Posts Tagged ‘proper nutrition’

9 Strategies for Staying Health at Work

Let’s face it, most of us eat more meals and spend more time at work then we do at home. With working lunches, parties and stocked snack drawers and fridges, our workplaces can have more food traps and temptations to lead us astray from our diets than anywhere else. At home we have more control of what is brought into our kitchens, at work, not so much. So what can you do to stay on the right nutritional track while at work? Here are some strategies you can implement now.

A little planning goes along way – Take a little time over the weekend to plan your meals and snacks and do any necessary prepping like washing and cutting fruits and veggies. This will save you some time during the workweek. No one wants to get up early to pack lunch or do it the night before. Set aside an hour or two on Sunday afternoon to wash, prep and portion your healthy snacks and meals.

Pack your own snacks and meals – We all know making our own meals from fresh, whole foods is better for our waistlines and wallets than eating out every day. Does your office occasionally order in for a working lunch or meeting? You can take a pass from the takeout by eating what you brought. Also, there are a lot of BPA-free storage containers and bags on the market now, so buy some of those to pack your food in.

Drink lots of water – Avoid the bottled water in the work fridge. Instead, buy a large BPA-free water bottle that you can fill up in the morning with purified water from home and drink from it throughout the day.

Create a buddy system – Find a friend or two at work with whom you can lend and receive support. If you have someone watching your back, you’re less likely to grab that doughnut in the morning or have that piece of cake at the birthday party.

Pack a piece of dark chocolate – Have trouble passing up that piece of cake, as mentioned in the above point? When packing your lunch for the day, add a piece of dark chocolate to your bag and get your sweet fix that way instead of eating a big piece of cake.

Don’t dine at your desk – Never mind that our desks are often filthy, germ-filled areas, but eating at your desk is a distraction to mindful eating. Plus, lunch is meant to give you a break. Hence the term lunch break. So step away from your desk, eat in the cafeteria or break room with co-workers or if it’s nice outside, take your lunch outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and just get out of the office!

Communicate with coworkers – Let your coworkers know that you’re trying to stay on track. If they’re aware then maybe they won’t unknowingly tempt you with sweets by coming to your office or desk with diet derailing treats. Even better, start a healthy movement at work and get everyone involved.

Take a stroll – Grab your buddy and take stroll in the afternoon. It’s good to get out of the office and if you tend to get the 3:00 slump in the afternoon, a short walk will wake you up and energize you. Plus, a walk will help relieve stress and it’s better than grabbing a sweet, a soda or a cup of coffee as a pick me up.

Take the stairs – Why take the elevator when you can take the stairs? Climbing the stairs is good for your heart and helps you burn calories.

Spring Fruits and Veggies I Can’t Get Enough Of

One of the reasons I love springtime is because of the variety of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak. It’s a perfect time to spring clean your diet. The weather is getting warmer so we can start moving away from those heavy stews and casseroles we turn to for comfort in the cold winter. We can start eating cleaner, lighter meals that are chock full of these gorgeous and nutritious fruits and vegetables.

The list below describes many of my springtime favorites. They can usually be found in many stores year-round. However, when they are at their season’s peak, they reap the most nutritional benefits and are more economical as well.

Artichokes – Low in calories, artichokes are also high in fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C.

Asparagus – At their peak from March through June, asparagus is high in fiber and a good source of iron, B vitamins, and Vitamin C. To retain freshness and nutrition place them in cool storage, but the soonest you eat them after buying, the better. I love to roast asparagus in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and sodium-free lemon pepper.

Blueberries – The typical harvest season for blueberries begins in May. Blueberries pack a potent bunch of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C while low in calories. Try to go for organic since blueberries are the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.

Peas – English, sugar snap and snow peas are all at their peak from April through July. Like most legumes, peas are high in fiber and are a good source of plant protein. Nutritional benefits vary depending on variety, with English peas providing more B vitamins and zinc, while snow and snap peas offer more vitamin C. Peas make a great side dish, but are also great in salads, stir frys, even dips.

Radishes – An excellent accoutrement to salads, radishes are low in calories but pack a vitamin C punch.

Strawberries – these juicy berries are an ideal mid-morning snack or guiltless dessert as they are packed with fiber and just 1 cup meets 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Also on the Dirty Dozen list, it’s worth picking up organic strawberries.

No More Meals on the Run, Time to Practice Conscious Eating

Meals on the run, fast food, energy bars and TV dinners are all part of today’s culture. In fact, the average American eats five meals a week in the car! Does this sound like you? Poor digestion, high cortisol levels and distracted driving are the consequences of this fast-paced, on the go lifestyle.

Nowadays, people rarely take the time to make a healthy meal, eat together and enjoy the food that is in front of them. When you aren’t paying attention to what you eat, it’s easy to consume too much. Not to mention much of the food you eat on the run has little nutritional value. Therefore, you remain hungry.

It might be time to practice conscious eating, a nutrition philosophy based on the idea that listening to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to reach a healthy weight than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods. It’s intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body. Conscious eating means eating slowly, chewing well and savoring every bite. Conscious eating and digestion start in the mouth, so it’s important to chew your food slowly. Additionally, it’s important to remove as many sources of stress as possible while enjoying your food. (That means no driving while eating!) If your body is focusing on fight or flight, it’s not focusing on the pleasure of eating and digestion.

When you start to slow down and listen to your body, it becomes easier to determine whether you’re truly hungry or actually stressed, bored or thirsty. In order to learn to listen to your body again, start paying close attention to the food you’re craving, often the basis for cravings is due to lack of necessary nutrients.