|Sorry! Couldn't help myself on this one.|
Sound good? So what does this entail?
1. Reusable Bag It
(a.k.a brown bag it, but it is 2011)
This is number 1 for a reason. The average working person spends $40.00/week on lunch during the week. That is upwards of $2,000.00/year. Aside from loads of extra calories, lathargy and tummy issues heavy lunches provide, I think that makes for a pretty good reason to just STOP going out to lunch. Switch business lunch meetings to tea/coffee meetings. Also, this is the BEST way to control the balance of what you are eating and ensure that you have protein, fiber and carbohydrates to power you through the rest of your day. If you are able to use a fridge go in with a coworker on all of the salad fixing and make fresh salads for the week for under $10/person.
2. EAT & Snack.
There are some people who don't spend ANY money on food at work because they DON'T EAT. Now maybe it's just me, but how is anyone supposed to make important decisions,sit through a 3 hour meeting or close lucrative sales when they have a rumbling tummy? Not eating also wreaks havoc on your metabolism, adds to your stress level, makes you cranky and completes that spare tire that seems to be developing around your waist. If meals are properly balanced and light, we should be "fueling" up every three to four hours. Eat breakfast and lunch and snack people. Examples of an easy breakfast would be sprouted toast topped with almond butter, honey and a banana. Always have a snack in your car or purse, in case that 3 hour meeting takes over your lunch break. Snacks may include fruit, Lara Bars, pumpkin seeds, almonds, preservative free dried fruit, real dark chocolate, or carrots. I find that light cold lunches (mainly salads) are best for me but you can keep cans of organic soups around too so if you are in a bind, there is a plan b.
3. Water, water, water.
I cannot stress this enough! It is so tempting to reach for that diet soda instead...BUT DON'T DO IT! Diet sodas, in my opinion, are worse than the regular ones (although both are on my no-no list). They are filled with preservatives, color additives and although may be "sugar free," loaded with sodium. If you have to have that afternoon diet coke, try drinking a giant glass of water first. After 10 minutes, if you still want that soda, then go for it, at least you have diluted it with water. If you do not like water, try filling a mason jar with fresh squeezed juice and keeping it in your work fridge. Pour yourself a glass of water and add a couple of spoonfuls of the juice. Think an all-natural "Crystal Light." All I have to say about energy drinks is JUST DON'T. Have you ever poured one of those into a clear glass. To me it is reminiscent of Kryptonyte. Enough said.
4. Limiting caffeine intake.
I know it is hard and I am not saying you need to completely forgo it but try to limit your intake to the morning hours and from more natural sources such as good quality coffee, green tea, matcha tea, etc. It seems impossible to completely give it up, but I can tell you first hand, if you start making healthy changes to your diet and eating for wellness, the energy you would normally get from caffeine just happens!
5. Taking time out of the work day to focus on your meal.
I have this last on my list because this is something I desperately need to work on. We do not take "lunch breaks" in our office. We munch in front of a computer screen. Eating with intention instead of "on the go" prevents overeating, promotes digestive health and gives your body/mind a chance to get the most out of what you are putting in it. I am going to vow to step away from the computer for my lunch, take it to a park, or even just go in the other room to eat from now on. You try it too!
I'd love to hear what others do to promote healthy eating at their office throughout the day. Please leave a comment.