Guest Post: Smart Snacking & Lunch-Packing for Work: Kiss Those Vending Machine Days Goodbye! by Eva Xanthopoulos

Whether you work the 9-to-5 grind in an office, work in your PJs from home, or anything in between, consistent healthy eating is absolutely essential to your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. A bloated belly from three slices of pizza and a chocolate glazed donut will certainly put a damper on your work ethic and overall mood. And nobody needs a food coma when a huge project needs to be completed or your co-workers are counting on you to finish a crucial task.

These tips Eva Xanthopoulos is about to share with you will definitely keep you on track!

  1. Pack your lunch and snacks the night before. It’s good to have it all ready, so come morning time, you can just grab your lunch bag and go. There’s no need to wake up fifteen minutes early.
  2. Realize that eating healthy isn’t just good for your health, it directly affects your mood. While something sugary like a candy bar may seem like the go-to snack to satisfy that sweet tooth, processed sugar only does one thing: it gives you an intense high and a just-as-intense crash.
  3. Ditch the pop and juice! Water is all you need. Take it with you to work in a glass container preferably (for environmental and health reasons). Add a few squeezes of lemon or lime, if you’d like.

Alternatively, brew some of your favorite tea the night before and take a bottle of it with you. If you like your tea on the sweet side, simply add a bit of raw honey, stevia, or maple syrup while making it.

  1. Know that healthy doesn’t mean bland or complicated. Fast food or typical restaurant food can be quite flavorful, I can’t lie AND it’s pretty darn convenient too. Unfortunately, a lot of the so-called tastiness comes from the crazy amounts of salt and MSG. According to The American Heart Association, you should eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

lunchpic

Now, let me a pick a wildly popular fast food: a burrito bowl from Chipotle. Using their nutrition calculator, I selected a chicken burrito bowl with white rice, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, tomato salsa, and guacamole. Sounds pretty healthy, right? Yes, but only in part. That meal alone equates to 2,220 milligrams of sodium! Needless to say, that definitely exceeds the daily 1,500 amount!

Perhaps the high sodium levels don’t phase you all that much and besides, creating healthy snacks and lunches sounds like it could be a daunting task. Isn’t it SO much easier to just feed the vending machine in the breakroom a dollar and receive your bagged snack? Isn’t it less of a hassle to ask a co-worker to grab you a burger from the fast food joint down the street while they’re there?

Those may seem like the “easier “options, but they’re not. They may “satiate” your hunger, but they won’t do your body or mind any good—especially over time.

Here are some tried-and-true snack and lunch ideas (some of which don’t need refrigeration and none of which need a microwave):

  1. Nut & Dried Fruit Medley. Fill a container with heart-healthy, energy-boosting raw (and unsalted) almonds and walnuts, dried apricots, and raisins. This is the ultimate trail mix and a nice, naturally sweet pick-me-up. Try to get the dried fruit organic, unsweetened, and unsulphured.
  2. Dark Chocolate, Cherry, & Almond “Rice Crispy” Clusters. The name of this healthy sweet treat already implies what you’ll need in order to make it. But if you’d like to know the details, go here.darkchocolatecluster2
  3. Chickpea and Grape Tomato Salad. When one thinks salad, lettuce is normally one of the main ingredients. But lettuce has a way of becoming slimy after it’s been cut up, drizzled with oil, and placed in the fridge for a while. Chickpeas and grape tomatoes won’t do that to you! Add some red onion, dried oregano, lemon juice, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for flavor. A dash of sea salt wouldn’t hurt either. There’s no need for dressing here.
  4. Cinnamon Apples with Crunchy Almond Butter. Two words: nutrition powerhouse. These three things together also happen to be extremely delicious!
  5. Organic Free-Range Hardboiled Eggs. Stick one or two in a ziplock bag and there you have it. Make sure you remove the shells before you go to work. Trying to peel those during your lunch hour or break will be time-consuming and not to mention messy.
  6. Baby Carrots & Hummus. No recipe needed here. Cut up bell peppers taste exceptional with hummus, too. 🙂

See? That wasn’t so bad. 🙂 Eat consistently like this and you’ll notice the difference in your energy levels at work and beyond. Mix that with 7-9 hours of quality sleep and by clock-out time, you won’t be as sluggish or drained. And if you feel like you’re already a pretty energized person, eating this way will only accentuate that!

Let me know if you have any other convenient lunch and snack ideas in a comment below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eva Xanthopoulos is an Author, Poet, and Health Enthusiast. She and her partner in love & life are the Co-Creators of the health, fitness, & lifestyle website, www.healthmasterymovement.com When she isn’t writing, Eva enjoys bike riding, reading her weight in books, and practicing Yoga Nidra.

Advertisements

33 comments

  1. Go Eva!! Absolutely, essential advice for your health.
    Real food only! No processed, no restaurants and especially ditch the sugar.

    It’s amazing how delicious and varied the taste of real food once you cleanse your palate, as it were. We’ve been doing paleo, more or less, except for me back sliding with coffee and sugar. I’m doing much better with the sugar lately, but coffee? There are limits. ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment! 😀

      Ditching the sugar is actually pretty tough. It hides in a lot of things–even organic pasta sauce! Apart from that, if I need a “sugar” fix, I simply eat some dried fruit or put raw honey in my tea.

      “It’s amazing how delicious and varied the taste of real food once you cleanse your palate…” I know, right? I can taste subtleties that I didn’t before I started eating healthy.

      Coffee isn’t horrible for you. I think the bad thing about is people tend to put too much processed sugar in it and use flavored creamers. I’m not sure if this helps you out caffeine-wise, but have you tried black tea? Chai isn’t as potent as coffee is, but it can still do the trick for some people.

      -Eva

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post on eating at work. Thanks for having Eva. It is so true that what we eat affects our mood and hence productivity. At work, I like to have a stash of nuts on my desk for whenever I feel peckish. As for sweet stuff, I usually have a banana lying around somewhere. The chocolate rice crispy clusters sound very tasty and perfect for when I want something sweet. And bite sized too so they are easy to eat 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mabel! 🙂 I’m glad you like this post and resonate with it.

      Nuts are great snacks! I honestly eat them every day. I’ve always loved almonds, but now I starting to really like pecans. What’s your favorite nut?

      Yes! Bananas are a wonderful “sugar” fix. Have you tried eating a banana with almond or peanut butter? That’s especially delicious.

      Bite-sized treats definitely come in handy! Here’s another one (it’s only three ingredients!) –> http://www.ethericarchives.com/date-and-nut-balls/

      -Eva

      Like

      • That is such a great question. I really like almonds and pistachios, and macadamias too. I love eating bananas by itself. I generally prefer to eat peanut butter by itself or with savoury crackers 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Excellent tips, things I know but am more often than not too lazy to prepare the night before… I’ll give it a try again, ’cause I do remember another quality of energy in times in which I was eating super healthy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Bea! I’m glad you’re already aware of how vital healthy eating is to our well-being at work.

      And I can understand being too lazy to prepare food the night before. You worked for most of the day and the last thing you want to do is put something together before bed.

      Luckily, whole foods are a lot easier to prepare… There’s no actual cooking or baking involved (apart from the hard-boiled eggs). 😀

      -Eva

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are some great tips; this may be a silly tip, but logistically I use mason jars to carry my lunch to work. They make great containers for salads; fresh fruits/veggies, nuts and so on. There are companies (ecojarz, jarware, etc.) out there that make mason jar tops to make carrying and storing your lunch easier; I’m sure there are probably nice bento boxes out there that can be used as well. I find that using mason jars and readily available accessories makes carrying my lunch less bulky, especially since I like everything separate. I know all the comments here were about eating healthier and whatnot; but having easy snack containers to use actually made packing, storing & taking my lunch to work simpler. Thus, making me more willing to do it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s