Eating well isn’t the easiest thing in the world – especially when you’re a full-time employee! The office can be one of the most difficult places to eat healthily. Between helping your family get ready for the day, your commute, and the long day at the office, it seems impossible to prepare a full day’s worth of healthy meals.
While it might be difficult, it’s vital to eat nutritious meals throughout the workday so that your body and mind can feel and perform their best. Healthy meals will give you more energy, boost your mood, and increase productivity throughout the workday. They can even help prevent those dreaded afternoon slumps!
The key to eating well at work is to come prepared. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will become much easier when you take the time to plan and prepare accordingly. Meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure that you have nutritious meals ready to go. Along with meal prepping, making some changes to your daily habits will also help you steer clear of any unhealthy temptations at work and keep your diet in check.
Keep on reading to learn some foolproof tips and ideas for eating well at work:
The most important meal of the day can be one of the most difficult meals of the day! Many of us are tempted to skip breakfast altogether due to hectic schedules and hurrying to clock in on time. However, skipping breakfast is one of the worst ways to start your mornings. Without breakfast, your body and brain won’t have the fuel they need to get energized and focused. Not to mention, morning hunger pains can leave everyone a bit grouchy.
We suggest healthy grab-and-go breakfasts to make your morning routine a bit easier. For example, when you’re in a rush, grab a 100% whole-wheat English muffin with some nut butter and a piece of fruit before running out the door! This is an easy grab-and-go breakfast that will provide some great nutrients for starting your day.
If you have time during the weekend to meal prep a week’s worth of breakfast meals, even better! Prepare some healthy egg muffin cups (recipe here), overnight oats (recipe here), or freezable breakfast burritos (recipes here) for a quick, delicious, and healthy breakfast.
It’s tempting to run through a drive-thru during the lunch hour, especially when you see other co-workers doing it. In reality, a healthy homemade lunch can be just as easy, convenient, and ever cheaper than fast food. Packed lunches are a great way to repurpose healthy leftovers or utilize frozen make-ahead recipes like soup or slow-cooker meals.
Some healthy and easy lunchbox-friendly ideas include:
- 5-Mintue Spicy Asian Salad
- Skinny Chicken Caesar Pitas
- Burrito bowls
- Whole-Wheat Fajita Quesadillas
- Smashed White Bean and Avocado Sandwich
- 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili
Healthy snacks are an essential part of your workday. They give you the fuel you need to make it through the rest of the afternoon. The key to healthy snacking for the workday is to keep your desk stocked with nutritious options. Some healthy, desk-friendly snack ideas include:
- Raw nuts
- Roasted chickpeas
- 100% whole-wheat crackers
- Nut butter
- Dried fruit
- Low-sodium jerky
- Air-popped popcorn
- Tuna pouches
- Homemade trail mix
If you have access to a freezer at work and are able to store some food, stock up on a couple packs of frozen veggies. Frozen veggies are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and can be prepared in minutes for a filling, nutritious snack.
Even if you’ve planned accordingly and have a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks prepared for the day, the workplace can still bring a lot of unhealthy temptations. Most offices come with vending machines, leftover birthday cupcakes, and free donuts in the break room and kitchens. To help avoid getting tempted, try out some of these tips:
- Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Most of the time, your answer will be “no”. Remember to eat to satisfy your hunger, rather than eating just because something looks or smells good or seems convenient.
- Set an example. When it comes to office potlucks or food days, set an example by bringing in healthy dishes like a veggie platter with hummus or fresh fruit.
- Stay mindful. It’s perfectly fine to treat yourself every once in a while. Just be sure to stay mindful of moderation and portion size, and try your best to eat mindfully.
Eating healthily throughout the workday doesn’t have to be a chore. With some planning, preparation, and easy recipes up your sleeve, you can keep yourself properly fueled, energized, and focused for a productive workday.
What tips do you have for eating well at work? Share your ideas below!
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