Today's workplace is a veritable buffet of unhealthy foods. Finding healthy foods to eat from the vending machines, "goodie days," and snack spreads at meetings is a challenge when it's filled with everything from giant bottles of soda to chocolate frosted donuts.
These foods are not only unhealthy, but they are usually the last thing from sustainable, made with processed ingredients that were mass produced on factory farms treated with oil-based fertilizer before going into the snack.
But despite these temptations, it's possible to find healthy food snacks and meals and eat sustainably while at work.
Identifying the underlying reason for your daily trip to the soda machine or indulgence in donuts at every meeting is a key step in moving towards finding healthy foods to eat at work.
There are many reasons why people feel the need to eat less than healthy food or snacks, perhaps even if they're not hungry:
On top of this, there's the growing trend of working through lunch - eating at your desk so you can get more work done during the day. This is a poor habit regardless of the healthy food snacks you're eating. By focusing more on work than on the food you're putting in your mouth, you may find yourself done with lunch without ever having tasted a bite, leaving you feeling unsatisfied and craving something more.
It's also not any more productive. I know that when I am eating and working at the same time, both things go more slowly.
You can beat your busy schedule simply by making a little time for preparation of healthy foods to eat at work. Planning ahead helps you avoid the expense of eating out, gives you ways to bypass workplace food temptations, and can eliminate many undesirable foods and food additives from your diet.
Healthy food snacks like granola and trail mix can be made at home in large batches and stored in ziplocks, or re-used pickle or knorr jars. To make this even easier and more cost-effective, look into purchasing oats, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit in bulk.
Buying bulk is cheaper and uses less packaging than pre-prepared snacks, and when you buy your own ingredients, you choose exactly what goes into the mix-preferences like local and organic will be easier to manage.
Other ways you can ensure good nutrition throughout the week with healthy food, snacks and meals include:
And for the days when you really can't manage to put together your own food, make sure you're familiar with the eateries around your workplace. By knowing who has the healthiest and most sustainable food options, you can make better choices even on the busiest of days.
If your work culture is unhealthy or does not share your values in sustainable eating, the last thing you should do is preach to your coworkers about what they are eating. Not only is that unprofessional, but it will likely make them resent you. After all, nobody enjoys being told what they should do, and if you start nagging people, it may damage your success and chances of promotion.
Instead, bring your own healthy food snacks, and if you have extra, share them with co-workers. You can also get people on board with your sustainable and healthy foods to eat by bringing batches of some foods to meetings. If you are sharing your healthier options, you will feel like you are contributing to your work environment and also have more choices for healthy foods to eat.
If it seems like you can't get away from distracting, unhealthy food choices at work, remember that you're in control of what you eat. Packing nutritious snacks, preparing lunch in advance, and being knowledgeable about nearby healthy eateries keeps you away from tempting junk food. A few changes in routine are all you need to move towards healthy foods to eat at work every day while feeling better about your choices.
Finding healthy foods to eat at work is just one simple step you can make in your efforts to go green and live healthy.
When you're ready for a few more steps:
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
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