Most of us have experienced it. It’s late afternoon at the office. You body is stiff from sitting all day. Your brain is tired from a long day at work. You sit down for your last meeting of the day and THERE, staring you in the face is a box of _________ (you fill in the blank). These foods are foods that would typically never tempt us in the grocery store, but when we are hungry or exhausted, they seem to go from dried up packaged food to the most decadent dessert you can possibly imagine. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, and you don’t work in an office, forward this to a friend who does. Even if you don’t work in an office, some of the ideas below might give you good tips for foods to take with you when you travel. Take a look, make a shopping list, and set yourself up for success!
- “Instant” oatmeal – Instead of stopping for a fast food breakfast on mornings when you forget to take something, try making your own DIY instant oatmeal. You can make a bunch ahead and keep them at work. Make your own mix of steel cut or rolled oats, dried fruit (keep portion small) like apples or craisins, nuts (walnuts are best), chia seeds (1-2 tsp) and a packet of organic Stevia. Keep a large glass bowl at work (twice as big as you think it should be). Add your oatmeal mixture and water and microwave on 1/2 power for 5 minutes. This is a super simple way to make sure you always have a backup breakfast handy and save money as well.
- Homemade microwave popcorn – Most of us have heard by now about the carcinogenic chemicals that line the bags of microwave popcorn, but there is a simple answer for the workplace afternoon munchies that will not cause adverse health effects and will satisfy that need for a pick me up. This is easy to do ahead as well. Put a few tablespoons of un-popped kernels in a brown lunch bag and roll the end tightly. Place in microwave and pop like normal. Top with salt for a healthy afternoon treat. Mix with a handful of nuts to add some satisfying protein.
- Hummus and veggies – When the stress in the afternoon hits, and you just want to repetitively eat, hummus and veggies are a much better choice than m&m’s with far fewer calories, sugars, and fat. Stock your work fridge on Monday mornings with individual packs of hummus and baggies of vegetables so you will always be prepared. Guacamole works well too and comes in a variety of different flavors.
- DIY trail mix – Trail mix is super easy to overdo, so be careful with your portion sizes, but you can make great trail mix to get you through an afternoon slump as well. Try mixing a few tablespoons of nuts, a little dried fruit, and some flaked coconut together in bags. Pair with a piece of whole fruit for a complete snack.
- Cucumbers and vinegar – Put sliced cucumbers in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water with salt and pepper in a jar. Shake and let marinate overnight. You can do several mason jars and take them with you to work and leave them in the fridge to munch on. The combination of salty and crunchy can be the perfect fix!
- Roasted Chickpeas – One of my favorite portable snacks is roasted chickpeas. They come in a variety of flavors and are great for on the go snacking and can be eaten one at a time to keep the munchies satisfied. HERE is a link to my favorite brand.
So you see, there are a lot of simple options that can keep you on track with your goals. Just a little bit of effort goes a long way. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most people spend the majority of their day at the office, so it is a vitally important place to be prepared.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Take a look at the above suggestions and make one to take to the office. Really pay attention to how good it feels to be prepared and in control of your choices. When you make good choices, you feel more satisfied and have less cravings which makes your overall health journey more enjoyable.