aware of the calories in a sugary drink, because they add up!
Free food does not mean free calories! This is probably my biggest work time weakness. A coworker brings doughnuts for the office, it was free, and doughnuts are delicious, how can I NOT have one?? But here’s the thing: we have doughnuts brought in at least once a week! The free food thinking kills me! I have had to learn to say no. This hasn’t been easy, and I still don’t manage to resist ALL the time, but being mindful, and saying no SOMETIMES, well. That’s better than never, right?
Using these four strategies: Planning ahead, stocking snacks, choosing water, and saying no to office treats, I’ve managed to really improve my workday nutrition, which in turn has helped with energy and overall fitness.
Do you have any tips you employ for healthy eating at while at work?
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