Healthy Snack Options for Work
At one point or another, all of us have been guilty of scarfing down food at work that we know isn’t good for us. Busy lifestyles, non-stop meetings and fast approaching deadlines can cause even the most health minded of individuals to struggle with nutrition. “I wish I would have brought something healthier to eat than this crap from the vending machine,” you may say to yourself as you munch on a bag of chips.
If you can relate, you are not alone. The topic of making healthy snack choices at work comes up frequently with many of our Chicago clients who come in for executive coaching. The primary theme on this front is finding the time to eat healthy.
If you work in the service industry or in the corporate sector, you already know what it is like to have things pop up suddenly, requiring your immediate attention. When this happens, entire swaths of your day evaporate – causing you to reach for unhealthy snack options. Yep, we’re talking about those candy bars, cookies and chips.
Here are five ready to eat healthy snacks that you can stick in your bag before work. All of these help to provide the sustenance you need throughout the day and don’t come with the customary toxic guilt like the vending machine. Pick what feels right for your situation.
Check it out!
1. Low-Fat Yogurt
What’s nice about low-fat yogurt is that you they come in compact containers that are easy to slip into a bag or carrying case. If you choose this option, try to pick something that is organic and isn’t loaded up with a bunch of sugars or additives.
Most grocery markets carry yogurt, which can be purchased individually or packs. Don’t forget your spoon!
2. High Protein Snack Bars
These are great for quick pick-me-ups in between regular meal times and can provide a shot of needed energy to get you through the hump. You have lots of choices here but try to select something that strikes a balance between carbs, protein, calories and healthy fats.
Some suggestions include Balance Bars and NuGo Bars. What’s nice about food bars is they can magically couple as a pre-workout meal if you are one of those people who try to squeeze in a gym visit during the lunch hour.
You knew this one was going to make the list of five. There’s no need for anything exotic with fruit choices. An orange, apple, banana or pear is what I am talking about. All of these items are fairly inexpensive to buy at your local grocer and are best purchased in season.
Preferably, you will pick something that is organically grown and free of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Some people like their fruit chilled so don’t forget to place them in the fridge!
4. Nutritional Drinks
If you are in a bind for time and don’t have the ability to eat real food, you might want to consider a nutritional drink. There’s no need to get fancy with this one or spend loads of time in front of a mixer. The folks at Nestle offer a high protein, ready to drink product that easily can be poured into a coffee cup or mug. You will want to make sure to keep these cold because drinking warm takes away from the taste.
What’s great about “Boost” is that it contains a healthy combination of fats, carbs and protein so that you are sure to get in the necessary nutritional requirements to keep your metabolism going. This option is particularly helpful for folks trying to lose body fat (see our body fat post).
5. “Baggie” of Cheerios
You might be thinking – really? Yep, you read this right. A small storage bag of regular or honey nut cheerios can provide something tasty and nutritious in between meals. This is a very good choice if you are feeling stressed and gain satisfaction from crunching with your mouth.
You may not know this but Cheerios are low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol and fairly high in dietary fiber. I’m including a link here so you can learn more. And you thought this was something to eat just for breakfast, huh?
Most of us lead busy lives. Finding the time to eat healthy foods at work can be a struggle. This point is particularly true if you are working on a time sensitive project that pretty much sucks up entire swaths of your day. That’s why having simple choices helps to reduce anxiety and prevent “bad” food decisions.
By tossing in some good-to-eat items into your bag before heading to work, you empower yourself to live healthier and have more energy throughout the day.
What are some ideas you have for healthy snack options at work?