Healthy Moment: Healthy Eating for the Office

Healthy Moment: Healthy Eating for the Office


For some, work is an easy place to stay on track with healthy eating goals. For others, it’s a challenging environment
to start or stick with a healthy eating plan. Strive for Wellness is here to help you eat
healthfully, even at the office. We’ll discuss some of the challenges of
eating healthfully at work, as well as some solutions that you can start practicing today. One of the biggest challenges office workers
face is the lack of healthy options. Think of your workplace and the foods available. If you’ve found yourself hungry at work
and without healthy options that taste good, it can be easy to slip into a pattern of relying
on what’s available. When you bring food from home, you have more
control on what you have available to eat. You can also control how it is prepared, the
portions and the amount of nutrients you’re getting by having the ability to choose healthful
foods. Foods that you make for dinner during the
week can make great lunches at work. Purchase some microwavable containers so you
can pack up a lunch at dinner the night before, for the next day. Have some quick, easy ideas on hand for lunches
that you can make the morning of or the night before. Here are some of our favorite ideas that taste
good, fill you up and are healthful too. Sandwiches and wraps take only a minute or
two to make and you can change them up hundreds of ways. Experiment with different toppings or combinations! Sandwiches are a great lunchtime meal, especially if you have a busy or non-traditional job. They are portable, don’t require much refrigeration
or reheating – so you can take them with you wherever you are! If you get tired of sandwiches, bring a can
of soup instead! Soups are filled with nutrients from vegetables
and protein. Soups keep you full and satisfied because
they contain a large amount of volume for a smaller amount of calories. You can choose from a variety of flavors. To make a healthy selection, look for low
sodium, broth-based soups. You can always keep a can of soup at your workstation or in the break room for when you are in a hurry. Salads are another great way to enjoy a nutritious
lunch. Top leafy greens with beans, meat, cheese
or fruit. You can mix up different concoctions depending
on what you add. Don’t forget, there are many varieties of
dressings to choose from! Another challenge of healthy eating at the
office is your co-workers. In some offices it seems there is never a
shortage of unhealthy options on desks or in the break room. And it seems that there’s always something
to celebrate with high calorie treats. One way to put yourself back in control when
high calorie items are abundant is to bring a healthful option. Healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bad! There are plenty of healthy recipes that use
ingredients that won’t derail your diet, but will still give you something tasty to
enjoy. Chances are, there is someone else struggling
to avoid high calorie foods too. They will appreciate the healthy option and
you will still be able to participate in the celebration. Sometimes co-workers push you to try treats
they’ve created. An easy way to avoid trying treats each time
is to compliment them on how their dish looks and smells. Explain that you’re trying to eat healthier
and that their treat doesn’t fit into your plan for the day. Another challenge at work is the availability
of foods that we keep at our own workstations. The snack drawer may be harmful to your healthy
eating plan, simply because it is there. It doesn’t help that the snack drawer usually
contains foods that could derail our healthy eating efforts. A strategy to help you reach for healthier
options is to clean out your snack drawer. Replace these foods with healthy, non-perishable
options, like whole grain granola bars, canned fruit or oatmeal. You might also consider moving the food to the break room cabinets, a co-workers office, or take it home. If the food is not within reach in your office,
you’re a lot less likely to grab it. If you frequently find yourself hungry at
work between meals, consider bringing a healthy snack. A healthy snack can help you feel more satisfied
between meals, giving you added energy and preventing overeating later. Some healthful ideas for snacks you can bring
to work include yogurt, fruit cups or whole fruit, cheese and whole grain crackers, whole
grain granola bars, single servings of pudding or cottage cheese, or fresh veggies and dip. Remember, no matter how crazy your workday
gets, it’s important to have those healthy foods available so that you can start and
stick to a healthy eating plan! For more information on healthy eating, visit the Strive for Wellness ® section of the MCHCP website.