Most people spend 8 to 9 hours at work so having a healthy snack or two during the workday provides the opportunity to increase energy, improve focus, and enhance productivity. Having healthy options available will decrease trips to the vending machine or cafeteria, which can save money and help avoid less nutritious, higher calorie options.
Set yourself up for success by stocking these healthy foods at work:
Produce: Apples, pears, and oranges will keep in a desk drawer or fridge, if available. Bananas are another good office fruit but bruise much easier meaning greater care needs to be taken when transporting. If you have access to a fridge, a bag of baby carrots or cut up veggies and hummus is perfect to satisfy a craving for something crunchy. A sliced apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and sprinkled cinnamon is a great snack for balancing blood sugars and appetite control.
Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are a great option to have on hand as these are full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Pair a few nuts with a piece of fruit, sprinkle on top of a plain soy yogurt, or bowl of oatmeal for a more substantial snack that will keep you full for longer.
Oatmeal packets: Try plain oatmeal topped with cinnamon, dried fruit, or nuts. This hearty snack provides omega-3 fatty acids, folate, potassium and beta glucan, a soluble fiber which has been shown to improve cholesterol.
Dry roasted edamame: These roasted green soybeans are rich in isoflavones and contain all 9 essential amino acids. This crispy, salty snack provides both fiber and protein to keep you satisfied until your next meal. They are easy to store, great alone, or can be paired with a small piece of fruit for a sweet and salty combo!
Fruit and nut based granola bar. Avoid bars with tons of added fats, sugars, and other additives and choose brands made out of simple, whole food ingredients for quick on-the-go fuel. Kind bars and Larabars are good choices!
Whole wheat crackers, have 5-6 with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or hummus.
Keep a reusable water bottle at work and refill it often. Staying hydrated keeps you sharp, focused, and glowing. Proper hydration also benefits your waistline by keeping your metabolism running and keeps cravings in check. Water is essential to keeping you fit, fabulous, and on your A-game. If you are not geeked over the idea of drinking H2o all day long then try adding some sliced lemon, lime, mint, ginger, cucumber, or berries to provide different flavors and prevent boredom.
Tea: Many options here! Green, Black, Oolong, White, Chamomile, Echinacea, Lemon ginger. Tea is calorie free and full of antioxidants. Both caffeine and caffeine free teas are available. Caffeinated tea contains a little less caffeine than coffee, with green tea having less caffeine than black tea. With that being said, if you are in need of a caffeine-fix mid-afternoon tea might be a better option as the lesser amount of caffeine would be less likely to cause overstimulation and potentially interfere with sleep than a cup of coffee.
What snacks do you stock at work? Add a few of these to your grocery list and let me know what you think!