One of the most difficult challenges regarding staying healthy is how to stay on track at work. Since the majority of people spend at least six hours a day at work, it is essential to formulate a gameplan that will support a healthy lifestyle. It is far too easy to fall into the trap of raiding the vending machine, the candy jar or sneaking out for a quick cup of coffee and a muffin, all of which will sabotage your healthy lifestyle over time. When we reach for sugar-laden or snacks high in carbohydrates, we cause a spike in our blood sugar which feels good at first but quickly causes a crash leaving us tired, hungry, irritable and distracted. Of course, none of these is a good thing – especially when we are at work and trying to focus.
So what is the answer? One way to stay healthy at work is to be sure that you stock your desk drawer or briefcase with healthy snacks. Having some snacks easily accessible will provide a buffer to keep you from straying in an unhealthy direction when the munchies hit.
Here are some suggestions for nutritious snacks to keep you satisfied and alert throughout your day!
Popcorn: Popcorn is easy to make ahead of time and take to work. Low in calorie and high in fiber, popcorn is a great snack to munch on. The best way to make popcorn is on the stove, the good ol’ fashioned way, using coconut oil and sea salt. For an added boost, add some nutritional yeast and turmeric. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and keep it in a sealed bag for easy access.
Roasted chickpeas: Munching on seasoned, roasted chickpeas is a great way to ward off those mid-day hunger pangs. Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein. Their soluble fiber absorbs water and helps keep you feeling satisfied and full. To make this delicious and nutritious snack, drain, rinse and dry the chickpeas and toss them with some olive oil, garlic, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Roast in the oven set at 450 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until they become crunchy. These also make a delicious salad topping.
Almonds: Not only will almonds keep for a very long time in your desk drawer, but they are loaded with nutritional value. They contain nine essential nutrients and have the highest amount of protein and fiber of any nut. Also, they contain vitamin E and healthy monosaturated fat.
Mixed berries: To satisfy your sweet tooth, try eating a bowl of mixed berries. Berries will help you stay alert and focused. Top your berries with some chia seeds and Greek yogurt for a healthy blast. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids that help regulate blood sugar and keep you full.
Kombucha: Keep your gut bacteria healthy by drinking a bottle of Kombucha. This fermented beverage contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics. This drink is a great pick-me-up midday and will help increase your energy, aid in weight loss, improve digestion, reduce joint pain and support your immune system.
Carrot and celery sticks: Getting your “crunch on” with carrot and celery sticks will keep you occupied while providing a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. You whip up a batch of homemade yogurt ranch to go along with these for added flavor.
Seaweed snacks: They may not sound overly appetizing but roasted seaweed snacks are comprised mostly of soluble fiber that slows the digestive process and helps to keep you full. In addition, this low-calorie snack is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, is known for its mood-boosting properties, is great for your heart and loaded with vitamins. Make your own roasted seaweed chips; it’s easy:
- 12 nori sheets
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Sea salt
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with foil.
- Place six sheets of nori, with the shiny side up, on the foil.
- Brush the shiny side with water and align another nori sheet on top of each of the six.
- Cut nori into one-inch strips and cut these in half crosswise.
- Arrange the chips in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Mix garlic, sesame oil and cayenne in a bowl.
- Brush some of the mixture on top of chips and sprinkle with salt
- Sprink the top of each chpw ith a little salt and seasame seeds.
- Bake on middle rack in oven for 20 minutes.
Just say no
So, the next time that bowl of candy on your colleagues desk calls your name, just say no! Open up your desk drawer and reach for a healthy snack instead. Your body will thank you!