Eating healthy at work isn't hard to do - it just takes a little preparation, planning, and a determination to do it. Sounds pretty simple, right? Hey, I know it isn't all that easy, which is why I've got some great wholesome snacks for work, as well as tips on how to be healthy while working. Whether you are in an office, healthcare space, or in your home, these snacks + tips can help you win the work day!
Tips for a healthy work day
Eating healthy at work actually starts before the workday... and prep is key! Here are my top 4 tips on how to have a healthful workday, snacks and all!
Healthy dinner leftovers = lunch
When you make dinner, make enough to have leftovers for lunch. It's really that simple. Maybe that means doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling a recipe so you have enough for tomorrow's lunch. Try roasting large pans of vegetables or making salad jars out of the leftovers. I created Rawk the Year, my plant based meal planning guide, to help my family make easy + healthy dinners. If you struggle with this, then I encourage you to check out this meal planner, and learn how to feed your crew nourishing whole foods. You'll not only find great dinner recipes, but also snacks for work, smoothies, non-smoothie breakfast options, desserts, and beverages.
To avoid eating a big lunch that might lead to the afternoon sleep-ys, try eating half of your leftovers for lunch, then half in the middle of the afternoon (if you get hungry again). This spaces out the meal, breaks up the afternoon, and may even help break the 3pm coffee fix!
Healthy snacking starts with breakfast
Beginning your day with breakfast is a smart idea for several reasons. If you let yourself get too hungry by skipping your morning meal, it's harder to resist junk food when your stomach starts to rumble. Or worse, when you get hangry. Eating a healthy breakfast helps your body absorb nutrients better throughout the day, as well as sets you up to crave healthy snacks at work, instead of more processed foods. A nourishing breakfast sets your day up for success, so that you can do your job to the best of your ability.
What can you do to make breakfast simple and healthy? I suggest prepping smoothie packs to blend up before you leave for work, whether commuting to an office building or to your den. If morning smoothies don't work for you, then try another healthy breakfast option, like vegan yogurt + granola. If that green smoothie doesn't seem to keep you full, make sure to add in protein + healthy fat, like my plant based Protein Smoothie Boost, to help the body turn that smoothie into long-lasting energy.
Hydration is vital
Drink plenty of water during the day. Keep a glass or bottle of water next to your workspace. If you aren't a fan of plain water, spice it up by infusing it with fruit, herbs, or even veggies. Or drink sparkling mineral water. (No diet soda, if you can help it!) Set a timer on your phone or try to sip water a few times an hour.
Cut out high-calorie, sweetened beverages and cut down on coffee, especially if it's sweetened. Both can be dehydrating and therefore have a negative effect when trying to stay hydrated. Plus that extra sugar is definitely not good for you.
Did you know that sometimes “hunger” is actually thirst? Next time you start snacking, intentionally drink water in between bits of that healthy work snack, to naturally up your water intake.
Take a healthy lunch break
Ah, the lovely lunch hour! It means you've made it halfway through your work day. Eating a healthy lunch is integral to sustaining you through the rest of your day and preventing afternoon slumps. It also leads to healthy snacking throughout the afternoon.
Pack as much nutrition into your lunch as you can, including healthy fats, protein, fiber, and as many fruits and veggies as you can. Whenever possible, it's a good idea to bring your lunch from home.
Also, don't just use your lunch break for eating. Stretch for 5 minutes, take a walking lap around the block, 20-minute power nap, or read a non-work related book for 10 minutes. Focusing your energy on something other than work helps to break up the day, reset your mood, and give you a rush of endorphins that will help you not feel so sluggish throughout the afternoon, which often leads to un-healthy snacking.
Simple + healthy snacks for work
Resist the temptation to hit up the vending machine, office candy bowl, or donuts in the break room by bringing your own snacks. Look, snacking can be important to keep you from getting extra hungry between meals and gives you another opportunity to load up on some nutrients.
Fill a drawer at your desk (or a shelf in the office fridge) with: dried fruit and nuts (or make your own trail mix), homemade energy bars, fresh fruit and veggies, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, chia pudding, or anything that’s unprocessed. Channel your inner kid with some delicious fruit leather that's incredibly simple to make + provides some good immune support. (Smoothies are great for this, too!)
Be sure to include protein as well as healthy fats that will help keep you full.
To battle candy cravings, keep a bar of dark chocolate hidden away and enjoy a piece when you need it.
Oh, and about those work parties and potlucks? You can be the one known for bringing in the stuff that's healthy, yet also super tasty. Not just a bag of salad from the grocery store, but something that actually tastes really good. (Simple Green Meals is loaded with recipes perfect for a potluck!) It's really easy for people to bring in prepared desserts or treats from the grocery store, but you can take charge and put together a healthy snack for work that people will love.
Go-to healthy snacks for work
I love to snack. I also know that I need easy access to good snack options throughout the week to keep me full + productive. Here's my go-to snack list for a busy work week:
- herb hummus
- apple cinnamon 'donuts'
- homemade popsicle
- yogurt parfait
- protein trail bars
- almond butter + jam muffins
- pesto + veggies
- granola bars
- vegan caprese salad
- smoothie bowl with toppings
- lemon fat bomb
- breakfast bar
- fruit leather
I hope this list inspires you to prep a few snacks ahead of your work week, whether that work includes a desk and computer, a kid with endless energy, a classroom of eager minds, a sketch pad, or slew of customers. What are some of your go-to work week snacks? Leave a comment and let me know! I'm always up for a great new healthy snack for work idea.