I'm writing this post to you after a very indulgent day at work. We had a birthday celebration yesterday and there were sweets everywhere. And these weren't just any average sweets - we had my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies (maybe in the whole world) from Porto's Bakery, which were hot out of the oven, and we had a beautiful fruit tart, AND homemade mini chocolate chip banana cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting. I mean, it was a pretty great day for eating sweets. After I completely overindulged, I thought about my wedding dress, and my upcoming poolside bachelorette party in Palm Springs, and wondered why I ate sooooo much of everything. And I can tell you exactly why. It's because I didn't pack my usual lunch or snacks, and I was completely unprepared for a healthy day at work. My icky feeling at the end of the day led me to write this post to motivate you (and me!) to be be prepared with great snacks, a delicious lunch, and a smart treat to get me through my 3pm cravings the rest of the week.
Here are my basic tips for having a healthy week:
1. Stock up on Sundays to set yourself up healthy lunches all week. I ALWAYS buy these staple items:
- All kinds of lettuce - I typically get a few bags of organic spinach, arugula, and kale.
- My favorite veggies for salads - cherry tomatoes, persian cucumbers, carrots.
- Beans and lentils for protein (I like to go meatless for lunch)
- TJ's shelled edamame - find it in the refrigerator section -it's cooked and ready to go... super easy!
- Hard boiled eggs
- Low-sodium turkey slices
- Nuts and dried fruit - figs, apricots, blueberries, or cranberries
- Good salad dressing - My latest favorite is Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette
2. Always remember to get your snack on. Having small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism going. Shoot for a 100-200 calorie snack in the morning and in the afternoon. I always go for either fruit or a half a Larabar in the morning and usually a sweet snack in the afternoon. These are my go-to's:
- ThinkThin Lean Bars (love the Salted Caramel flavor - it always cures my sweet tooth)
- 2 clementines
- Berries and a handful of almonds
- Veggies and hummus
- Coconut Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
3. Always keep one drawer of your desk stocked. That way if you show up to work without having breakfast, you'll make good choices rather than reaching for the Cronuts at the team meeting. Or if you're starving mid afternoon, you can always rely on your mini pantry in your desk.
At all times, my desk pantry is full of raw almonds, all kinds of tea and Matcha Green Tea Powder, instant steel-cut oatmeal packets, kind bars or Larabars, rice cakes and Justin's almond butter packets. That makes it pretty easy and effortless to stay healthy throughout the day. Even if you don't have a desk job, these are great things to keep in your car or in your purse so you can make healthy choices on the go!
4. Get a cute lunchbox! Lunch totes aren't just for elementary school anymore! This is mine and I LOVE it. It's made out of neoprene so it keeps everything cold and it stretches to fit any tupperware in there!
Now some insight on packing lunch:
I usually try to pack my lunch 4 times a week. It's best to do it the night before so you don't oversleep and skip out on packing it in the morning. Here's a perfect example of the HIS and HERS lunches I pack for Mitch and I on a daily basis - yep, he's on a total salad-for-lunch kick right now too. It takes a little extra planning and extra groceries for both our lunches, but it's totally worth it.
MINE - arugula, spinach, edamame, cherry tomatoes, persian cucumbers, one hard-boiled egg, sliced almonds, garbanzo beans, and dried blueberries. Not pictured: 1/4 avocado and Bragg's dressing.
HIS - everything that's in mine (just a little extra), plus sliced low-sodium turkey.
Lately I've been eating all veggie until dinner and I honestly love it. I pile my salads with veggie protein and filling ingredients (beans, nuts, avocado, egg) and it keeps me full and satisfied until my afternoon snack. By the end of the day, I feel much lighter than when I used to put chicken or turkey in my lunches.
I know it seems like packing your lunch and snacks for work may be a lot of extra effort, but trust me, you'll feel so much better by the time Friday rolls around. Healthier, lighter, less wasted calories and more $ in your wallet! For more healthy office snacks, check out this article in Cooking Light.
Cheers to a healthy Wednesday and to me avoiding the Porto's cookies!
July 28th, 2016
December 6, 2016
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.